cardio genetics


Kiran Musunuru, Verve Therapeutics

Kiran Musunuru, Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, is back on The Beagle to talk about Verve Therapeutics, a company that announced its arrival earlier this month, with the modest goal of protecting the world from heart disease (honestly, “protect the world form heart disease" IS the Verve tagline).

Verve’s ambitions are founded upon work by Kiran, among others, that is directed at using gene therapy to fix – or even prevent – high cholesterol levels associated with increased risk of heart disease, the single most likely cause of death in adults. A small number of people carry a naturally-occurring variant that keeps their cholesterol levels low throughout their lives.

Can we use a CRISPR-based therapy to mimic that effect in people with sky-high lipid levels? And what about the rest of us? Kiran and the co-founders of Verve ask us to imagine a world where gene therapy is used like a vaccine.

Amy Sturm

Amy Sturm is the head of cardiovascular genomic counseling at the Genomic Medicine Institute at Geisinger, that surprisingly cutting edge in the middle of nowhere (I’ve been there; trust me). Amy, a cardiogen pioneer for almost 20 year (cue Amy, gasping) is also the current President of the National Society of Genetic Counselors.