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Ionis Innovation

Innovation” is something we hear a lot about. But when you break it down, what is it really?  If innovation is so important, why is it so hard to define?

In each episode of Innovations, host Dave Ecker and his guests will explore the fascinating field of drug discovery. How do the people doing the “innovating” know when they’ve done it? And importantly, who are the people doing it? What makes them tick? And what inspires them when they’re not at the bench?

In each episode of this podcast, Dr. Ecker will introduce listeners to some of the brightest minds in biotech. Through their lively and thoughtful conversations, you’ll find out what fuels the innovation that leads to novel medicines capable of transforming peoples’ lives.

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Available Episodes

Crystal Zhao, Ph.D., Associate Director, Ion-Edit Core Research, Ionis Pharmaceuticals
From Nanjing, China to Woods Hole, Massachusetts to the sunny shores of La Jolla, California, and many points in between, Dr. Zhao’s journey to innovation has been full of discovery. With initial aspirations of becoming a marine biologist, she was ultimately attracted to Ionis because “I was amazed at how much basic research is done” at the company. Also driving her decision was a desire to apply her research to drug discovery that could eventually benefit patients. Now, she’s spearheading core research for an initiative intended to marry Ionis’ pioneering antisense technology with the emerging field of gene editing.
Crystal Zhao


So, what is “innovation” to Dr. Crystal Zhao?

“It’s a mentality. It’s about our curiosity…It’s about the courage to test and go beyond what we know today.”


Meet the Host


Dr. Ecker is a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the Ionis Legacy Award, the Volwiler Distinguished Research Fellow the Donalee Tabern Outstanding Researcher of the Year Award, and the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award Gold Medal.