Matt Winkler is Chairman and CEO of Asuragen and Founder and board member of Mirna Therapeutics. He received a B.S. degree in Genetics and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of California at Berkeley. He joined the Zoology Department of the University of Texas in 1983. In 1988, as an Associate Professor, he started Ambion, Inc. a molecular biology “tools” company. He is the author of over 30 publications and has 19 issued patents. Ambion became the preeminent "molecular biology tools company” focused on RNA with about 400 employees located in Austin, Cambridge, England and Tokyo, Japan. In March of 2006 he sold the research products division of Ambion to Applied Biosystems and with about 100 employees started Asuragen, an oncology-centric, molecular diagnostics company with a strong focus around RNA. Since its founding, Asuragen has been the number one or two recipient of National Institutes of Health, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards in Texas. In December of 2007 Asuragen created Mirna Therapeutics, as a “carve out of Asuragen”, to develop cancer therapeutics based on miRNA. Mirna has been the recipient of significant Texas Emerging Technology Fund (ETF) and CPRIT awards and is advancing its miRNA liver cancer therapeutic to Phase I clinical trials early in 2013. In November of 2012 Mirna received a $35M investment from a syndicate of some of the top biotech venture investors.
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