Dr. Christineh N. Sarkissian (BSc ’93) is a Canadian scientist working on resolving rare medical disorders. Formerly an appointed member of the Faculty of Medicine, Dept. of Human Genetics, McGill University (2005-2013), and a consultant for international companies focusing on pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and diagnostic tools for the treatment of genetic disorders, she currently holds a Director’s position for Pre-Clinical Development at Rubius Therapeutics, a Flagship Ventures company in Cambridge Massachusetts working on Red-Cell Therapeutics.
Dr. Sarkissian credits York for setting her up for a bright and successful career. “Because of my exceptional start at York, I was able to go on and receive a Ph.D. from McGill, one of Canada’s top medical faculties,” she says. “I have had the opportunity to work in close collaboration with distinguished international teams of scientists and medical doctors, and the results have been extraordinary.”
Dr. Sarkissian is best known for her drug discovery and development work in the treatment of Phenylketonuria; efforts that have translated into a therapeutic which will revolutionize the care of patients with this rare metabolic disorder. She has been granted funding for and led multimillion dollar joint academic and industrial collaborations, developed a number of drugs, state-of-the-art assays, and next generation diagnostics for universal newborn screening in developing nations.
Dr. Sarkissian serves as an educator for industry, medical organizations and patients, and also as a strategic liaison of international medical associations, coordinating alliances between academic, industry, government and patient groups.
“I have a truly extraordinary life as a scientist and everyday I’m grateful for my brilliant colleagues who make work feel like an enviable pastime, even though we’re actually working quite hard.”