Dawn Thompson, Ph.D.

Vice President, Head of Microbiology & Automation

Dawn Thompson is uniquely positioned to combine a deep knowledge of fundamental life science disciplines including fungal microbiology, molecular genetics, transcriptomics, comparative genomics, evolutionary biology and synthetic biology to crack the code of therapeutically relevant natural products encoded in fungal genomes.

Prior to joining LifeMine, Dawn was Chief Scientific Officer at Directed Genomics where she led the scientific vision to develop novel DNA and RNA assays with a focus on Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for research, translational, clinical, and agricultural applications. Before that, Dawn built a multi-disciplinary team from the ground up as Head of NGS at Ginkgo Bioworks that offered a diverse portfolio of sequencing applications including fully automated DNA sequencing, genome assembly, and RNA-seq.  In this role, Dawn partnered with organizational leaders to solve cross-functional challenges unique to the engineering of novel organism factories to grow products by fermentation across many markets including pharmaceuticals, living medicines, agriculture and electronics. Before joining Ginkgo, Dawn was the Associate Director of the Cell Circuits Program (CCP) at the Broad Institute where she was integral to the scientific vision and technological development toward systematically defining the genetic and molecular circuits of a wide range of cell types. Concurrently, Dawn was a Group Leader in Genome Biology and directed a research program to study the evolution of gene regulation across diverse fungal species to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the evolution of new phenotypes.

Dawn was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University where she investigated the effect of elevated mutation rate and ploidy on the rate of adaptive evolution and genome rearrangement in yeast. Dawn earned a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of Oregon and a B.S. in biology from the University of New Hampshire.