Ariel Precision Medicine, Inc., has appointed Professor David C. Whitcomb, M.D. Ph.D. as chief scientific officer (CSO). Professor Whitcomb is a pioneer in the use of mathematics, genetics, genomics, cell biology, neurosciences, immunology and epidemiology to study complex inflammatory disorders and cancer risks of the digestive system. He co-founded Ariel Precision Medicine along with Jessica M. Gibson in 2015 and since that time has served on the board of directors, as chair of the Medical Advisory Board and as a technical and scientific consultant.
As CSO of Ariel Precision Medicine Dr. Whitcomb will utilize his experience and insights as a physician, scientist and innovator to oversee the scientific and translational functions of the company, which aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of physician diagnosis and care plans, improve patient outcomes and quality of life and reduce unnecessary costs.
“Professor Whitcomb is among the most-cited authors in the field of pancreatic diseases with multiple landmark papers,” stated Ms. Gibson, CEO of Ariel Precision Medicine. “His innovations in precision medicine continue to be studied and emulated by other leading programs throughout the world. He has been an important member of our team of advisors for many years and we are excited to welcome him into the executive team as our chief scientific officer.”
In 1991, he joined UPMC as a gastroenterologist and was appointed to the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh where he became professor of medicine (with tenure), professor of cell biology and molecular physiology, professor of human genetics, and the inaugural Giant Eagle Foundation Professor of Cancer Genetics. In addition, he is adjunct professor of biomedical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. Going forward, he will maintain his practice at UPMC and his teaching and research responsibilities at the University of Pittsburgh.
In 1995, Professor Whitcomb co-founded the Center for Genomic Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh (now part of the Genomics and Proteomics Core Laboratory) and served as the chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh from 1999 to 2016, building it into a top-tier gastroenterology and hepatology program. During this time, he leveraged 25 years of continuous NIH funding to serve as principal investigator on multiple clinical studies including the North American Pancreatitis Study II (NAPS2), which revolutionized the understanding of recurrent acute and chronic pancreatitis.
In addition to his academic responsibilities, Professor Whitcomb also served at the Pittsburgh VA Healthcare System as the director for both the Nutrition Support and Gastroenterology Services. From 2015-2021 he was the editor-in-chief of Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology, an official journal of the American College of Gastroenterology, and section editor for Pancreas, UpToDate (2005-present). Professor Whitcomb has served as president of the American Pancreatic Association (APA) and chairman of the Pancreatic Disorders Section of the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA). He has published over 400 papers, reviews and book chapters.
Professor Whitcomb completed a doctorate in physiology in 1983 and earned his medical degree in 1985 at Ohio State University. His postdoctoral training at Duke University (1985-1991) included medical residency, gastroenterology fellowship and postdoctoral training under Ian Taylor M.D., Ph.D.
About Ariel Precision Medicine
Ariel Precision Medicine is an innovative biotechnology company founded in 2015 to improve the lives of patients suffering with complex chronic diseases. By leveraging deep domain expertise and ADVANCE®, an AI-fueled genetic segmentation platform, Ariel is able to identify early signs of disease and model novel treatments in the right patients in order to de-risk drug development and accelerate the evidence for FDA approvals faster than traditional methods. Ariel’s initial focus is pancreatitis, a destructive inflammatory condition affecting over 6 million people globally and for which there are currently no treatments. To aid in the diagnosis and care of patients with this complex disorder, Ariel created PancreasDx®, a panel of genes implicated in pancreatitis, which is used in concert with ADVANCE® to support clinical decisions on management tailored to addressing the mechanisms contributing to each patient’s specific type of pancreatitis