Our Story

Grace was born in 2009 with a rare, debilitating disease. Deep in confusion and grief, Kristen and Matt Wilsey were faced with three options:

  1. Go home and simply enjoy their daughter. To them, this was akin to “giving up”.
  2. Focus 100% on improving the quality of Grace’s daily life through therapy.
  3. Find a cure themselves.

They went with option 3 and set out to find a cure.

After receiving Grace’s diagnosis in 2013, Matt and Kristen established the Grace Science Foundation to fund research by premier labs around the world to better understand NGLY1 Deficiency. This research rapidly produced numerous insights into the disease. Grace Science, LLC was founded in 2017 to translate these findings into therapies. 

Our Approach

Due to the relatively small populations of patients with rare diseases, most conditions don’t garner the attention of large pharmaceutical companies. We see rare diseases differently and are altering the basic model for approaching them. This is driven by our understanding that studying rare diseases is a valuable opportunity to gain otherwise unpredictable new insights into biological pathways. We can apply this knowledge to more common diseases.
Our model is simple:

  1. Identify a rare disease that results from a single gene mutation
  2. Perform basic research to determine which pathways are affected by mutation
  3. Identify other diseases that share these pathways
  4. Rapidly develop drugs that target the pathway
  5. Treat both the rare and more common diseases

NGLY1 Deficiency is just the beginning. We have no intention of stopping there!

Meet Our Team

A unique ecosystem of brilliant minds: Individuals who see the bigger picture and are willing to try a new model that allows for significant breakthroughs. Individuals who are collaborative & driven to learn and advance science.

Matt Wilsey
Matt WilseyCo-founder & CEO
Mr. Wilsey is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, angel investor, and start-up advisor. In addition to consumer products and services, Matt invests in and advocates for biomedical research, drug development, and genetic sequencing technologies.
Carolyn Bertozzi
Carolyn BertozziCo-founder
Carolyn Bertozzi is Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Chemical & Systems Biology and Radiology (by courtesy) at Stanford University, and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
George Sing
George SingChairman
Mr. Sing is a venture capitalist and co-founder and CEO of life sciences and high technology startups. Led the VC seed investment in Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and has been a board director since inception.
Len Post
Len PostScientific Advisor
Len Post has over thirty years experience in R&D at pharmaceutical and biotech companies. He is currently Chief Scientific Officer at Vivace Therapeutics. His previous position was Chief Scientific Officer of BioMarin Pharmaceutical, a company focused on rare genetic disease, where he was responsible for programs that included small molecules, proteins, and gene therapy.
Thomas Wechsler
Thomas WechslerVice President, Research
Thomas Wechsler has more than seven years of R&D experience in AAV-mediated gene therapy and genome editing. Prior to joining Grace Science, LLC he held the position of Senior Director of Research (Rare Diseases) at Sangamo Therapeutics. In addition, he brings with him over ten years of experience in DNA repair and genomic instability.
Brendan Beahm
Brendan BeahmDirector of R&D Operations
Brendan Beahm obtained his PhD in Chemistry in the lab of Dr. Carolyn Bertozzi at the University of California, Berkeley in 2014. Brendan’s research in the Bertozzi Lab was at the intersection of biology and chemistry, giving him broad exposure to numerous fields and techniques and a breadth of skills. At Grace Science, Brendan manages our collaborations with Contract Research Organizations.
William F. Mueller
William F. MuellerDirector of Discovery and Integration
William Francis Mueller earned his Ph.D. in Biomedical
Sciences from the UC, Irvine under Klemens Hertel and did his
postdoc in Lars Steinmetz’s group at the EMBL in Heidelberg,
Germany. Will’s experience studying NGLY1 and using systems
genetics to leverage molecular phenotypes into functional
screens and assays led him to Grace Science.
Selina Dwight
Selina DwightDirector of Biocuration
Selina Dwight, Ph.D. is the Director of Biocuration Sciences for Grace Science, LLC., focusing on the curation of scientific information towards the goal of leveraging existing information in supplementing research and interpreting scientific results. She has over 25 years experience in curating scientific information for a model organism database and a clinical genomics database.
Lei Zhu
Lei ZhuSenior Scientist
Lei Zhu, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist with 8 + years experience in neurodegenerative diseases research. Before joining Grace Science, he worked on Alzheimer’s disease and neuroinflammation in Dr. Lennart Mucke’s lab. He brings with him expertise in mouse disease models and CNS AAV gene therapy to Grace Science.

“Because of Grace and her rare genetics, we’re looking where others aren’t. And that’s opening up possibilities for new discoveries that could have huge benefits.”

Carolyn Bertozzi, Co-founder

Rare Unlocks Common

Grace Science is leveraging NGLY1 biology to treat human disease.

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