From the beginning of his career, Associate Director Thomas Packard has been driven by a desire to create life changing therapies, with a focus on how to best deliver valuable medicines to the precise region of the body where it can have the best shot at ameliorating disease without harming other organs. His passion is also exemplified in his music, where improvisation and teamwork are key to creating a true masterpiece. At ShapeTX, Thomas, in collaboration with our AI Team, leverages the AAVidTM platform and machine learning to generate novel adeno-associated virus (AAV) capsids that transform the notion of targeted delivery for gene therapy.

Thomas and his team are engineering AAV capsids that target and deliver payloads to selective tissues. They explore a massive sequence space in order to engineer specific AAV capsids that best target a tissue of interest. Each exquisitely engineered AAV capsid is identified using machine learning tools, which are key to analyzing a data set far too large for human comprehension. As Thomas says in his episode of the ShapeTX Employee Spotlight Video Series, “we’re not finding a needle in a haystack, we’re building the needle itself.”