Women's History Month Stories

PK Morrow, MD, FACP

Chief Medical Officer, CRISPR Therapeutics

Why did you pursue a career in science?  

Science has been the perfect way for me to satisfy my intellectual curiosity, while enabling me to address actionable biologic targets and diseases to help patients! With each year, the decision to pursue a scientific career has been further reinforced by the ability to lead and participate in initiatives and programs that harness science to treat serious illnesses. 

What are you most proud of in your career? 

Earlier in my career, I had the opportunity to be part of a team that developed a drug that addressed KRAS mutant lung cancer. KRAS mutations had been thought to be undruggable, but our team took the challenge to heart through strong scientific work and clinical development. The approval of this drug, and its ability to now be used to potentially help patients with KRAS mutant cancers, has been such a source of joy and inspiration for me, as both a physician and scientist. 

Who is a woman/mentor you admire? 

Emmanuelle Charpentier, the co-founder of CRISPR Therapeutics, has inspired me and many other physicians and scientists by her scientific curiosity, dedication, resilience, and ability to collaborate globally to revolutionize the field of gene editing. 

How are you accelerating research or transforming the treatment landscape to create a world immune to cancer?  

One of the reasons that I came to CRISPR Therapeutics was to transform cancer care, not just to improve it incrementally. Since I joined, my professional and personal mission has been to work with my team members to not just advance cancer research, but to take our learnings and truly transform the treatment and outcomes of cancer patients. Every day, my team and I work to harness the immune system and genome with the aim of eliminating cancer, with the knowledge that every day and moment counts for cancer patients. 

What advice do you have for women who are entering the field of science? 

Don’t be afraid of failure, nor of (supposedly) unattainable goals. In resilience and courage of conviction, there is success, even if it must occur after many hurdles. Those hurdles make scientific discovery and success even more meaningful. 

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