Lucas Harrington

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Lucas Harrington
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OccupationCo-founder, President of Therapeutics, Mammoth Biosciences
Academic background
Alma materWashington University in St. Louis (B.S.) University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.)
ThesisUncovering the Diversity of CRISPR-Cas systems (2018)
Doctoral advisorJennifer Doudna (Biology)
Academic work
DisciplineChemistry, Biochemistry, Molecular Biology

Lucas Harrington is an American scientist and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of, and president of therapeutics at, Mammoth Biosciences, a biotechnology company engineering ultracompact CRISPR systems to develop therapies for genetic diseases.[1]

Early Life and Education

Harrington was born on March 28, 1991, in Wallingford, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Missouri.[2] He recalls having an early interest in science. As a teenager, he worked for a startup that made disease models with Zebrafish, and was an admirer of American biologist E.O. Wilson.[2]

Harrington completed his undergraduate studies in chemistry at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013.[3] He began his doctforal studies in 2014 at the University of California, Berkeley, under the mentorship of CRISPR co-inventor and Nobel laureate Jennifer Doudna. During that time, he researched novel, compact CRISPR systems and their properties with fellow Mammoth Biosciences co-founder Janice Chen, who was also a graduate student at Berkeley.[4]

Nearing the completion of their graduate studies, Harrington and Chen became motivated to start a company based on their research that translated their findings into real-world applications. They were then introduced to Trevor Martin – at the time, a graduate student at Stanford University – by Doudna.[4] Martin was also interested in starting a company based on the foundational technology of CRISPR and novel Cas systems.[5] In 2017, Harrington, Doudna, Martin and Chen co-founded Mammoth Biosciences. And in 2018, Harrington completed his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology.[6]


In addition to being co-founder, Harrington is the president of therapeutics at Mammoth.[2] The company and its researchers apply metagenomics-based discovery techniques to identify novel CRISPR-Cas systems, such as the ultracompact systems Casphi and Cas14, as well as CRISPR+ technologies – such as base editing, epigenetic editing and gene writing – which demonstrate the potential for in vivo therapeutic genome editing.[4][7]

Mammoth Biosciences announced partnerships with Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Bayer to further develop the in vivo applications of the company’s technology in 2022.[8] [9] Mammoth, which is currently valued at approximately $1 Billion,[10] also researches possible applications of CRISPR-based diagnostics.[11]

Along with Mammoth, Harrington is also a co-founder of SciFounders Capital, a fund and incubator that seeks to support scientists interested in starting and building companies by lending monetary support and mentorship to ideation phase, pre-seed and seed-stage companies.[12] [13]

Awards and Recognitions

In November 2018, Harrington was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 Class of 2019 List.[14]

In April 2023, Harrington was named to the San Francisco Business Times’ 40 Under 40 List.[2]

Selected Works

  • Chen, Janice S.; Ma, Enbo; Harrington, Lucas B.; Da Costa, Maria; Tian, Xinran; Palefsky, Joel M.; Doudna Jennifer A. (February 15, 2018). “CRISPR-Cas12a target binding unleashes indiscriminate single-stranded DNase activity.” Science 360 (6387): 436-439. DOI:10.1126/science.aar6245
  • Harrington, Lucas B.; Burstein, David; Chen, Janice S.; Paez-Espino, David; Ma, Enbo; Witte, Isaac P.; Cofsky, Joshua C.; Kyrpides, Nikos C.; Banfields, Jillian F.; Doudna, Jennifer A. (October 18, 2018). “Programmed DNA destruction by miniature CRISPR-Cas14 enzymes.” Science. 362 (6416): 839-842. DOI:10.1126/science.aav4294


  1. "Mammoth Biosciences". Mammoth Biosciences. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "40 Under 40: Lucas Harrington, Mammoth Biosciences". Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  3. Biology, Department of (2019-11-22). "Unleashing the Power of the CRISPR system". Department of Biology. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "News: Miniscule Cas nucleases do a Mammoth's job". CRISPR Medicine. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  5. BIOS (2022-04-29). "Founder Spotlight #37: Trevor Martin @ Mammoth Biosciences". BIOS Community. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  6. "Lucas Harrington". Molecular and Cell Biology. 2019-06-07. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  7. Pasternack, Alex (November 18, 2022). "How Mammoth is Chasing CRISPR 2.0 with a smaller pair of scissors". Retrieved June 28, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. Hart, Robert. "Mammoth Biosciences Inks $691 Million Deal With Vertex For Crispr Gene-Editing Therapies". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  9. "Bayer and Mammoth Biosciences to Collaborate on Novel Gene Editing Technology". 2022-01-10. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  10. Cumbers, John. "What Drives Newly Minted Crispr Unicorn Mammoth Biosciences". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  11. Hamilton-Basich, Melanie (2020-08-04). "Mammoth Biosciences Gets NIH Contract to Scale CRISPR Covid-19 Diagnostic Platform". Clinical Lab Products. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  12. "Lucas Harrington". 2022-06-09. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  13. "SciFounders - Helping science companies get started". 2022-06-17. Retrieved 2023-06-28.
  14. "Lucas Herrington, 27; Janice Chen, 27; Trevor Martin, 29 - 2018-11-14 - 2019 30 Under 30: Healthcare". Forbes. Retrieved 2023-06-28.

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