Kernal Bio creates mRNA 2.0 therapies that instruct specific cells on how to make their own medicine. Kernal Bio encrypts mRNA’s “message” in a language that only cancer cells understand. These tumor-specific mRNA therapeutics allow precise targeting of cancer cells, without harming normal cells or tissues. They have recently been validated in preclinical tumor models, showing high efficacy and safety as well as durable adaptive immunity. With roots at MIT, Harvard and Biopharma, Kernal’s management team has deep expertise in mRNA therapeutics space. CEO Yusuf Erkul, M.D., M.B.A. is a successful drug hunter whose research at Merck enabled an FDA-approved drug for ovarian cancer. President, Burak Yilmaz, M.S., previously founded Sentegen, a thriving synthetic biology company which commercializes synthetic DNA, RNA, and diagnostic kits for genetic and infectious diseases. VP of BD, Matt Strout, M.D. Ph.D., M.B.A, is a business development executive who led more than $4.5B worth of BD deals at Alexion and AstraZeneca. VP of R&D Manfred is a leader in immuno-oncology, who was most recently Scientific Senior Director at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS).
I'm co-founder and CEO of Kernal Biologics, a Cambridge, MA-based biotech startup developing next-generation messenger RNA immunotherapy. Backed by Hummingbird, Amgen, HBM, NASA, and Boeing, Kernal Bio raised a $25M Series A round. Early in my career, I worked at Merck&Co. on the discovery and development of various oncology drugs, including ZEJULA®, which got FDA approval for ovarian cancer. I hold an executive MBA from MIT Sloan, an M.D. from Hacettepe Univ. and a B.S. in Biology from MIT.
I got PhD in Molecular Genetics at UTSW Medical Center at Dallas. I moved to Boston for postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. I served as Biochemistry instructor at MIT. Then I joined Kernal as a co-founder.
My name is Burak Yilmaz, MS, co-founder, and lead designer of Kernal Biologics. As a synthetic biologist, I co-invented stealth and onco-selective mRNA platform technology in Kernal. Kernal is my second endeavor. Previously, I founded Sentegen/Sentebiolab which is a synthetic biology company that produces synthetic DNA for research and diagnostic purposes.