OpenBiome welcomes new Executive Director
SOMERVILLE, Mass. – The Board of Directors of OpenBiome announced today that with unanimous and enthusiastic support, they have named Carolyn Edelstein, MPA, as OpenBiome’s new Executive Director, effective today.
Edelstein will succeed James Burgess, who will remain on the Board of Directors. He will be transitioning to VP of Innovation at Finch Therapeutics after serving as founding Executive Director since OpenBiome’s launch in 2012.
“Carolyn has been deeply involved in every aspect of our growth since our start,” said Burgess, “Her energy, skill, and wisdom have shaped everything from our patient-centered approach, to our groundbreaking research collaborations, to our partnership with the FDA. I couldn’t be more excited to see where she leads OpenBiome next.”
As one of the founding members of OpenBiome, Edelstein has been guiding the development, mission, and values of the organization since its inception. Her efforts as Director of Outreach and Public Affairs shaped OpenBiome’s public presence and brought awareness of and access to life-saving FMT to patients, doctors, and researchers around the world.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have Carolyn at the helm of OpenBiome as we enter our sixth year,” said Jim Burnham, Chairman of the Board of Directors, “Her dedication to our mission and her inspiring vision for the future will keep OpenBiome at the forefront of patient treatment and cutting-edge research into the microbiome.
Edelstein’s work on FMT access and regulation has appeared in Nature Biotechnology, the Journal of Law and the Biosciences, and Clinical Research and Regulatory Affairs. She has overseen OpenBiome’s coverage in major national and international media outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, NPR, BBC, AP and many others.
Previously, she worked at the U.S. Agency for International Development, where she helped launch the Global Innovation Fund, a $200 million institution backed by foreign aid agencies from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, Sweden, and South Africa to test and support low-cost, high-impact interventions to improve global health and prosperity. She holds an MPA and a BA from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, where she was awarded the Scholars in the Nation’s Service Initiative (SINSI) Fellowship, a four-year program to support outstanding individuals to launch careers in public service.
OpenBiome is the first public stool bank, founded to expand safe access to fecal transplantation for patients with recurrent C. difficile infection and to catalyze research on the microbiome’s role in human health. OpenBiome provides clinicians with rigorously screened, ready-to-use stool preparations and supports researchers with a suite of tools to discover how gut bacteria might treat diseases beyond C. difficile. Since 2013, OpenBiome has partnered with over 900 healthcare institutions across all 50 states and 7 countries to deliver nearly 30,000 treatments for recurrent C. difficile. Its research portfolio includes 49% of all U.S. trials exploring the use of fecal transplants to treat disease.