Senda Biosciences Appoints Luke O’Neill, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer

Senda Biosciences

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., January 12, 2023​— Senda Biosciences, Inc., a company harnessing nature to enable the world’s first comprehensive programming of medicines, today announced the appointment of Luke O’Neill, Ph.D., as Chief Scientific Officer. Kyle Chiang, former interim CSO of Senda, will transition to the role of Head of New Modalities, with an initial focus leading Senda’s efforts in the gene editing space, and remain a member of the Senda Executive Leadership Team.

Luke is a key addition to what is already a strong, effective leadership team,” said Guillaume Pfefer, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Senda Biosciences and Partner at Flagship Pioneering. Luke is a world-renowned immunologist who has contributed so much to the organization in his corporate governance and scientific advisory roles. Having someone of his caliber work more closely with us in the capacity of CSO will bring even more valuable insights to Senda as we position our platform to focus initially on comprehensively programming immune cell-targeting medicines for a range of possible indications of high unmet medical need in the immunology space.”

Dr. O’Neill, a member of Senda’s Board of Directors and Scientific Advisory Board, is the Chair of Biochemistry at Trinity College Dublin, and leads the college’s Inflammation Research Group. His research focuses on the molecular basis of inflammation, with a concentration on innate immunity, toll-like receptors, inflammasomes, and metabolic reprogramming in macrophage activation. In 2018 and 2022, he was named by Clarivate/​Thompson Reuters as one of the world’s most influential scientists, ranking in the top 1% in immunology. Dr. O’Neill has won numerous research awards, including the European Federation of Immunology Societies medal, the International Cytokine and Interferon Society Milstein Award, the Royal Dublin Society Boyle Medal for Scientific Excellence, and the Royal Irish Academy Gold Medal for Life Sciences. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2016 and published the best-selling popular-science book, Humanology: A Scientist’s Guide to Our Amazing Existence in 2018. He holds a Ph.D. in pharmacology from the University of London and conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge, UK.

I’m delighted to be building a deeper relationship with Senda,” said Dr. O’Neill. Having witnessed the team’s considerable progress over the past few years, I relish the opportunity to play an even larger part in shaping the company’s novel programmable medicines platform now that Senda has decided to target immune cells in the first programs it intends to advance to the clinic. I believe Senda’s one-of-a-kind approach to programming can unlock powerful applications in immunology, an area I’ve explored throughout my academic career. I look forward to building and strengthening relationships with leading academic centers in immunology, including Trinity College Dublin, to accelerate the translation of this work to benefit patients.” 

About Senda Biosciences

Senda Biosciences, Inc. is committed to bringing life-changing treatments to patients by harnessing millennia of evolution to program human cells both within and to the cell. Senda’s proprietary platform is the first to leverage a universal chemical addressing code of natural nanoparticles that enable cross-kingdom intercellular communication. This platform unlocks comprehensive programming of medicines for the first time, allowing Senda to develop a new class of SendRNA™ medicines focused initially on powering new frontiers in immunology mRNA-based therapies, with future applications employing other information molecules, including siRNA, gene editors, proteins, and peptides. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Senda was founded by Flagship Pioneering. 


Jessica Yingling, Ph.D., +1.858.344.8091,