Santiago Munné, Ph.D.
Originally from Catalonia, Dr. Munné gained his Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Pittsburgh and joined Dr. Jacques Cohen at Cornell University Medical College (NY), where he developed the first Preimplantation Genetic Testing (PGT) method to detect chromosome abnormalities (1993), for which he received prizes in 1994 and 1995 by SART. Dr. Munné became the Director of PGT at The Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science of Saint Barnabas in 1995 where he developed the first test to detect chromosome translocations (1996 SART prize), as well as demonstrating a significant decrease in spontaneous abortions after PGT (1998 SART prize). His team and collaborators were the first to suggest and demonstrate higher implantation rates, lower rates of spontaneous abortions as well as trisomic offspring after PGT.
In 2001, Dr. Munné co-founded Reprogenetics
, with Jacques Cohen and David Sable. He directed the company until 2016 and saw its expansion to four continents. Reprogenetics was the first commercial lab to offer PGT and was the market leader until it was sold to in 2016 to Cooper Companies (NYSE: COO). During this time Reprogenetics performed over 70,000 PGT cycles and its research focused in using comprehensive genetic analysis of embryos to improve pregnancy outcomes and diminish the risk of miscarriages and inherited disorders. Munné and co-researchers were rewarded with SART prize papers in 2005, 2015 and 2016, and he has received The American Society for Reproductive Medicine Star Award consecutively for the years 2011-2016.
In 2011 Dr. Munné co-founded with Alex Bisignano the genomics company, Recombine
which launched CarrierMap to screen for over 300 gene defects, allowing the identification of couples at risk of transmitting these gene defects. Some of the assets of this company were sold in 2016 to Cooper Companies (NYSE: COO), and the rest were spun off into another genomics company, Phosphorous
, also founded by Dr. Munné and Alex Bisignano. In addition, in 2017 Co-Founded Dr. Munné co-founded MedAnswers
with CEO Alice Crisci, a digital health platform for the infertility field, connecting patients with specialists. Dr. Munné is also part of the BOD of Previvo
Dr. Munné’s research interests has been on the prevention of genetic disease and infertility through PGT and Carrier Screening, understanding the impact of chromosome abnormalities in human reproduction with lately emphasis on mosaicism. Recent projects are to determine how to reduce chromosome abnormalities by changing assisted reproductive methods, detection of de novo mutations in embryos inducing autism and other disorders, and non-invasive PGT. Dr. Munné has published over 240 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and is a frequent lecturer, both nationally and internationally. He is co-founder of the Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis International Society (PGDIS) and has served as president and other BOD positions.
With the CooperSurgical purchase of Reprogenetics, Recombine and Genesis Genetics, in 10/2016 Dr. Munné’s became the Chief Scientific Officer of CooperGenomics, titled that he held until Dec 2017 when he joined with Martin Varsavsky and Joson Horcajadas to co-found Overture Life, a company focused on improving ART at every level.