C. Frank Bennett

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C. Frank Bennett is an American Pharmacologist. Bennett is currently the Senior Vice President of Research and Neurology Franchise Leader at Ionis Pharmaceuticals[1]. He is a 2019 Breakthrough Prize winner in Life Sciences, which he shared with his collaborator Dr. Adrian R. Krainer for the development of an effective antisense oligonucleotide therapy for children with the neurodegenerative disease spinal muscular atrophy.[2]

Early Life & Education[edit]

C. Frank Bennett grew up in Aztec, New Mexico, where his family owned a small hotel. Bennett holds a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy from the University of New Mexico and obtained a PhD in Pharmacology in 1985 from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas. Bennett completed a postdoctoral fellowship at SmithKline & French Laboratories with Dr. Stanley T. Crooke.


Dr. Bennett is one of the founding members of Ionis Pharmaceuticals in Carlsbad, California. [1] He has been involved in the development of antisense oligonucleotides as therapeutic agents, including research on the application of oligonucleotides for inflammatory diseases and cancer, oligonucleotide delivery, pharmacokinetics and medicinal chemistry. Notably, Dr. Bennett led the development of antisense technology for the treatment of neurological diseases, including nusinersen, a treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and several antisense drugs in clinical trials for Huntington’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Bennett has published more than 200 papers on antisense technology and has more than 175 issued U.S. Patents. Bennett was the co-recipient of the 2019 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences[2] and the recipient of the Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science[3] awarded by the Hereditary Disease Foundation (2018).


  1. ^ a b "C. Frank Bennett, Ph.D." Ionis Pharmaceuticals. 29 May 2014. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Breakthrough Prizes Recognize Aneuploidy Researcher, Biochemist". The Scientist Magazine. 18 October 2018. Retrieved 20 October 2018.
  3. ^ Inc, Ionis Pharmaceuticals. "Dr. C. Frank Bennett Receives Leslie Gehry Brenner Prize for Innovation in Science". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2018-12-18.