Barry Polisky is the Chief Executive Officer of Microbial Machines. He has worked in biotechnology for the past 30 years on the discovery and development of nucleic acid therapeutics. He was the Vice-President of Research at NexStar/NeXagen from 1992-98, using Selex to discover and characterize aptamers against targets of therapeutic importance. This work led to one of the first FDA approved nucleic acid therapeutics, Macugen, for the treatment of wet macular degeneration. NexStar was acquired by Gilead Therapeutics. Subsequently, he was the CSO at Sirna Therapeutics developing modified siRNAs against many targets including Hepatitis B. Sirna was acquired by Merck and he was Vice President of Research at Merck from 2006-8. After this, he was CSO at Marina Biosciences in Bothell, WA.
Prior to his work in the private sector, he was Professor of Molecular Biology at Indiana University, Bloomington, where he managed a laboratory focused on mechanisms of control of initiation of DNA replication.