Humanity is at a compelling crossroads: it has an ever-growing power to solve the mysteries of life and health and rekindle degraded regions. We can leverage biotechnology to increase agricultural efficiency and ensure biodiversity simultaneously. I find that fascinating.
What I did before
I worked as an academic before joining Flagship Ventures. In the following 15 years, I have co-founded and helped launch several biotechs for human therapeutics. My desire to redirect human-focused biotechnology to achieve broader biological impact led me to Anterra.
One technology theme that inspires me
Astonishing computational advances in biology have vastly increased the number of biological targets we can modulate for therapeutic, agricultural, and environmental benefit.
I did my Ph.D. at the University of Washington and my post-doctoral fellowship at MIT. At both, I pursued fascinating biology, first creating novel DNA-cutting enzymes and, after that unraveling genetic networks in stem cells.
What motivates me
Smart scientists and engineers with the confidence to approach intractable problems with rigor, intellectual honesty, and healthy skepticism.
My guilty pleasure
Antique hand tools for Windsor chairmaking.
A bit of advice I would give me 20 yr old self
Think twice before crossing the Gulf Stream in a 6-meter open sailboat.
The steepest learning curve of my career so far
The immense difference between research and development.
What sector do you focus on?
Biotechnology solutions for global problems in food, agriculture, and climate.
My book tip
The selfish gene, by Richard Dawkins. This book transformed my understanding of the biological world around us.