What notable career experience do you bring to your role at SoftBank Investment Advisers?
I’ve spent most of my life in research and medicine. I started working in clinical research when I was 15 years old. After training in internal medicine, gastroenterology, and immunology, I practiced in a small town in northern Canada quite broadly—from running an intensive care unit to doing colonoscopies. Prior to joining SoftBank Investment Advisers, I was at an early-stage biotech venture fund. I pursued investing because I felt the most important clinical and scientific advances were happening in innovative companies. So much is needed to develop an initial scientific concept into a product that improves the lives of patients. We are at a unique time, where a new generation of companies is developing drugs, diagnostics, and research tools that are making a huge impact.
How has your experience as a physician primed you to be an investor?
I still serve patients, but in a different way, using another set of skills. At SoftBank Investment Advisers, we are in a unique position to work with leading companies to create huge economic and societal impacts. The best companies in the life sciences weave scientific insights, medicine, and business strategy to develop imperative products for society. As a physician, I have cared for individuals in their toughest, most vulnerable times. That perspective on the human condition prepared me for my current work.
What are the opportunities you see emerging in the biotech and health-tech spaces?
Advances in technology, data science, and biology are transforming biotechnology and health tech—we call it hi-biotech. The genomic revolution has led to rich data on health and disease. Research has shown that new insights can be unlocked when new, experimental tools (for instance, single cell sequencing) are coupled with artificial intelligence. At the same time, advances in the ways we create new medicines (such as in cell and gene therapy) have the potential to turn these insights into impacts. Health data sets have rapidly expanded and become increasingly multimodal, creating opportunities for technology to enable higher quality care for patients while lowering cost.
How has your experience been working with founders in these spaces?
It’s been very exciting. We are working with the best scientific-entrepreneurial minds out there. It’s invigorating to work with folks that sit at the fulcrum of business, science, technology, and medicine. I’m fortunate to partner with founders who uniquely understand how technology is transforming life sciences and are building companies that will transform the way we understand health.
I have been tremendously fortunate to have strong mentors who have supported and pushed me to make unconventional decisions.
Who has been inspirational in your life?
My wife is a great source of inspiration—an amazing mother and clinician, she has spent years as an advanced practice nurse transporting sick newborns by ground and air. In my family and career, I have been tremendously fortunate to have strong mentors who have supported and pushed me to make unconventional decisions.
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