To pursue early-stage investing, rare disease therapeutic strategies, and rock climbing, you need to be eternally optimistic, resilient in the face of setbacks, and creative about solving seemingly insurmountable problems.
The majority of my waking hours are spent in pursuit of these activities, and I wanted to join an investment team with the following discerning qualities: (1) the willingness to go above-and-beyond to ensure the success of all of its portfolio companies and founders, (2) deep technical expertise across all areas of investing, from ML/AI approaches to commercialization, (3) a passion for hunting out new therapeutic modalities, industry-disrupting technology, and the individuals capable of pulling it all off, and (4) an unrivaled network of founders, scientists, investors, heads of biopharma, computational experts, and thought leaders across all industries. I found all of this and so much more when I joined Magnetic Ventures, a testament to Christine’s leadership, tenacity, and experience, and Umut’s scientific prowess and entrepreneurial spirit.
First and foremost, I am a scientist (neuroscientist-turned-cell biologist) who has had a fast-paced, crash course in leveraging computational approaches, high-content imaging, whole-genome-wide CRISPR screens, and transcriptomics approaches to understand disease mechanisms during my time as a Scientific Advisor at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. I’ve seen first-hand the multi-disciplinary expertise required to leverage an audacious idea that is initiated in an academic laboratory and turn it into a company focused on addressing areas of unmet medical need and delivering therapies for vulnerable patient populations.
As addressed in a recent piece in Nature Medicine, an estimated 86% of drug candidates developed between 2000 and 2015 did not meet their stated endpoints. I have been thrilled to follow along as AI-designed drugs have entered clinical trials. I have never been more optimistic about the potential for cross-cutting technology to design better drugs, to deliver nucleic acid payloads to any cell-type in the human body, and to match the right patient to the right clinical trial, regardless of proximity to academic medical centers. The companies Magnetic partners with are tackling some of the biggest questions in healthcare, and it is the thrill of a lifetime to help identify promising founders and approaches, and to collaborate with our portfolio companies every step of the way to building a more equitable and effective healthcare ecosystem.