We are living in a world where we have several technological advances in a short period of time. Science is allowing us to know more about the world we live in and how to make the most out of what it offers. In this regard, biotechnology is a field that lets humans improve their environment, food and even their health. Thanks to all the possibilities it provides, today, many people are interested in joining the biotech space to make a difference. That’s why here we will tell you the top individuals you should need to follow in the biotechnology field.
Before we talk about the best biotech scientists. First, we are going to take a brief look at the definition of biotech. Biotechnology, which some people refer to as biological technology, is a broader part of biology that focuses on making or modifying products for human use. Due to the advantages it brings, biotechnology is now implemented in different fields. However, the most popular one is medicine, a place where biotechnology helps produce new drugs, therapeutic proteins and creates new ways to detect certain diseases.
Now, if you are not involved in the scientific community, you might think you’ve never seen a product of biotechnology. But, that is not necessarily the truth, and we are going to prove it. Things such as antibiotics, vaccines, washing detergents, personal care and soybeans, are a few examples of biotechnology. Believe it or not, biotech has a significant impact on your life every day.
That’s why whether you are interested in following this career path or you are just curious about the latest developments that could influence your wellbeing. It’s important to know which top individuals you should follow in the biotech space.
Top 9 Individuals To Follow In The Biotechnology Space
David Baltimore won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1975, along with Howard Termin and Renato Dulbecco. Baltimore received the award thanks to his work with Termin, in which they discovered reverse transcriptase, an enzyme capable of synthesizing DNA from RNA.
Further, Baltimore also conducted research that allowed us to understand the interaction between genetic material and viruses. Today, Baltimore is the director of Regulus Therapeutics Inc., a company that focuses on the production of drugs to treat diseases. Also, he is President Emeritus and Robert Andrews Millikan professor of biology at Caltech.
Bruce L. Booth
Bruce L. Booth is a British Marshall Scholar who received a Ph.D. in molecular immunology from Oxford University. Booth also has a bachelor of science in biochemistry from The Pennsylvania State University. At the moment, he is a partner in Atlas Venture, a firm dedicated to investing in scientific entrepreneurs.
Booth is also focusing on developing novel (new) therapeutics through Atlas Venture. Plus, he is chairman of various companies in the same field, such as Arkuda Therapeutics, Quench Bio and Vigil Neurosciences, to name a few.
William R. Brody
William R. Brody is an acclaimed physician-scientist whose research has contributed to digital radiography, magnetic resonance imaging, medical acoustics and computed tomography. Between 1996 and 2008, Brody was president of The Johns Hopkins University. During his time as president, he created several institutes like the Center for Global Health and the Institute for NanoBiotechnology.
After he left his position as the president of the university, thanks to all his achievements and contributions, Booth was honoured by the Maryland Senate. Before retiring in 2015, he served as the president of the Salk Institute. Today, he is a member of the National Academy of Medicine and the National Academy of Engineering.
John K. Clarke
John K. Clarke is Managing Partner of Cardinal Partners, a company dedicated to helping entrepreneurs in the healthcare industry. The companies that the firm invests in, help to produce innovations in the biotechnology field. However, the career of Clarke started with DSV partners in 1982. This company will later evolve into Cardinal Partners.
Clarke has also been interim CEO of many successful companies in the pharmaceutical industry like Arris Pharmaceuticals and Cubist pharmaceuticals. Additionally, he has been the director of Abide Therapeutics, Ivenix, Vividion Therapeutics, aTyr Pharma and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals.
Eugene Melnyk is a successful businessman, owner of several companies dedicated to different industries. But, in regards to biotechnology, Melnyk stands out for being the founder of Biovail Corp. in the early 1990s. Biovail Corp. focused on producing pharmaceutical products, and at one point, it was the largest traded company in Canada.
Melnyk retired as chairman of Biovail Corp in 2007, but that was not the end of his contributions in the biotechnology field. Almost ten years later, he purchased a medical device company based in Pittsburg, which he founded Neurolign Technologies in 2019. Right Now, Neurology Technologies is a company focused on innovation and science. To read more about Melnyk, you can visit his profile.
Frances D. Fergusson
Known as the president of Vassar College between 1986 and 2006, Frances Daly Fergusson has been involved in the pharmaceutical industry for a long time. In the medical field, Ferguson was part of the Board of Trustees for the Mayo Foundation, which includes several medical schools and hospitals.
In the biotechnology and pharmaceutical business, Fergusson is a woman that has accomplished many things. Thanks to all her hard work, Fergusson now sits on the board of Pfizer, one of the biggest pharmaceutical corporations in America.
Dr. Phillip Frost is an investor and founder of the best pharmaceutical companies, which have allowed him to grow his wealth every year. Today, Frost is CEO and chairman of OPKO Health, a company dedicated to the creation and development of pharmaceutical products. Previously, Frost was also the chairman of the biggest pharmaceutical company, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
Apart from his contributions to biotechnology as a leader of many successful companies, Frost is also involved in the medical field. He was a chairman of the Dermatology Department at Mount Sinai Medical Centre, and at the moment, he acts as the Trustee of the Centre.
James R. Gavin III
James R. Gavin is currently the CEO and Chief Medical Officer of Healing Our Village. This company is dedicated to the education and treatment of diseases. Also, Gavin has made a great impact on the medical community, especially, with his contributions to the diabetes field. He has been of the American Diabetes Association, and in 1991 Gavin received the Banting Medal for his work on diabetes.
Gavin is a fearless advocate for patients who are suffering from diabetes and obesity. His most important role has been as a medical expert in hearings related to the discrimination and policies of people with diabetes. The most popular case in which he was involved was Kapche v. Holder.
Jonathan Leff is a current partner of Biotherapeutics in Deerfield, a company committed to improving quality of life and advanced healthcare. For years Leff has been an investor in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
Further, Leff participates in public discussions around healthcare and all kinds of medical innovation. He is also on the board of numerous non-profit organizations. These include the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation, Reagan-Udall Foundation and Friends of Cancer Research. Today, Leff not only works in Deerfield, he is part of the Columbia University Medical Board of Advisors.