Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

Watch the Fall 2021 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series

The Serendipity of Failure: A Journey from Graduate Student to Biotech CEO

This talk highlights the serendipity of science and failure, and the role each played in the journey Chris Gibson took from an MD/PhD student to CEO of a multibillion-dollar public biotech company in seven short years. Chris highlights points of evidence for challenging dogma and taking big risks, especially in those fields where breakthroughs can create incredible impact. He tells the story through his substrate in this journey; the intersection of biology, chemistry, automation and machine learning to create new medicines.

About Chris Gibson, PhD, Co-Founder and CEO of Recursion

Chris Gibson pursued dual degrees in bioengineering and business during his undergraduate work at Rice University before completing his PhD in Bioengineering at the University of Utah in the lab of Dean Y. Li, MD/PhD (currently President of Merck Research Labs), as part of work towards an MD/PhD dual-degree. Recursion grew out of that work, and after licensing the technology from the University of Utah, Recursion was founded a few days after Chris defended his dissertation during a leave of absence from medical school.

Chris serves on the Board of BioUtah and is the Chair of BioHive, the public-private partnership driving expansion of Utah's life-science ecosystem, the fastest growing in the nation.

Previous Speakers

Carolyn Bertozzi

Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University

Therapeutic Opportunities in Glycoscience

Carolyn Bertozzi discussed how her research in glycoscience could lead to new therapeutic strategies.

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carolyn bertozzi

Samantha Zyontz

Fellow at the Center for Law and the Biosciences and Research Fellow of Intellectual Property at Stanford Law School

Mapping the Worldwide Research, Innovation, and Diffusion Activity of CRISPR

Samantha Zyontz discussed how CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) has profoundly influenced innovation in a range of applications around the world. Her analysis of CRISPR academic articles, patents, companies, and clinical trials highlights an explosion of innovative related activities since the technology’s introduction.

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samantha zyontz

Michele Marcolongo

Drosdick Endowed Dean of the College of Engineering, Villanova University

Start-Up Campus: How to Translate Your Scientific Discovery to a Successful Product

Michele Marcolongo discussed the roadmap for translating technology to product launch, as well as how to execute the necessary steps to create and launch a start-up company. In addition to her extensive work in academia, Dr. Marcolongo is a successful entrepreneur who has co-founded three biomedical technology startup companies and is a co-holder of 15 patents/patent applications.

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michelle marcolongo

Jennifer Elisseeff

Director and Professor of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center, Johns Hopkins Department of Biomedical Engineering

"Regenerative Immunology – the Role of Technology Translation in Guiding Discovery"

Jennifer Elisseeff discussed regenerative immunology and the role of technology translation in guiding discoveries. She is currently working to understand the role of the immune system and cellular senescence in the biomaterial response and repair across different tissues. This new therapeutic target serves as the basis for the design of regenerative immunotherapies.

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jennifer e ​​​​​

Kate Rosenbluth

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Cala Health

“What if Electricity Were a Medicine? An Entrepreneur’s Journey from Scientific Discovery to Category Creation”

Kate Rosenbluth shared the story of founding and building a growth startup from spin-out through product launch. She spun Cala Health out from Stanford on a scientific moonshot to deliver a new class of bioelectronic therapies that use wearable devices to deliver non-invasive neuromodulation for major chronic diseases.

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kate rosenbluth

Ken Gall

Chair and Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University.

“Translation of New Materials into Medical Implants”

Ken Gall discussed the translation of a diverse set of new material technologies into medical implants. In all the applications, the implementation of the new materials was accelerated by basic research leading to a new fundamental understanding of the relationship between processing, structure, and mechanical properties of the constituent materials. 


  ken gall