GapSummit 2018 is underway this week with 100 Leaders of Tomorrow converging at the University of Cambridge from over 40 countries. They will be inspired and challenged by world leaders from the biotech and pharmaceutical industry themed around 7 gaps including Digital Health, Sustainability, Drug Affordability and Funding.
Today we would like to introduce Rohan Shah, part of Team KRARK, one of the finalists in the Voices of Tomorrow competition tackling the R&D Productivity gap. The finalists of the Voices of Tomorrow will be pitching their ideas in front of the judges and all the attendees on the last day of GapSummit 2018. Find out more about the Voices of Tomorrow and the 8 finalists here.
Rohan is currently a second-year undergraduate student at Princeton University in New Jersey, USA majoring in Molecular Biology and minoring in Entrepreneurship. Through research experience in immuno-oncology, chemical biology, and genomics, he has fostered a strong interest in translating biomedical discoveries from the bench to bedside.
Under the mentorship of Professor Ralph E. Kleiner, Rohan is currently researching the effect of the standard-of-care anti-cancer drug Cisplatin on messenger RNA in cancer models by utilizing immuno-fluorescence, click-chemistry, and high-throughput proteomics. He is also the founder of the Princeton Biotechnology Initiative which aims to expose students to careers in biotechnology/biopharma through industry speakers and internship opportunities.
Rohan has also interned in discovery at Jounce Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology startup in Cambridge, Massachusetts focused on creating the next-generation of immunotherapies. There, he designed and developed robust assays to evaluate the efficacy of preclinical antibodies against immune cells in the tumor microenvironment. As a feature of his internship, he gained a holistic understanding of all the dimensions of biotechnology such as clinical operations, business development, and life sciences venture capital. His experiences have motivated him to pursue biotechnology as a career and shaped his strong interest in discovering immune-based therapies for serious disease.
Why did you apply to attend GapSummit 2018?
GapSummit 2018 presents an incredible opportunity for me to learn, contribute, and develop as a leader in biomedicine. In my view, the biotechnology/biopharma industry experiencing incredible growth comparable to the software industry in early 2000s. Amid this explosive growth, I believe GapSummit 2018 provides a remarkable view into the future of biotechnology. I was incredibly drawn to apply after learning that the conference is flush with industry and academic leaders, provides opportunities to engage one-on-one with the best and brightest in biotechnology, and even features a pitch competition. I believe there is no other conference capable of shaping the future of biotechnology quite like GapSummit 2018.
How has the Voices of Tomorrow competition experience been? Can you give us a preview of your upcoming pitch?
The Voices of Tomorrow competition has been an incredible experience. I have had the pleasure of working with incredible individuals at the forefront of biotechnology. Our team’s industry mentor, Adina Mangubat of Spiral Genetics, has been a truly phenomenal resource whether it be by sharpening our ideas, structuring our business plan, or even pitch coaching us for the final event. It is honestly remarkable seeing an idea we thought about in January manifest into a full-fledged business pitch.
The Voices of Tomorrow competition has been an incredible experience. I have had the pleasure of working with incredible individuals at the forefront of biotechnology.
Without giving too much away, I can say that our venture centers around reverse engineering the drug discovery process by harnessing patients who have survived serious infectious diseases such as Ebola and Zika. We are all really excited to pitch next week!