Sam Lee, The History, Future and Workings of Synthetic Biology

Yes hello and welcome to another exciting episode of bio 2040, where we speak with thought leaders and experienced researchers, entrepreneurs, investors, to uncover the biggest opportunities in the biotech space. And I'm very excited today to have Sam Lee with me, Sam Lee is a very experienced veteran of the chemistry, pharma, health tech, biotech space, and I'm very excited to have you here, Sam. Good day. Good day.


Pleasure to be here.


Awesome. Sam why don't we start off by you giving us a little bit of your background experiences what you've been doing in your career.


Sure. I'll start from the beginning.

I'm a Canadian. I got my PhD in chemistry, polymer chemistry from the university of Toronto. And my first job was as a research scientist at DuPont. So that was where I started in the division of. Packaging and industrial polymers. So anything that's plastic. And I did that for three years and then I had the pleasure or opportunity to move into the business development side.

And when I did that, I saw much more of the company. Specifically the life science division, which they call the life sciences enterprise that had DuPont pharma, as well as something they called bio based materials. They started to make through synthetic biology, which it wasn't called that at the time fermentation to make a bio based chemical.

That ended up being used to make some fibers. So I found that very interesting. And as a result of that, I quit the company and inside to get into life sciences. The first job I found in that direction was actually in a biopharmaceutical company. It was called NPS pharmaceuticals, which is based in the U S and Toronto.

Which was a company that ended up developing two medicines that are on the market today. Then I went and worked with a cardiologist to start help start his biopharmaceutical company with a medicine he invented for cardiovascular. Did that for a bit. And then I joined a generic pharmaceutical company.

This is the generic pharmaceutical companies are companies that make medicines after they expire, the patents have expired. And this is called Dr. Reddy's Laboratories is one of the largest ones in the world that was based in India, but I spent the next eight years working out of their us office

so it was really quite an interesting range of experiences. And in that process, I just before I ended up back up in Canada, I worked with I became the founding partner with a venture firm called SOSV. That set up an accelerator for life science companies in New York called Indie bio New York.

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