Entrepreneurship in Systems Biology: How Ideas get Commercialized

8/31 6:00 - 8:00, Arrillaga Alumni Center, Fisher Room

Malek Faham


Malek FahamDr. Faham developed a SNP discovery technology during his postdoctoral research in Ron Davis lab at Stanford Genome Technology Center. He went on to co-found ParAllele Biosciences in 2001 as Director of Research. ParAllele's technologies were adopted by many customers and used for polymorphism detection and genotyping by multiple pharmaceutical and academic partners, including the HapMap project. The company was acquired by Affymetrix for $120M in 2005, and Dr. Faham transitioned into VP Research, Oncology Technology where he remained until 2008. During that time he spearheaded the development of multiple genomic technologies that combined different methods for specific highly multiplexed amplifications with array readouts. These were applied to analysis of copy number from formalin fixed samples, high resolution promoter methylation, and high throughput high accuracy array resequencing. He recently co-founded and obtained funding for a new company (MLC Dx) in the molecular diagnostics space where he is currently CSO. Dr. Faham obtained a Ph.D. in human genetics and an MD (board eligible in Psychiatry) from the University of California San Francisco. He has published more than 25 articles and is an inventor on more than 15 patents.

Bernhard Ø. Palsson

University of California, San Diego.

Bernhard Ø. PalssonProfessor Palsson earned a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1984. He held a faculty position at the University of Michigan from 1984 to 1995. He has been with UCSD since 1995. He is the author of over 250 peer reviewed scientific articles. He co-authored the text Tissue Engineering, Prentice Hall in 2004, and Systems Biology, Cambridge University Press in 2006. He sits on the editorial boards of several bioengineering and biotechnology journals.

Professor Palsson current research at UCSD focuses on 1) the reconstruction of genome-scale biochemical reaction networks, 2) the development of mathematical analysis procedures for genome-scale models, and 3) the experimental verification of genome-scale models with current emphasis on cellular metabolism and transcriptional regulation in E. coli and Yeast.

Stephen R. Quake

Stanford University.

Stephen R. QuakeStephen R. Quake received a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in mathematics from Stanford University and a D.Phil. in physics from Oxford University. He is Professor of Bioengineering at Stanford University. He has won the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award and been named a Packard Fellow.

Eric Schadt

Founder, Sage Bionetworks

Eric SchadtDr. Schadt joined Pacific Biosciences as Chief Scientific Officer in June 2009 to oversee the scientific strategy for the company, including creating the vision for next-generation sequencing applications of the company's technology. Dr. Schadt is also a founding member of Sage Bionetworks, an open access genomics initiative designed to build and support databases and an accessible platform for creating innovative, dynamic models of disease. Dr. Schadt's current efforts were motivated by the genomics and systems biology research he carried out at Merck to elucidate common human diseases and drug response using novel integrative genomics approaches based on genetic and molecular profiling data. His research helped revolutionize a field in statistical genetics (the genetics of gene expression), has energized the systems biology field, and has led to a number of discoveries relating to the causes of common human diseases. As of earlier this year, greater than 50% of all new drug discovery programs at Merck in the metabolic space were derived from Dr. Schadt's work. Dr. Schadt also holds an affiliate professor position in the Departments of Medical Genetics and Biostatistics at the University of Washington in Seattle, and he was recently appointed as Fellow to the Institute of Systems and Synthetic Biology, Imperial College London. Dr. Schadt received his B.S. in applied mathematics/computer science from California Polytechnic State University, his M.A. in pure mathematics from UCD, and his Ph.D. in bio-mathematics from UCLA (requiring Ph.D. candidacy in molecular biology and mathematics).