The Gairdner Awards for medical research are nicknamed Canada’s Nobels. This year’s seven laureates – both international and Canadian – are being recognized for their breakthrough discoveries related to the machinery of life, for harnessing stem cells to fight cancer and for raising the profile of mental health in the developing world.
Timothy Springer invested $5 million in the startup’s early days. His windfall is one in a series of savvy investments.
Scientist Timothy Springer has founded or financed some of biotechnology’s highest-profile companies. But for his latest entrepreneurial endeavor he’s taking an unusual tack: forming a nonprofit.
In an interview with Drug Discovery & Development, Springer explains what inspired the creation of the Institute for Protein Innovation and his vision for it going forward.
Timothy Springer, Ph.D., a professor at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital, has always been interested in developing antibodies targeting proteins that are “extracellular”—meaning they reside in bodily fluids, outside of cell walls. But he found that the amount of funding provided to academicians who are studying such proteins was lacking. So he decided to create his own funding mechanism, the Institute for Protein Innovation (IPI), which launched in Boston today.
While genomics unveiled a wealth of information, including the identity of genes that lead to disease when mutated, researchers still do not fully understand what all the genes really do and how mutations change their function and cause disease.Now proteins are promising to provide the missing link.