Session Chair Profile

Advances Personalized Medicine Through His Business, Science and Policy Acumen
Co-Founder & Partner, Third Rock Ventures

Mark Levin has been a life science leader for 40 years, most of them spent conceiving and launching biotechnology companies. Early on, Levin recognized that personalized medicine had the potential to benefit the patient and revolutionize both pharma and biotech. He strongly espoused that the only way the field would reach this potential was if all stakeholders banded together to overcome the many challenges it faced. To enable this, he helped conceive the Personalized Medicine Coalition. In 2007, Levin co-founded Third Rock Ventures, a different kind of VC firm that actively searched for disruptive medical technology and innovative science, to build into companies from the ground up. Many of these were based on personalized medicine, such as cancer epigenetics, gene therapy and molecular diagnostics. Then he and his partners carefully selected the founding teams and instilled them with a sustainable culture. Third Rock hatched the ideas for most of their 36 portfolio companies including Foundation Medicine, Agios, BlueBird Bio, Editas Medicine and Sage Therapeutics. Prior to Third Rock, Mark co-founded Mayfield Fund’s life science arm, where he was also founding CEO of companies such as Tularik, Cell Genesys/Abgenix, Stem Cells and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, serving as CEO for 12 years. Earlier in his career, Levin was an engineer and project leader at Lilly and Genentech. He holds an M.S. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Washington University.

Session Abstract

Session Synopsis: Innovative new technologies and technology trends continue to evolve, leading to the emergence of new companies which, by capitalizing on those new technologies, have the goal to propel the field forward. This session focuses on recent such developments and how they are poised to drive precision medicine into the future.