BIOS Roundtable — Debating the Future of Life Sciences

BIOS Community
Published in
7 min readFeb 5


BIOS: Nucleus of Life Science Innovation 🚀





Alix Ventures: Supporting Early Stage Life Science Startups Engineering Biology to Drive Radical Advances in Human Health

Calling All Innovators Click to Reach Out 🚀


We’re excited to introduce our latest flagship series with the launch of BIOS Roundtable. Throughout this journey, we’ll invite leading experts to debate the current state of the industry, recent news, emerging trends, & critically examine the future that awaits us 🔬

With the emergence of TechBio, a fusion of technology & biology, the life science sector is experiencing rapid and unprecedented innovation. We believe this is leading to some of the most significant breakthroughs in decades — ushering in the “century of biology”.

BIOS Roundtable provides a platform for Life Sciences experts to share their perspectives and insights on topics that are shaping the future of biotech as we know it. Each episode will feature a medley of top founders, pharma execs, leading academics, & venture capitalists. We’ll dive deep into the similarities and differences between leading translational research institutes, consider approaches to AI drug discovery, discuss the myriad of academic entrepreneurship cultures, reflect on market conditions, & debate the future of biotech funding.

Guests on the Show 🌟

The stars of the show & our guides into the great beyond are leaders in their respective fields from top institutions around the world: Investors (Lux Capital, Obvious Ventures, etc. ), Academia (Harvard, MIT, Wyss Institute, Innovative Genomics Institute, Institute for Protein Design, Industry (Insitro, Recursion, etc.), Pharma, amongst others.

Topics We’ll Explore 🔬

Some spaces we are excited to cover…

  • TechBio Era
  • AI Enabled Drug Discovery
  • Future of Academic Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation Institutes
  • Novel Model Organisms
  • Genetic & Cellular Engineering
  • World of OMICS
  • Foundations in SynBio
  • Future of Pharma
  • Amongst Others

Checkout Our Episodes…

GUESTS: Zavain Dar — Partner @ Lux Capital & Nan Li — Managing Director @ Obvious Ventures

Zavain Dar is a Partner @ Lux Capital & invests at the intersection and union of cutting-edge biotech and software. Zavain has led Lux’s investments in Primer, a machine intelligence startup; Clarifai, which democratizes cutting edge deep neural networks; Auransa, which is developing novel medicines based on computational insight applied to genomic data; Recursion (NASDAQ: RXRX) which uses automation and deep learning to develop drugs for rare diseases; Tempo Automation, which applies software and automation to electronics manufacturing; Rigetti Computing, which is fabricating some of the fastest quantum chips in the world; Braid, which is bringing AI to medical diagnostics; Visor, which aims to simplify tax preparation; Computable Labs, which is building a decentralized data marketplace; Cryptonumerics, a data control company acquired by Snowflake Computing; The Stacks Foundation, which is making Bitcoin programmable; Runway, which is putting machine learning tools into the hands of creators; LabGenius, a protein drug discovery company; Anagenex, a drug discovery company leveraging DNA encoded libraries; Hugging Face, an open-source company democratizing Natural Language Processing; Dyno Therapeutics, an AI-powered gene therapy company; Enveda Biosciences, which is translating nature into medicine; Gandeeva, cryo-electron microscopy drug discovery; A-Alpha Bio, a protein-protein interaction synthetic biology platform; Nomic, a proteomics company; and Thrive Earlier Detection, an early cancer detection company that Exact Sciences agreed to acquire for $2.15 billion in 2020.


Nan Li is a Managing Director @ Obvious Ventures, where he leads Obvious’ investments in computational biology visionaries like Zymergen, Recursion Pharmaceuticals, and LabGenius; AI-driven platforms opening new opportunities across sectors such as Planet, Inato, and DarwinAI; and intelligent robotics companies like Dexterity.

GUESTS: Chris Gibson — Co-Founder & CEO @ Recursion & Daphne Koller — Founder & CEO @ Insitro

Daphne Koller was the Rajeev Motwani Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University, where she served on the faculty for 18 years, the co-CEO and President of Coursera, and the Chief Computing Officer of Calico Labs. She is the author of over 300 refereed publications with an h-index of 146. Daphne was recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012. She received the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2004, the ACM Prize in Computing in 2008, the ACM AAAI Allen Newell Award in 2019, and the Technical Leadership Abie Award Winner in 2022. She was inducted into the National Academy of Engineering in 2011 and elected a fellow of the American Association for Artificial Intelligence in 2004, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2014, and the International Society of Computational Biology in 2017.

In her spare time, Daphne enjoys spending time with her family, especially while traveling to exotic destinations (62 countries so far and counting), where they enjoy hiking, sailing, scuba diving, and eating fresh local food.


Chris Gibson developed the technology and approach that seeded Recursion as part of his MD/PhD work in the lab of Co-Founder Dean Li (current President of Merck Research Labs) while at the University of Utah. After completing his Ph.D., Chris left medical school to build Recursion into the rapidly growing company it is today. Chris is a graduate of Rice University with degrees in bioengineering and management.

Chris serves on the Board of BioUtah and is the Chair of BioHive, the public-private partnership driving expansion of Utah’s life-science ecosystem, the fastest growing in the nation. Chris is also active as an advisor and mentor, both formally and informally, of many young biotech founders. Chris enjoys cycling on both the road and the trails that cut through Utah’s great wilderness, as well as spending time with family.

GUESTS: Bob Langer — Institute Professor @ MIT & George Church — Professor @ Harvard & Core Faculty @ Wyss Institute

Bob Langer is one of 12 Institute Professors at MIT; being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member. Dr. Langer has written more than 1,500 articles. He also has over 1,400 issued and pending patents worldwide. Dr. Langer’s patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 400 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history (h-index 303 with over 374,000+ citations according to Google Scholar).


George Church leads Synthetic Biology at the Wyss Institute, where he oversees the directed evolution of molecules, polymers, and whole genomes to create new tools with applications in regenerative medicine and bio-production of chemicals. Among his recent work at the Wyss is development of a technology for synthesizing whole genes, and engineering whole genomes, far faster, more accurate, and less costly than current methods. George is widely recognized for his innovative contributions to genomic science and his many pioneering contributions to chemistry and biomedicine. In 1984, he developed the first direct genomic sequencing method, which resulted in the first genome sequence (the human pathogen, H. pylori). He helped initiate the Human Genome Project in 1984 and the Personal Genome Project in 2005. George invented the broadly applied concepts of molecular multiplexing and tags, homologous recombination methods, and array DNA synthesizers. His many innovations have been the basis for a number of companies including Editas (Gene therapy); Gen9bio (Synthetic DNA); and Veritas Genetics (full human genome sequencing).

George is Professor of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and Professor of Health Sciences and Technology at Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is Director of the U.S. Department of Energy Technology Center and Director of the National Institutes of Health Center of Excellence in Genomic Science. He has received numerous awards including the 2011 Bower Award and Prize for Achievement in Science from the Franklin Institute and election to the National Academy of Sciences and Engineering.

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Alix Ventures, by way of BIOS Community, is providing this content for general information purposes only. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Alix Ventures, BIOS Community, or its affiliates. The views expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by Alix Ventures employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of Alix Ventures, BIOS Community, affiliates, and content sponsors.

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The Nucleus of Life Science Startup Innovation — By Alix Ventures