Foresite Labs: This Incubator Is Fueling Data Science And Healthcare Startups

By Amit Chowdhry ● November 6, 2019
  • Foresite Labs, an organization that incubates transformative companies at the interface of data science and healthcare, announced its public launch

Foresite Labs — an organization that incubates transformative companies at the interface of data science and healthcare — announced it publicly launched. This firm is being led by Foresite Capital Managing Director Vik Bajaj.

How does it work? Foresite Labs connects experienced data scientists, statistical geneticists, clinicians, biostatisticians, and engineers to support the creation of early-stage healthcare companies.

Data science is utilized by Foresite Labs to help solve problems in the life sciences and healthcare. And companies incubated at Foresite Labs will benefit from a data platform consisting of integrated large public and proprietary data sets. The analysis platform includes mature and scalable tools from the world of statistical genetics and causal inference, which enables large-scale analyses of primary human biological and clinical data and implementations of emerging methods based on machine learning and AI.

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The Foresite Labs experimental platform is tightly integrated with its analysis platform and relies heavily on high-throughput biological and chemical approaches and clinical assessments. Plus all the companies benefit from the scientific, technical, and business leadership of an experienced team.

“Our understanding of human disease has been transformed by large scale population studies that probe the genetic basis of human biology by observing the experiments of nature,” said Bajaj. “Techniques from the world of functional genomics together with advances in computational biology and machine learning will allow Foresite Labs to connect work in the laboratory to observations in the clinic in unprecedented ways.”

Before Foresite Capital, Bajaj was the chief scientific officer of GRAIL and the co-founder and former chief scientific officer of Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences). The senior management at Foresite Labs also includes head of data science Dr. Alex Blocker (formerly of GRAIL and Verily), Head of Genomics Discovery Dr. Rick Dewey (formerly of the Regeneron Genetics Center), head of operations and strategy Dr. Damien Soghoian (formerly of Verily), head of drug discovery Dr. Paul da Silva Jardine (formerly of Pfizer), and head of brand and people Cindy Mesaros.

The Foresite Labs Scientific Advisory Board includes Mathai Mammen (Global Head of R&D at Jannsen Pharmaceuticals J&J), Paola Arlotta (Chair of the Harvard Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology), Euan Ashley (Director of Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and Clinical Genomics Program and Co-Director of Stanford Data Science Initiative), Calum MacRae (Vice Chair of the Scientific Innovation at the Department of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital), Steve Finkbeiner (Director of the Taube/Koret Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research at Gladstone and Investigator at the Roddenberry Stem Cell Center), Alex Aravanis (Chief Scientific Officer, Head of R&D, and co-founder of GRAIL), Ruslan Medzhitov (Sterling Professor of Immunobiology and Investigator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute), Jennifer Listgarten (Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley and Chan Zuckerberg Investigator), and Jeff Huber (Vice-Chair at GRAIL and formerly SVP of Google and board member of Illumina).

“We are on the cusp of a transformation in healthcare. At the end of that transformation will be a modern healthcare system that efficiently serves the interests of the healthcare consumer,” added Jim Tananbaum, CEO of Foresite Capital and co-founder of Foresite Labs. “We believe that to accelerate this transformation we need to make it easier for visionary entrepreneurs to accomplish great things. That is our goal with Foresite Labs.”