Thomas Kaiser

Thomas Kaiser

Chief Science Officer


Avicenna Biosciences, Inc.

Charleston, SC USA


There is art in failing elegantly.

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By Roadtrip Nation

Thomas Kaiser

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
I loved mathematics when I was a child but was encouraged by a family friend, who was a doctor, to study medicine instead.
When I got to college, I decided to pursue mathematics as well as biochemistry so that I could become a physician.
As I got further into chemistry I became very interested in the field of organic synthesis, which was a launching pad into becoming a physician—though I still kept up with mathematics as a hobby.
After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, I earned a PhD in organic chemistry from Texas A&M University.
I then went to Emory University, where I was a postdoctoral fellow, working with nuclear science, chemistry, antiviral drug design, and machine learning.
As I got more and more into medicinal chemistry, I decided I should go back to school and train as a physician so that I could better understand real clinical problems and patient needs.
I earned my medical degree from the University of Oxford while working full-time on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic to fund my education.
I created Avicenna Biosciences, where we use machine learning to augment medicinal chemistry in order to develop better medicines.
Keep following my journey

Career

Chief Science Officer

I lay out our programs focused on drug development for a variety for diseases.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Science
Medicine
Helping People

Day to Day

Reading, lots of reading. My work involves the intersection of chemistry, mathematics, and medicine in that we use machine learning to accelerate small molecule medicinal chemistry. As a consequence, I read a lot of scientific work to try and carve out new opportunities for drug discovery and development. I also spend a fair amount of time in meetings with other scientists to ensure we are moving our projects as quickly as we can.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

I would recommend a direct MD / PhD program if there are chemistry PhD options at a given medical school of interest. Earning them separately took more time and my medical degree cost money as compared to the typically fully funded MD / PhD path.

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Friends:

"You should put mathematics aside and become a doctor."

Challenges I Overcame

School Stress
Imposter Syndrome

Interviewed By

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