Name: Rachel King
Current Company: GlycoMimetics
Profile: Rachel King is CEO and founder of GlycoMimetics, a Gaithersburg, MD-base company developing a lead drug for vaso-occlusive crisis of sickle cell disease.
King was at the helm of GlycoMimetics when the company gathered $38 million from an A-list group of venture companies including Genzyme Ventures, New Enterprise Associates--where she was previously an Executive in Residence--the Novartis Venture Fund, Anthem Capital and Alliance Technology Ventures. The company is currently conducting Phase II trials of the drug.
The Dartmouth and Harvard grad also spent time as the Senior Vice President of Novartis, which she joined after her previous company--Genetic Therapy--was acquired by the Swiss pharmaceutical giant. King currently serves on the Boards of Directors of MDBio, BIO and the Dean's Council of the Harvard School of Public Health
1. What do you think has contributed to your success in this industry?
One factor is that I love it so much! Working in biotechnology is meaningful to me in ways that I think other professions would not be. I've also certainly benefited from some excellent mentoring, from a willingness to work hard and from being lucky. I'm grateful for the education I was able to get and from the many people who have helped and advised me. I think I am a naturally curious person, particularly when it comes to biology, and I hope I've had a willingness to learn and be open minded both about people and about science. I think I have also been willing to take risks thoughtfully.
2. What advice would you give to women just starting out in biotech?
1. Work with the best people you can, people you respect and can learn from. 2. Try to follow excellent science with real clinical relevance 3. If you are lucky enough to be able to do work you really enjoy and find meaningful, you should jump at the chance. Loving what you do will certainly increase your odds of succeeding at it.