Upon completing his medical training in Internal Medicine and Nephrology, Tom Daniel, MD, envisioned a long career as an academic physician. Working at one the nation’s leading teaching hospitals, he saw patients, trained students in the clinic and classroom, and ran his own research laboratory. But after 14 years, something was missing.
“I was frustrated that the translation of scientific progress to patient benefit was woefully inadequate. So, I took discoveries from my lab and joined Immunex, a prominent biotech in Seattle. I’ve never looked back.”—Tom Daniel, MD
In the years that followed, Daniel led research and development organizations as a senior executive for companies that include Amgen, Ambrx and Celgene. He also served on the boards of companies founded by Scripps Research scientists, such as Abide Therapeutics, Aspen Neuroscience and Vividion Therapeutics. Currently, he is a venture partner at ARCH Venture Partners and chairs the board at Locanabio, Inc., a San Diego company creating a new class of gene therapies. Daniel’s comprehensive knowledge of and passion for research and development—combined with his business acumen—make him a valuable advisor to Scripps Research’s strategic planning. Daniel was a founding member of the institute’s Board of Overseers, soon rising to chairman, then in November 2020, he was elected to the Board of Directors. His goal, he says, is to help Scripps Research “sustain its role contributing to science and human health at the highest level.”
Thoughts of the countless patients awaiting the translation of scientific progress are never far from Daniel’s mind. “The most powerful inspiration for my early career,” he says, “was watching medical advances stay a half step ahead of my father’s cardiovascular disease, thereby sustaining his life for over 40 years beyond what would have otherwise been a certain death. Now, I’m building companies, advising research and business leaders and, hopefully, mentoring the next generation of entrepreneurs— all with the express purpose of serving patients. In many ways, this is the richest time of my career.”