Hi everyone, Spiffy here, your one and only interplanetary journalist reporting from Planet Earth. I’m thrilled to be talking to Joshua Yang, an entrepreneur working to make the world a better place through Glyphic Biotechnologies, where he is co-founder and CEO. Are you ready to be enlightened?
Spiffy: Hi Joshua, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge is Glyphic Biotechnologies addressing?
Joshua: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! At Glyphic Biotechnologies, we are developing a new way to analyze proteins in your body, which will help create better tests and therapies for diseases. Developing more sensitive and faster ways to conduct the study of proteins, also known as proteomics, will help researchers and scientists worldwide more deeply understand human biology and disease.
Spiffy: What motivated you to do it?
Joshua: I have always been interested in helping people through scientific and medical innovation, and originally thought that becoming an academic physician-scientist would be the best way to do that. I later learned that the technologies that you develop need to also become commercially successful before they are available to help people. That's why I started this company, to make sure this innovative technology for protein analysis becomes widely available.
Spiffy: Through this worthy aim, how are you and Glyphic Biotechnologies helping make this world more equitable?
Joshua: Well, Spiffy, our inability to understand the biology of disease at a deeper level is a cause of ineffective medication. We can no longer rely on a "one size fits all" approach to therapies—a shift to precision medicine is necessary. To ensure that the right medications are given to the right patients of differing age, race, and/or gender will necessitate better protein analysis technologies.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent initiative by the company, and its potential impact. What can we look forward to?
Joshua: We just submitted a grant proposal to the government to help continue development of our protein analysis technologies. It took a lot of time! We have not yet found out if we won, but if we do, it would tremendously help us bring our technology to those waiting to use it.
Spiffy: I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping that your proposal is successful! But as in any area of life, preparing for failure is an essential skill. Could you share an experience from your past when you faced it but didn’t give up? What was your takeaway?
Joshua: I once led a team in a medical entrepreneurship class where we developed a presentation for a potential technology. During our practice pitch to the judging panel, we were handed a not insubstantial amount of "constructive" feedback. Instead of letting this get us down, we listened to select parts of the feedback to improve the presentation. During the final pitch, the judges thought ours was the best! There's always something to be learned from failure, and it’s your job to ensure you make the most of that learning opportunity.
Spiffy: You’re absolutely right, Joshua! On that note, what is something you've unexpectedly learned from someone recently?
Joshua: I'm always learning something new from people and am constantly reminded of just how little I know about the world. Although I may be an expert in my own field, there are just so many unknown unknowns out there.
Spiffy: As an interplanetary journalist, I can heartily vouch for the innumerable unknown unknowns out there! Well, Joshua, I wish you and Glyphic Biotechnologies all the best in your noble endeavour. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me today, it’s been an honor!
Joshua Yang is the co-founder and CEO of Glyphic Biotechnologies, a startup developing a next-generation protein sequencing platform. He graduated with an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business as the Henry Ford II Scholar. (Nominated by ROMBA. First published on the Ladderworks website on November 11, 2021)
© 2021 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s interviews of founders building a more equitable world here.