Vik evaluates and pursues investments at the intersection of technology and life sciences, including in personalized and precision healthcare. Prior to joining Foresite Capital, Vik was the chief scientific officer of GRAIL, a life sciences company working to detect cancer early when it can be cured, and remains on its Scientific Advisory Board. He is also the co-founder and former chief scientific officer of Verily (formerly Google Life Sciences) and served as chair of its Scientific Advisory Board. A former academic principal investigator, Vik retains appointments as associate professor (consulting) at the Stanford School of Medicine, and as an affiliate scientist of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, for which he serves on the advisory board of the College of Chemistry. He is an advisor to the Department of Defense through the Defense Science Board’s Task Force on Biology. Vik’s research interests lie at the interface of the physical sciences, engineering, and the life sciences. He and his collaborators have developed nanotechnology probes for the early detection and molecular imaging of disease, spectroscopic tools for imaging objects on the nanoscale, microfabricated and miniaturized analytical and imaging systems for point-of-care testing, methods and devices that dramatically enhance the sensitivity and specificity of MRI, and new tools for clinical bioinformatics and integrative systems biology. Aspects of this work have been commercialized through several startups. At GRAIL, Vik led laboratory and data science teams at the forefront of industrial cancer genomics and diagnostics development.
Precision medicine has incredible promise for patients. Enormous amounts of money and time are invested in developing technologies and targeted therapies. Genomics, proteomics, phosphorylation assays, RNA expression, organoid growth, and testing, and even delicate mass measurement of liquid cancer cells are explored. This innovation must be focused to maximize the benefit to the most important participants in our healthcare system, the patient. This track is about putting patient needs first, and understanding and accessing the latest (cancer) treatment options.