Co-Founder of Neuroene Therapeutics
After spending her early professional life in medical research and education, Sherine Chan has turned to the world of entrepreneurship. Alongside her role as an Associate Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina, Sherine has co-founded a potentially groundbreaking pharmaceutical company. She and her business partner have discovered novel Vitamin K-based therapeutics that target new mechanisms and are safe, specific, and different from current drugs on the market for the treatment of epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, and other mitochondrial diseases. Our bodies need Vitamin K to stay healthy, but the human body has to work to process it as obtained through diet. Neuroene Therapeutics is developing a modified version already in the “active form” that directly targets the area of the body that needs it most.
In this interview, Sherine discusses her background, as she moved from Australia to South Carolina to pursue her passion and love of research. She also speaks to the transition from academia to entrepreneurship and its many challenges, such as learning how to write grant proposals and pitch her company to investors. If you’re in an academic field but want to start your own business or are an entrepreneur seeking government or investor funding, Sherine has some great advice for you.
"I traveled halfway across the world for the love of mitochondria." Sherine moved from Australia to South Carolina to pursue her interest in the "powerhouse of the cell." Now, in no small part thanks to her commitment to her profession, she's leveraging available researchers, facilities, and resources to lead what could potentially be a huge shift in the approach to the treatment of neurological diseases.
Sherine stresses the importance of improving your pitching abilities, especially when coming to the business world with a background in science and research. In a space that can be difficult to communicate in, Sherine has improved her ability to sell Neuroene Therapeutics through practice and regular pitching.
The researcher-entrepreneur keeps her advice for pursuing your ideas simple and straightforward. "Keep an open mind. If you have an idea, and you think it's a good idea, just go for it. If you can do it, go for it."