Learn from Dr. Eletr’s inspiring story how to persevere through societal expectations and business challenges, to seize opportunity and build a successful career and life.
Sam Eletr and most of his classmates at the French high school, or Lycée, in Alexandria, Egypt, were dispersed after they graduated in 1956, an aftermath of the 1956 Suez Canal Crisis. He took refuge in France, where he enrolled at the University in Grenoble, before taking the entrance exam to the EE section of the Polytechnic Institute. A chance encounter there with a visiting American scholar led to physics graduate work at Virginia Polytechnic. Another chance encounter led him to the Physics and then Chemistry departments at UC Berkeley where his spectroscopic work and network enabled two Post Docs, one at the France National Research Center (CNRS), and the other at UCSF. These, in turn, enabled a series of contributions to the medical and biotech industries. In this talk, Dr. Eletr will discuss how his eclectic academic path enabled him to contribute to several Startup Companies by navigating the shoals between leading scientists and aggressive investors. He will conclude with a description and tech demo of one such company.
Dr. Sam Eletr, (Physics MA'64 and Chemistry PhD'68), is currently a Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Rhythm Diagnostic Systems, Inc., which he served as its Chief Executive Officer until recently. His first corporate experience was at Hewlett Packard Laboratories, where he eventually led a small group responsible for the development of Analytical and Medical instruments, before leaving after some seven years to co-found and lead Applied Biosystems, Inc., the company that provided the DNA Sequencers used internationally to sequence the Human Genome. He followed up by co-founding a spin-off of Applied, Lynx Therapeutics, Inc., then served as a Director of Solexa, Ltd. and contributed to the merger of these two, which led to the Illumina New Gen sequencers. He was also a co-founder, with Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner and others, of Population Genetics Technologies, a company whose main IP was recently acquired by Agilent. He served also as a Director of Third Wave Technologies and iStat, companies that were acquired by Gen-Probe and Abbott Laboratories, respectively; and as a director of Faust Pharmaceuticals and SpinX Technologies, which both failed, but gave birth to two successful companies, Domain Therapeutics, which he helped co-found, and Andrew Alliance, which he seeded, and helped co-found.