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DAWN BELL

Bio

I work with smart people on tough problems at the intersection of human biology, technology and business.  I believe the 4th Industrial Revolution will help us unlock more complex human biology, bringing more effective medicines to patients for less money, reversing Eroom's law.  I want to be at the center of that revolution, creating sustainable business models for drug development and healthcare delivery that improve human health and relieve suffering.  I am a passionate supporter of entrepreneurs who share this vision, and I believe in the power of venture creation to solve some of these grand challenges. I mentor founders in the Creative Destruction Lab (Toronto) and EIT Health's Gold Track (Munich), as well as a couple of stealth bioTech companies.  I am a Board Director for The Metabolomics Innovation Center (Alberta, CA), a federally funded consortium of researchers across Canada working to advance the discovery and commercialization of cutting-edge metabolomics assays to better understand the impact of food, the environment, and medicines on human biology.

I spent most of my life in healthcare--first as a patient, then as a practitioner, and finally as a innovator. As a sick kid with asthma, I was prescribed medicines that didn't do a great job managing my disease and came with terrible side-effects.  Growing up I loved science--when my cousins were getting new dolls for Christmas, I got a chemistry set and a microscope. I knew from an early age that I wanted to make a difference for kids like me. 

In college, I studied Pharmacy because the curriculum was heavy in chemistry and biology and it promised interesting job opportunities beyond direct patient care.  I quickly gravitated to the research track and completed 3 years of post-graduate work in clinical and translational science, as a resident in the prestigious UIC Residency program and as a Genentech Cardiovascular Fellow studying the pharmacogenomics of heart failure.


I spent 8 years in academia, where I was a tenured associate professor in health economics and outcomes research, had an active practice in the coronary care unit, and served on the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for the protection of research subjects.  


During my 20+ years in the biopharma industry, I built teams that developed and launched over a dozen innovative medicines.  At The Medicines Company, we launched a safer anticoagulant, uncovered the dangers of bleeding after a common cardiac procedure and worked with thought leaders to change the definition of serious bleeding in clinical trials involving anticoagulant and anti-platelet medicines.  At Novartis, we brought forward the first medicine in 10 years shown to reduce mortality in chronic heart failure, and the only medicine approved for heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.  That medicine, Entresto, earned $2.5B in 2020, changing the lives of millions of patients.  At Novartis Canada, we launched 8 medicines in 4 years, including the first two gene therapies ever approved in Canada.  There I co-founded the Novartis Canada Biome at Mila (Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms), with the vision to bring artificial intelligence to drug development and healthcare delivery.  I continue to work at Novartis and am now leading our strategy initiatives in the white space, an internal think tank which helps us to keep reimagining medicine for decades to come.