Milind Kamkolkar on Seeing the Forest and the Trees at Cellarity

Episode Summary:
Harry welcomes Milind Kamkolkar back to the program. The former Sanofi exec is now the chief data and digital officer at Cellarity, a Flagship Pioneering-backed therapeutics startup working to model cell behavior computationally in order to identify new drug targets and therapies.

Episode Notes:
Milind Kamkolkar joined Cellarity in January 2019 to help the company to prove that it is now possible to “encode a cell” digitally—to use big data, deep learning, and other methods to model many different interconnected networks of molecular interactions. “The whole idea…is really only feasible now,” he says. “What changed over the last number of years is the ability to compute at scale.”
The promise of Cellarity’s computational models, Kamkolkar says, is that they look broadly at cell behavior, rather than taking a reductionist approach. “If you could see the forest and the trees, what does that look like?” he says. “Really taking into account all of these networks that exist not only at the molecular level, not only at the cellular level, but also at the tissue level, and being able to look at all of it at once. You could argue it sound quite preposterous, but I love the ambition.”
Kamkolkar joined Cellarity from Sanofi, where he was the industry’s first enterprise chief data officer, driving the transformation of Sanofi into a data-driven organization. Previously he was the global head of data science and AI and digital medicine at Novartis.