Founder & CEO
Our Founding Vision
A Letter From Daphne Koller
While many of us have witnessed the incredible medical advances transforming our ability to treat and even cure patients, drug discovery and development is getting harder and more expensive, leaving many patients without effective therapies. At the same time, over the last decade a revolution in machine learning has enabled solutions to problems I thought intractable during my lifetime. Machine learning methods can now caption images, translate across languages, and recognize speech, often at or even beyond human level performance. What would it take for machine learning to revolutionize the way we create better medicines for patients?
Throughout much of my career I have worked in the largely disconnected worlds of machine learning and computational biology. Daphne Koller speaking about transforming drug development at AWS re:Invent 2019 The separation was due largely to limitations in biological data — while access to large, rich data sets has driven the success of machine learning, such data sets are still rare in biology where data generation remains largely artisanal. By enabling the production of massive amounts of biological data, the recent advancements in cell biology and bioengineering are finally enabling us to change this.
It is this observation that lies at the heart of insitro. Instead of relying on the limited existing “found” data, we leverage the tools of modern biology to generate high-quality, large data sets optimized for machine learning, allowing us to unleash the full potential of modern computational approaches. We believe that the focus, commitment, and resources required to generate data at this quality and scale are more than justified by the high costs and low success rates of traditional R&D paradigms.
To execute on this vision, we set out to create a unique culture that unites individuals from diverse backgrounds in a single team - life scientists and data scientists; software engineers, process engineers, and bioengineers; translational scientists and drug hunters. At insitro, deeply experienced biologists and drug hunters work hand-in-hand with leading edge technologists and machine learners. Together, we can answer questions that alone we would not have even thought to ask.
To read more about insitro’s founding, check out my blog post from our company launch.
— Daphne Koller