5 Incredible Women Driving Computational Biomedicine Forward

As one does on an (unemployed) Friday morning, I was critically evaluating my LinkedIn network. I wanted to see how many amazing healthcare entrepreneurs I knew and could turn to for advice. I came to a depressing realization: they're all men.

There are way too many Samir Gandhi's in healthcare (no disrespect to people named Samir Gandhi).

There are way too many Vishnu Rachakonda's in healthcare (all disrespect to people named Vishnu Rachakonda).

To better recognize and track the diversity of my inspiration, I put together a list of 5 women I really admire that are driving computational biomedicine forward.

1. Amy Abernethy


What she does: Dr. Abernethy runs the clinical trials vertical at Verily and used to be the No. 2 at the FDA and also the CMO of Flatiron Health. She's published 500+ articles and studied medicine at Duke. (can a resume be more stacked than this...)

Why I admire her: If you know me, you know that my part-time job is to be an Amy Abernethy hype man. Put simply, she is one of the most accomplished clinical executives in the world. She joined Flatiron early on and gave them the research heft in oncology to achieve heights in RWE thought leadership. Then, she joined the FDA and worked with Scott Gottlieb to modernize the FDA's technology and improve clinical trial standards. Today, she's going to help the Verily beast swallow the clinical trials world with the knowledge gained from Project Baseline. I admire her track record of absolute, dominating success and her mission-guided work to change the way that clinical trials work and uncover innovation.

2. Julie Yoo


What she does: Julie is a GP at Andreesen Horowitz, where she leads most (if not all) of their healthcare investments. Prior to that, she helped start and lead Kyruus.

Why I admire her: Julie is a healthcare OG. There is no other way to put it. She is one of the most respected investors to have on your side in healthcare. Look at her current investments: Julie picks winners. There is a lot to learn from her track record of success in the minefield that is American healthcare business. I particularly love her published writing, such as The New Tech Stack for Virtual-First Care.

3. Marzyeh Ghassemi


What she does: Prof. Ghassemi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto (!) in Computer Science and Medicine. She's headed to MIT (!) next .

Why I admire her: You may not have heard of Marzyeh, but you have certainly read her papers on AI in medicine (if you're in the field). I love her publications, especially her consistently thorough and useful review papers on AI in healthcare. I love her teaching, especially her ML4Health course, which stands out as one of the most thorough in the entire world. I admire the representation she contributes to a notoriously difficult and homogenous area of technical work.

4. Lily Peng


What she does: Lily Peng is a product manager at Google Brain. (This title is so understated, it's wild). She basically helps run all of Google Brain's most imaginative healthcare work.

Why I admire her: It kills me that more people don't shout Lily Peng out. Lily is literally the most prolific translational inventor and leader in computational biomedicine. She has helped author crucial work at Google Brain in ophthalmology (yes, including the famous fundus to cardiovascular paper), pathology, and radiology. Google's work is guiding the way for literally every startup in computational biomedicine; that's not even hyperbole. I admire the vision behind her work, the incredible track record of success across medical fields, and the vast impact she's been able to have. Entire fields have been catalyzed by her contributions at Google.

5. Suchi Saria


What she does: Prof. Saria is the CEO of Bayesian Health, an ultra high-potential clincal AI company, and the John Malone Assistant Professor of CS at JHU. She did her PhD at Stanford with Vijay Pande.

Why I admire her: Prof. Saria is the true, rare researcher-executive. She has an incredibly deep research background, having pioneered advanced methods for ML in medicine. For the last 3 years, she's been running Bayesian Health (in addition to her academic duties). The combination of her research excellence with her patient entrepreneurial execution is inspiring to anyone who wants to build a truly game-changing computational biomedicine company. I'm long Bayesian, as I've read every single one of their papers and am writing a detailed breakdown of the company (to be published here). Prof. Saria is a model for how to bridge the world of research and entrepreneurship.