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BenevolentAI welcomes Professor Russ Altman as scientific advisor

If there is anything that 2020 has taught us, it is that human life is precious.

We have never been more aware of its fragility. At Benevolent, we are working on one of humanity's most pressing challenges: understanding the underlying causes of disease and developing novel therapeutics for patients in need. With thousands of diseases still untreated there is still much work to be done but together with our world class team of scientists, technologists and advisors, we are rising to the challenge. To that end, we are proud to announce that Professor Russ Altman has joined us as a scientific advisor, to help us as we journey towards our mission to re-engineer drug discovery and deliver life-changing medicines.

"I believe that AI will have a fundamental impact on drug discovery and development, and I am excited to work together with the BenevolentAI team to help translate algorithmic advances into medical breakthroughs.” Professor Russ Altman.

Professor Altman is an American Professor of Bioengineering, Genetics, Medicine and Biomedical Data Science, and past Chairman of the Bioengineering Department at Stanford University. Altman holds an AB from Harvard College, an MD from Stanford Medical School, and a PhD in Medical Information Sciences from Stanford. His lab studies how human genetic variation impacts drug response, and his legacy includes the PharmGKB project, started in 2000, which contains genomic, phenotype and clinical information collected from ongoing pharmacogenetic studies. His other work focuses on the analysis of biological molecules to understand the actions, interactions and adverse events of drugs. He helps lead an FDA-supported centre for regulatory science and innovation, chaired the Science Board advising the FDA Commissioner, serves on the NIH director’s advisory committee, and was the Co-chair of the IOM Drug Forum.

Russ will serve as a sounding board for our scientists, AI researchers and developers, offering invaluable advice and insight when needed. His primary research interests are in the application of computing and informatics technologies to problems relevant to medicine. He is particularly interested in methods for understanding drug action at molecular, cellular, organism and population levels. Russ’s input will help our scientists to further push the boundaries of machine learning applied drug discovery and may also result in some exciting NLP and data projects with members of his lab.

At Benevolent, we have an ambitious vision: we envision a world where no disease goes untreated. We often say that this is not a world that will emerge, it is one we must create and to do so we need to collaborate with the greatest scientific minds of today. We are thrilled to have Russ on the team and we look forward to harnessing his external viewpoints, expert knowledge and diverse experience in order to help us create this brighter world for patients.

Joanna Shields, CEO

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