Neither of my folks are from the South. As an infant in our young family, we were transplants from the Northeast and the Southwest attracted by the beauty, advanced chemical manufacturing, and a sense of adventure to the Upstate of South Carolina. Despite the superficiality of my roots, I was raised with a strong southern disposition, and was always told it's not polite to brag. Like me, many members of CBG likely identify with what has been called the "New South"; that is, they hail from diverse backgrounds from in- and outside SC and have been attracted here by more than one selling point. Most of these pioneers are also fiercely humble and find it challenging to celebrate - let alone share - their stories as the disruptive forces they have become in creating a more healthy, economically and technologically robust, and sustainable ecosystem. But when it comes to shedding light on the great intellectual talent that the Carolina's produce, at the Carolina Biotech Group, we find it difficult not to pull out the spotlight. Innovation happens when good ideas are combined in the right reaction mixture, including the right people, resources, assets, advisors, and most importantly - when it's due - acclaim.
We, like others, have recognized that many of the above reactants are present within our ecosystem, but often fail to be combined creatively to catalyze growth in biotechnology, healthcare, and entrepreneurial spaces. We believe that the great opportunities that are created at our academic institutions should share a collaborative, regionally-focused thread. We believe that we have a growing biotech and digital health ecosystem with stories that, all too often, go untold. To increase the probability of these reactions, we've been sampling the chemistry of the biotech industry leadership, surveying the entrepreneurial landscape, and spotlighting our progress in efforts to better predict the major products of our future. To this end, we hope you'll enjoy hearing from Jai Pandey, a SC product who currently calls the prestigious MIT Whitehead Institute home but who is striving to channel his passion for innovation in science into a regulatory career guiding the next generation of therapies from bench to bedside.
As someone who identifies as a lifelong South Carolinian, I am impressed on a daily basis by the passionate young innovators we produce and the potential for progress in our ecosystem. We hope that in reading the CBG Journal, you will appreciate that these unique stories, people, and passion for progress hailing from our talent pool, the rate-limiting reactant of any reaction, are in no short supply in the Carolinas.