I regularly watch 60 Minutes every Sunday evening, and was pleasantly surprised to watch this segment on Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a native of South Africa, and a naturalized U.S. citizen. I think 8Asians has blogged about him, and I remember Soon-Shiong the first time I had heard of him since he was described the richest person in Los Angeles (one doesn’t normally think the richest person in L.A. would be in biotech / pharmaceutical industry – I would imagine someone like Steven Spielberg or some other Hollywood luminary would be).
60 Minutes does an interesting overview of Soon-Shiong and his company’s quest to help diagnose and treat cancer:
“Cancer has outwitted scientists and doctors for decades. More than 1,500 people still die of the disease every day in this country. But scientists will tell you they have learned more about cancer in the last five years than ever before. And no one is more optimistic about what that will mean for patients than Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. He’s been called a genius, a showman, an innovator and a hypester. He’s also the richest man in Los Angeles, a doctor and entrepreneur who is worth an estimated $11 billion. … Soon-Shiong has appointed himself to lead this revolution. Cancer genome sequencing is not new but what’s different about Soon-Shiong’s project is the scale. He has spent nearly a billion dollars of his own money to build a massive infrastructure, run by super computers, to find every single genetic mutation that could drive cancer.”
I had an uncle, who happened to be a surgeon, die unfortunately due to pacreatic cancer, so I am hopefully that any advancement for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer can advance as quickly as possible before more families have to deal with the premature death of a loved one.