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Director of In Vitro Biology, Cubist
BIGGEST ASSET: "Curiouser and curiouser"
SHINING MOMENT: Developed a novel in-vitro assay mimicking the physiology of the lung, which led to the discovery of the Surfactant Effect of daptomycin
At Cubist, where he directs all in vitro biology, Jared Silverman's rampant and rewarding curiosity has earned him the name "The Question Guy"—mostly because his hand is first up at all the meetings. He joined the Boston-based biotech 11 years ago as its sole microbiologist, choosing industry over academia when he realized that the quality of data needed to inject something into a human being was the scientific gold standard. "I suddenly understood how important doing the absolute best possible science was to making drugs," he says.
Led by his curiosity, this basic-research pro rose quickly to head the lab, where integrating the clinical and commercial sides is his mission. "Working at a biotech rather than a Big Pharma, I've been able to develop a vision of how the data we generate in preclinical connects directly to what happens in marketing," he says. He gives props to Cubists' former science chief, the late Frank Tally, for helping him learn that "my job as the scientist is to make sure I'm laying out the data correctly, but also then laying out choices." Silverman sees this as the hallmark of the new generation of pharma researchers.
This has earned Silverman a place at Cubist's M&A table, where the highly praised acquisition of tiny Illumigen—and its preclinical hep c compound—adds what may be a much-needed blockbuster-to-be to this one-drug company.