Press release
September 6, 2022

Owkin appoints data science pioneer Jean-Philippe Vert as Chief R&D Officer

Owkin has appointed Jean-Philippe Vert, former Affiliate Professor at Mines Paris PSL University and research scientist at Google Brain, as Chief Research and Development Officer.

At Owkin, Jean-Philippe will lead the company’s R&D strategy while overseeing an interdisciplinary team of scientists focused on achieving Owkin’s mission of discovering new mechanisms of diseases and deriving better treatments for unmet medical needs. He will deliver groundbreaking data science innovation and collaborative projects to discover and develop new treatments and unlock new biomarkers, targets and drug combinations.

Jean-Philippe Vert, Chief Research and Development Officer at Owkin, said:

The combination of rich medical data and state-of-the-art AI technologies that Owkin is building is changing the way we treat patients and find new drugs. I’m thrilled to join this collaborative and multidisciplinary team, and help build the scientific foundations that will allow Owkin to find the right treatment for each patient!

Gilles Wainrib, Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Owkin, said:

JP’s wealth of experience in machine learning and computational biology is unparalleled. He will have a substantial impact on the development of the next generation of treatments for patients and I am hugely excited to work closely with him.

Before joining Owkin, Jean-Philippe was an Affiliate Professor at Mines Paris PSL University and a research scientist at Google Brain in Paris. Prior to this, he was research professor at the Department of Mathematics and Applications in École normale supérieure (ENS Paris), visiting professor at the Statistics Department in UC Berkeley, team leader on computational biology of cancer at the Curie Institute in Paris, research professor and founding director of the Centre for Computational Biology at Mines ParisTech, and postdoctoral researcher in computational biology at Kyoto University. He is a graduate of Ecole Polytechnique and Corps des Mines and holds a PhD in mathematics from Paris 6 University. He has worked as a Scientific Advisor to Owkin since 2016.

Jean-Philippe’s research interests include the development of statistical and machine learning methods, particularly to model complex, high-dimensional and structured data, with a focus on computational biology, genomics and precision medicine. His contributions include new mathematical approaches and computational methods to learn from structured data such as strings or graphs, regularization techniques to learn from limited amounts of data, and computationally efficient techniques for pattern detection, feature selection and end-to-end optimization of complex models. He has worked on medical applications in cancer research including quantifying and modeling cancer heterogeneity, predicting response to therapy, and modeling the genome and epigenome of cancer cells at the single-cell level. He authored more than 180 publications and was awarded the bronze medal of CNRS, a starting grant of the European Research Council (ERC) and the Pierre Faurre grand prize of the French Academy of Sciences.

About Owkin

Owkin is the first full-stack TechBio company on a mission to understand complex biology and derive new multimodal biomarkers through AI.

We identify precision therapeutics, de-risk and accelerate clinical trials and develop diagnostics using AI trained on world-class patient data through privacy-enhancing technologies. We merge wet lab experiments with advanced AI techniques to create a powerful feedback loop for accelerated discovery and innovation in oncology, cardiovascular, immunity and inflammation.

Owkin also founded MOSAIC, the world’s largest spatial multi-omics atlas for cancer research across seven cancer indications.

Owkin has raised over $300 million through investments from leading biopharma companies, including Sanofi and BMS, and venture funds like Fidelity, GV and Bpifrance, among others.