Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Ping Yeh and I’m cofounder and CEO of StemoniX and I lead a team of scientists, engineers and physicians who make heart and brain cells from skin to accelerate the discovery of new cures from various diseases such as Autism to pandemics like Zika Virus.
What was the inspiration for your idea?
In the Fall of 2012, I was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. I went immediately into chemotherapy but after 4 months of treatment, I was told I was resistant to the standard regimen. I was then told that to survive I would need the maximum potency chemotherapy, which was also the most toxic, especially on the heart. No one could be sure if the treatment would help me, or kill me.
The doctors would only know the effect the medicine had on me and my heart by me taking it and seeing what happened. Thankfully, I survived both the cancer and treatment, but I wondered if there was a better way to figure out if how a treatment would affect patients like myself ahead of time. This seeded the idea of StemoniX.
What opportunities or benefits have developed due to your involvement in MN Cup so far?
We continue to hone our business plan and the MN Cup process helps us further refine our model and messaging.