These scientists and entrepreneurs are taking on some of healthcare’s biggest challenges, from cancer to women’s health to ensuring equitable access to care.
By Alex Knapp, Katie Jennings, Arianna Johnson, Sarah Emerson and Ariyana Griffin
When Dina Radenkovic, 27, was working as a doctor and researching diseases related to aging, she discovered that women’s ovaries age about five times faster than the rest of a person’s body. This is partially why women struggle with fertility issues as they get older, and also why she founded her company, Gameto, which uses cell engineering with an aim of making IVF cycles shorter and reducing the need for hormone injections.
“We’re in a golden age where technologies are really able to manipulate biology,” she says, adding that even diseases that were not thought to be curable less than a decade ago now have true cures going through clinical trials, thanks to advances in cell engineering and gene therapy.
Radenkovic isn’t unique in applying new technologies to old problems in healthcare. She’s just one of the rising stars on this year’s 30 Under 30 Healthcare list, which includes entrepreneurs and scientists all working to expand access to care and to treat and cure disease.
For more than a decade, Forbes has highlighted young entrepreneurs, researchers and physicians for our annual 30 Under 30 Healthcare list, with the help of nominations from the public. To be considered for this year’s list, all candidates had to be under the age of 30 as of December 31, 2022, and never before named to a 30 Under 30 list. Candidates were evaluated by a panel of judges featuring Victor Lopez-Carmen, cofounder of the Ohiyesa Premedical Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and alumnus of the 2022 Forbes Under 30 Healthcare list; Michelle Davey, cofounder and CEO of Wheel; Hemant Taneja, managing partner of General Catalyst; and Helen Sabzevari, president and CEO of Precigen.
In addition to Raenkovic, several other listmakers are also focused on women’s health. Take Briana Chen, 28, for example, a research scientist who’s studying how the symptoms of mental illnesses like depression diverge between men and women. Then there’s Alison Burklund, 28, whose company Nanopath is developing rapid diagnostics for gynecological exams. Meanwhile, Amira Barkal, 29, is working to develop new treatments for ovarian and breast cancer with her company Pheast Therapeutics.
Several other listmakers this year also have their sights set on cancer. Micronoma, the company cofounded by Gregory Sepich-Poore, 29, is developing microbiome-based screening tests that could detect cancer earlier than conventional screening methods. Meanwhile, Kevin Parker, 28, and his company Cartography Biosciences aim to improve the ability of immunotherapies to target tumors. Shu Jiang, 29, an assistant professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, is developing better statistical methods for precision oncology and risk prevention for breast cancer. That research also focuses on techniques that are developed with inclusivity in mind, so that they work better for all people, not just particular subsets.
That focus on improving more equitable access to care is also top of mind for Ed Gaussen, 28, whose company Mantra Health offers a mental healthcare platform for college students. Then there’s Jared Dauman, 27, whose company Soda Health works with insurance companies to help people manage their health in surprising ways, such as providing transportation options for people who struggle to be able to make it to the doctor.
These are only a few of the incredible finalists on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Healthcare list. Be sure to read up on all of them, plus all of the other 30 Under 30 2023 categories.
This year’s list was edited by Katie Jennings, Alex Knapp, Arianna Johnson, Sarah Emerson and Ariyana Griffin. For a link to our complete Healthcare list, click here, and for full 30 Under 30 coverage, click here.