How Leaders like Jim Plante are Bringing Technology to Bear on the Most Pressing Problems


Genomics has become big business, with hundreds of companies worldwide now competing to find new ways of leveraging knowledge about genetics to improve human health. In just about every case, success requires the consistent, highly integrated use of technology. From powerful computers that spin through billions of possibilities per second to diagnostic tools that can quickly illuminate portions of a given patient’s genome, technology is very much a cornerstone of the field of genomics today and will remain so in the future.

As a result, many of the most successful leaders, investors, and entrepreneurs in the field boast backgrounds that are rich with past technology experience. Pathway Genomics President Jim Plante, for example, got his start by acquiring a stake in a concern that designed and produced an especially advanced form of radar. With interest in millimeter scale wave radar systems rising consistently among military organizations and others, that initial investment grew quickly to boost the young investor to an even higher level.

Thereafter, Plante turned his attention to the persistent problem of providing access to wireless communications of greater bandwidth and reach. With the potential of the seven gigahertz spectrum not yet fully realized at that point, his venture took off quickly and went on to secure a significant share of the global market. That was enough to repay investors in the venture more than eighty times over, making for one of the great entrepreneurial success stories of that time.

Technological advances like these have ways of making life richer, safer, and more rewarding, but human health occupies an even more central place of relevance in the world today. While it could well take many years to learn how to fully exploit the mind-boggling amount of information contained in the human genome, it will undoubtedly be technological tools that enable each and every stage of progress toward that important goal.

Entrepreneurs and business leaders who are equipped with a deep understanding of the impact that the right technological approaches and solutions can foster are therefore typically best positioned of all to lead the charge. With forward thinking people like Plante striving to make progress, others everywhere stand to benefit in their own lives.