WILLIAM C. (BILL) MacARTHUR:
 




 
 
 
 
 
President and Director of R&D, GeneWorks, Inc., which he founded in 1996. Responsible for intellectual property management and use. He's also a veterinarian, responsible for flock health at GeneWorks, a biotech company that creates transgenic chickens that secrete human pharmaceuticals into their egg whites. This technology can dramatically lower the cost barrier to entry for complex protein pharmaceuticals. Protein pharmaceuticals are made in an array of bioreactors, and the up-front capital cost is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. GeneWorks can achieve the same result, albeit on a longer time scale, for a small fraction of that cost.


WHERE BORN: Albany, N.Y.

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: "There is a two-way tie between Joe Kunkle and Kandula Sastry. Both were professors at the University of Massachusetts during my sophomore year. Joe Kunkle taught cell biology and taught very intuitively. He made the cells real for us by teaching concepts such as relative size of its components and the speed at which reactions take place. Cells are amazing things when you think of what they do on the space and time scales at which they function. Kandula Sastry, unfortunately now deceased, was my physics professor, winter term, 8 a.m. You might think that sophomore physics in the winter in Amherst, Mass. at 8 in the morning might be sparsely attended. Instead, the lecture room was standing room only. He too taught intuitively and made science fun. Every lecture was highly entertaining and we all left with a solid grasp of the utility of calculus and how Newtonian mechanics really works. Imagine an older Indian professor in a suit riding on top of a big tank of compressed air in a little red wagon. He opened the valve and rode around the front of the lecture hall using the handle to steer. It was LOUD. We were able to deduce why. He did these kinds of things every lecture. It was just amazing. Those two, more than any others, solidified my choice to go into science."

LAST BOOK READ: "Fiction: 'Angels and Demons' (and lots of assorted kids books for my 4-year-old son, AJ). Non-Fiction: 'Into Your Darkroom.'"

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: "Hyperactive. Driven."

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: "The small molecule pharmaceuticals become generic once they come off patent. This has not happened with the protein pharmaceuticals in part because of their complexity, in part because of an incomplete regulatory framework with which to evaluate generic candidates, and in part because of the huge capital investment necessary to make them. This will change. Generic biologicals will be in the market within five years, but it will take a technological leap, such as transgenic manufacturing, and a commitment by a large pharmaceutical company to blaze the regulatory pathway. After it is done the first time, many will follow."

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: "GPS. There is a collection of high resolution maps that have many trails marked on them, but the best thing is that the edge of the map is calibrated with coordinates so you can find awesome camping spots, GPS them and mark them on the map. Finding them a year later is no problem."

FAVORITE PLACE: "Two-track trails in the Manistee National Forest on the west side of the state."

FAVORITE HOBBY: "Black and white film photography and darkroom technique."

FAVORITE FOOD: "Crawdads out of a paper bag in the Maple Leaf Bar in downtown New Orleans."

MY HIDDEN TALENT: "If there is a song that I know the words to, I can say the first letter of each word in the song in real time as the song is playing. I have a hard time with Aerosmith's 'Walk This Way' because it goes along at a decent pace and there are a lot of 'W's in it. Many 'W' words are one syllable, but the letter itself is three syllables so I get behind when the lyric 'Wasn't me she was foolin' 'cause she knew what she was doin'' comes up."

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: "The one to go to for a quick joke."

At the annual awards reception in May 2015, one Leader & Innovator from the previous 12 months will be selected as the Leader & Innovator of the Year.