Asian American Professionals Worth Knowing



Profession: Senior Corporate Executive
Position: Founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board of BioMicro Systems

ew know as well as biotech researchers the difficulties of precisely controlling the flow and mixing of tiny amounts of fluids. And few understand the needs of biotech researchers like James Kuo. He spent the first two decades of his career combining a medical degree with an MBA to become a guru in the high-stakes business of discovering and developing promising drug candidates. Today, Kuo is turning that experience to good use as CEO of BioMicro Systems, a company that makes research tools that control fluids by using hydrophilic (water-attracting) and hydrophobic (water-repelling) materials instead disruptive mechanical or electrical components.
     At the age of 27 Kuo was already director of a $380 million fund at America's leading biotech venture capital firm. He helped launch Human Genome Sciences and Genetic Therapy Inc. Five years later he became CEO of Discovery Laboratories, an unfunded startup, and within six months raised $22 million through private placement. He then became Managing Director of Venture Analysis at HealthCare Ventures, a $378 million venture fund. In 2001 he became CEO of Microbiotix, Inc. Earlier in his career Kuo held senior business development positions at Pfizer, Genset Corporation and Myriad Genetics. Kuo also serves on the board of DOR BioPharma (AMEX: DOR), among other positions.


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     James Kuo majored in molecular biology at Haverford College. He then attended simultaneously the medical and business schools at the University of Pennsylvania. On graduation day he had to run between the two commencement ceremonies.
     “They were five minutes apart timewise, and they were across campus from each other and it's a big big campus,” Kuo recalls.
     In his first job as venture capital associate at D.H. Blair, a small investment banking firm, Kuo identified drug candidates promising enough to build a company around.
     Kuo met wife Gigi while he was at Haverford and she was a pre-med student at Bryn Mawr. They live in Manhattan with their daughter. Kuo devotes weekends to his tennis game and walking through Manhattan with the family. He enjoys gardening when he's over at his parents' house.

Top Corporate Executives Under 45


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