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Sumin Koo, PhD

Sumin began her career in McKinsey & Co’s healthcare practice. She served pharma and biotech clients, focused on Merger & Acquisitions and R&D strategy / operations. She also led the knowledge area for autoimmune diseases, the second largest class of biologics.
Sumin joined Novartis as Development Program Leader. She led a cross-functional team of technical leads to deliver a pivotal late-stage clinical trial for influenza vaccine, which enrolled 11,000 subjects across 9 countries. She then shepherded the asset through the FDA Biologics License Application (approved in 2015) and prepared for product launch. She advanced to overseeing a team of Program Leads for the rest of the portfolio.
Sumin later became Vice President of Haemonetics, a $4B medical device public company. She first worked as Chief of Staff to the CEO on the company’s turnaround. She supported Board of Director meetings, investor communications, and special projects outside reporting lines. She established the Innovation Committee within the Board and initiated a new portfolio office to systematically assess R&D pipeline projects for the Chief Technology Officer.
When her family moved to Seattle, Sumin joined the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as Deputy Director for Innovative Technologies Solutions. She was mobilized in the Foundation’s COVID response to poor regions. Key actions include organizing Dx CEO Roundtable with NIH, partnering with Clinton Health Access Initiative on a volume guarantee for the Global South, and WHO’s COVID-19 accelerator.

In her time at BMGF, Sumin led the  due diligence for impact investors (Soros Economic Development Fund, BMGF and 2 family offices) on a £80M acquisition of a distressed diagnostic company to preserve its neglected diseases assets. Subsequently, she was appointed by the NewCo’s Board Chair to be its interim CEO. In that capacity, she on-boarded an external CFO to rapidly drive transparency into the financials, developed options for sustainability, and planned the transition into a dual-mission entity that is financially independent and impact focused.

Sumin was trained in cancer genetics, under the sponsorship from the Agency of Science, Technology and Research of Singapore. She earned her Ph.D. studying the genetics of leukemia at Harvard, using clinical samples and animal models. Her lab work stretches back to her undergraduate work across gene expression platforms and a range of molecular and cell biology tools. She graduated from University of Cambridge (UK), as a Glaxo-Wellcome Scholar, with a B.A. / M.A in Biochemistry.  

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