About Me

Biosketch: David A. Shaywitz, MD, PhD

David’s career focus has been driving promising science into clinical impact; he’s especially interested in the transformational opportunities and implementation challenges presented by emerging technologies in drug development, from NGS and cell therapies to digital biomarkers and the meaningful application of AI.

A summa cum laude graduate of Harvard College, where he studied Biochemical Sciences, he continued his training as a physician-scientist, pursuing his MD through the Harvard Medical School/MIT program in Health Science and Technology, and his PhD through the Department of Biology at MIT. He continued his training in internal medicine and endocrinology, both at MGH, and his post-doc in the Melton Lab at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. He then left academia for industry, working at Merck (Experimental Medicine), Boston Consulting Group (strategy consulting, biopharma-focused), and Theravance in South San Francisco from 2010-2014, where he focused on new product planning and business development, and led a product team.

David was inspired by the tech entrepreneurs he began to meet in the Bay Area in 2010, and was struck by the discrepancy between the external perception of medicine and drug development and his lived experience as a physician and drug developer. He began advising entrepreneurs, speaking at health tech conferences, and writing about health tech innovation for Forbes.

In 2014, David joined Silicon Valley cloud genomics company, DNAnexus as Chief Medical Officer. Since 2015, he has co-hosted the popular twice-monthly podcast, "Tech Tonics" focused on "the people and passion at the intersection of technology and health" with Lisa Suennen, with whom he also co-authored a book of the same name. David served as a Visiting Scientist in the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) at Harvard from 2015-2017, and is currently a Lecturer in the department.

From 2017-2019 he was a Senior Partner in the Palo Alto office of Takeda Ventures, Inc., and served on multiple boards. In January 2020, he founded Astounding.

For twenty-five years, David has contributed commentaries about medicine, science, strategy, innovation and technology to a number of popular publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico Pro, TheAtlantic.com, Forbes.com, The Bulwark, The National Review, and The Financial Times. He is now a contributor at Timmerman Report where he writes the "Astounding HealthTech" column. Since 2010, David has also served as an Adjunct Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a Washington, D.C.-based think tank advancing free enterprise and entrepreneurship.


Email: DS {at} AstoundingHealthTech {dot} com