Sean Parker, Co-Founder and
Executive Chairman, Brigade
Net worth: $2.6 bn
Sean Parker is an American entrepreneur and philanthropist, most notable for cofounding the file-sharingcomputer service Napster, and serving as the first president of the social networking website Facebook. He also cofounded Plaxo, Causes, Airtime.com, and Brigade, an online platform for civic engagement. He is the founder and chairman of the Parker Foundation, which focuses on life sciences, global public health, and civic engagement.
Description and impact
Starting in 2016, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy scientists funded a clinical trial to test the next wave of cancer-fighting T-cells engineered using the CRISPR gene-editing technology. The trail was the first in the United States to test CRISPR-modified cells in humans. The trial is led by the University of Pennsylvania and is also conducted at UCSF and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. In November 2017, Science published a study from Parker Institute researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center showing that melanoma patients who have specific types of bacteria and a greater microbial diversity in their gut microbiome responded better to an anti-PD-1 checkpoint inhibitor versus those with less diversity. Based on this work, the Parker Institute is collaborating with MD Anderson and industry partner Seres Therapeutics to launch a microbiome-cancer immunotherapy clinical trial for advanced melanoma patients.