Dr Imogen Wright: The bioscientist
Updated: Apr 23, 2019
Dr Imogen Wright @mojface , a scientist and co-founder of Hyrax Bioscience, has had an interesting and winding career path to where she is today. Her initial focus was theoretical physics and computer science, after which she worked as a software developer. Whilst working in London for Amazon, she experienced a crisis of meaning and felt that she was not applying her skills in a way that could help improve the world. This lead to her approaching a biological sciences professor at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) who was doing bioinformatics research that she found interesting. She says that he was crazy enough to take her on, despite her not having any prior background in biology. However, the partnership has proven incredibly successful as Imogen has completed her PhD in bioinformatics and they have launched a startup, Hyrax Biosciences. Hyrax is a software tool that analyses the DNA of viruses with the aim of determining an HIV patient’s responsiveness to antiretroviral (ARV) drug treatment at an affordable and accessible cost. This is significant given that the majority of the world’s population living with HIV/AIDS reside in Africa. The tool also has the ability to assist in the effective treatment of other communicable diseases such a tuberculosis and malaria.
We are inspired by Imogen’s dedication to her life goals and her fearlessness in pivoting into a whole new subject field, all while helping to improve healthcare for some of the poorest people in the world. Imogen tells us that when she was 22, she compiled a list of four things she would like to achieve: 1. A PhD, 2. Start a company, 3. Run a marathon and 4. Write a novel. She has only one item left on this list (the novel!).
Featured artist: Ilse Lewis @ilse_xx