Featured Speaker: Matt Fox

Matt Fox brings energy and enthusiasm to the stage on Saturday, October 13th, as he speaks about his work with passion. He will kick off TEDx Edina with a talk about how genetic research can change the lives of patients living with severe and rare neurological conditions. How did he find himself in this unique career? Matt studied neuroscience in college and has always been intrigued with how the brain works. After college, Matt worked as a biotech investor for more than a decade. In this role, Matt managed a hedge fund in Switzerland that made investments in biotech companies striving to develop new drugs to help patients. At times, Matt’s fund would bet against companies where he didn’t believe in the science. In one particular instance, when a company had an unsuccessful trial and the fund made money for its investors, instead of feeling elated, Matt felt terrible. Watching families who had hope that this trial would result in a cure for their child’s devastating condition sparked something in Matt. This desire to help patients live better lives drove Matt to change careers and focus his energy toward working with world-class researchers to find new solutions.  

Within six months, Matt left Europe and moved to Minnesota to join Upsher-Smith, a family-owned pharmaceutical company.  At Upsher, Matt led corporate strategy and efforts to find new treatments for patients. While Upsher was able to launch and develop new drugs in neurology to treat populations of people living with seizures, Matt wanted to find options for the underserved, smaller group of patients who remained below the radar of pharmaceutical companies because they were living with rare disease. Matt decided to focus his efforts toward helping these patients, so he started the company Pairnomix, to research the root cause of severe rare neurological conditions.  

Matt believes that in ten years, the healthcare field will embrace a new approach where each patient with a neurological condition has precise disease modeling.  This includes analyzing an individual’s genetic code, building a replica in a laboratory setting, and then running tests on this model to see what drugs may be able to reverse a patient’s neurological impairment. Making this approach to treatment affordable and accessible for patients is part of Matt’s commitment and focus. He does not shy away from obstacles with his inspiring, solutions-oriented approach. You do not want to miss Matt’s energy for this groundbreaking idea!