Ken Gabriel

CEO – BioForge

Kaigham (Ken) J. Gabriel is the inaugural CEO of BioForge, an organization— seeded with $100M in funding— to accelerate breakthroughs in the development and manufacturing of biologic precision medicines to speed their delivery, use and impact. He sits on the board of companies in a variety of industries—Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB), Galvani (a biomedical joint venture between GSK and Google), Dover Microsystems and Seegrid.

Most recently, he served as the founding COO of Wellcome Leap, an international organization working at the intersection of life sciences and engineering to deliver critical medical and health care innovations at accelerated timescales. In a little more than two years, Ken was central to launching 10 programs— ranging from artificial kidneys to resilient aging— with annual funding of more than $200M to more than 150 international research organizations.

For half a decade prior, Ken was the President and CEO of Draper—an MIT spin-off engineering company, notably famed for developing the Apollo guidance computer. He drove double-digit revenue growth for four consecutive years and increased the diversity and number of technical staff from 1500 to nearly 2000 personnel. Ken expanded the company’s offerings to include control and guidance for commercial space, autonomous vehicles & field robotics as well biomedical innovations in end-to-end cell therapy production for treatment of cancer, engineered human organs-on-a-chip platforms for drug discovery and the worlds first adaptive pediatric heart valve. Additionally, he spun out a number of start-ups, most recently Dover Microsystems, delivering hardware-based cybersecurity solutions and Dexai, fielding cognitive robots for the food service industry.

Prior to Draper, Ken was a Corporate VP and the founding co-lead of the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group at Google. Before that, he served as Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in the U.S. Department of Defense. Ken was a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo and was a tenured Professor in both the Electrical & Computer Engineering
department and the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

Ken has a doctorate in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is regarded as the “godfather” of MEMS. MEMS are miniaturized and integrated mechanical and electrical devices, which help cell phones orient themselves, air bags know when to fire, biomedical tools save lives, and makes a range of game-changing capabilities possible in smaller packaging. Ken’s MEMS work led him to co-found Akustica, a Pittsburgh start-up that pioneered digital silicon microphones and shipped more than 6 million units globally before the company was acquired by Bosch. Throughout his career, Ken has delivered game-changing innovations to the private sector, government and academia.

A World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer, Ken is a visionary behind the concept of disciplined innovation, a proven leadership approach which increases the likelihood for delivering breakthroughs in any sector.

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