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Gopi Shanker
Gopi Shanker Courtesy

And here is our regular feature in which we highlight a different person each week. This time around, we note that Beam Therapeutics hired Gopi Shanker as chief scientific officer. Previously, he worked at Tevard Biosciences as chief scientific officer and, before that, he was at the Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research, where he was head of neuroscience.


But all work and no play can make for a dull chief scientific officer. So in his spare time, Shanker likes to play Indian classical music on a bamboo flute, something he has done for nearly 30 years. “When I was 15, I attended a concert and fell in love with the sounds. And as I started training, I began to appreciate the depth and complexity,” he told us. “What I do is almost entirely improvised. You can have a fundamental idea of what you may want to play, but the idea is to bring out a mood or emotion. I find parallels with my life as a scientist. I take an idea and improvise and hopefully turn it into something tangible.” So does he perform outside his house? “Yes, but the performances are sporadic. I do so as the opportunities come along. I was a guest musician on an album released by an Indian rock group.”

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