Dr. Emil Kendziorra (Founder, Tomorrow Biostasis)
Dr. Emil Kendziorra is founder and CEO of the Berlin-based Tomorrow Biostasis GmbH and Board President of the European Biostasis Foundation, a nonprofit research foundation in Switzerland. He has a strong background in medicine, cancer research, and entrepreneurship. He has been CEO of multiple tech and medical companies, most recently as a founder of Medlanes (exit to ZAVA) and onFeedback (exit to QuestionPro). Emil graduated summa cum laude in medicine from the University Medical Center Göttingen—one of the leading medical schools in Germany—with a doctoral degree in translational cancer research. He’s a regular keynote speaker on the future of healthcare policy; the overlap of healthcare, science, and technology; and an advisor to insurance providers, hospital chains, and pharmaceutical companies on digitalization topics. Furthermore, he’s a mentor to a wide range of startups and (occasionally) an early-stage angel investor. Emil has decided to dedicate the next decades of his life to Medical Biostasis and cryomedicine.
Can you explain your job to a five-year-old?
Tomorrow Biostasis offers what is called "medical cryopreservation." Cryopreservation uses ultra-low temperature and specific cryoprotective agents to preserve organs or whole bodies and prevent degradation. Should one of our members/customers die, they have signed up to be cryopreserved after death for the chance that the disease that led to their death will be curable in the future and resuscitation will be possible. It's important to state that there is still a tremendous amount of research to be done to make this possible. So it's just a chance for now. In the end, we're working to give people a choice in how long they would like to live.
What excites you most about your job?
Almost everything! Getting involved in the longevity/life extension sector has been my plan since before going to med school. It's a very relevant, high-impact sector that has a lot of meaning apart from building a financially successful organization. In fact, a lot of what we do is very mission-driven, and I really enjoy working with employees and investors for whom making money is not the primary motivation.
Which trend will change the future of medicine?
On a larger scale, change in medicine is very slow. This is partly by design, as it's not a good idea to act fast and loose if lives are involved, and partly because the sector has a lot of ancient governance structures. So it's not really one trend but a steady grind to improve medicine. Some things I'm excited about are a relevant implementation of personalized medicine, good and comprehensive care path management, most things that go for value-based medicine, and a lot of biotech topics.
Looking back, which trends have you missed or underestimated?
I try to not think much about trends, and I’m not sure if I’ve missed anything. Rather the opposite, as I think I’ve usually been too early within the healthcare space, and things didn't develop as fast as I hoped or predicted.
Which MedTech initiative or startup deserves more attention?
A few things I think are important and deserve more: initiatives that try to solve (or better) the replication crisis, new models to incentivize and reward research, better science communication, and novel approaches to research publishing (e.g., DeSci, though this is quite difficult in detail).
Where would you put a million dollars?
If I'm allowed to keep it, I'll put it into my company or donate to our Swiss nonprofit research foundation. :) If not, see question 5!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Think more about what you want to achieve in the long run (≈30 years from now), and if this is a good reason to get up in the morning.