From Nyala to Mars: Dr. Sebastian Giwa (’09-’15) Unpacks How Far Emerging Biotechnologies Can Take Us

In the first Bridgewater alumni network in person conversation since launching the network, Dr. Sebastian “Seb” Giwa (‘09-15) joined Seth Birnbaum at Nyala to unpack the question that’s driven him since his time at Bridgewater: “How to positively impact a billion people?”

Seb has answered that question through a farsighted intersection of biotechnologies and logistics. His public benefit corporation, Sylvatica Biotech, is developing cryogenic preservation technology to enable long term organ storage and open the possibility of organ matches from anywhere in the world. Through the “control of biological time” Seb is tackling a problem that impacts 900,000 people in the U.S. alone every year. “We can go from a world…where there is a massive gap between how many transplants are needed, to a world where there’s an abundant number of organs,” Seb explained.

While at Bridgewater, Seb served in Senior Investment Associate roles in Client Service and Trading. He has become a serial entrepreneur and in addition to Sylvatica, has founded/co-founded Ossium Health, Elevian, and the Organ Preservation Alliance / Biostasis Research Institute. When asked how his time at Bridgewater has shaped his experience as a founder and entrepreneur, Seb says: “A lot of the initial success came from re-examining the assumptions, thinking from first principles, and re-assembling the story once when we had looked at things truly objectively.”

While today he is mostly focused on saving lives of people who are sick, down the line, Seb sees the possibility that the technologies can help extend the healthy lifespans and longevity of everyone. It’s possible, Seb says, that right now, “the last generation to suffer from age-related disease and even die before you choose to die might actually be alive”.

The end scope can mean anything from the capacity to put astronauts on missions to Mars into biostasis to enabling human civilization to expand to other star systems.

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