He is famous for his founding roles at Facebook and Napster, but these days the billionaire philanthropist Sean Parker is turning his attention to fighting cancer. Three years ago, he announced a $250 million investment to build teams of scientists for immunotherapy research, one of the hottest fields in taking on cancer.
In an interview with STAT last week in his hotel suite overlooking Central Park, Parker spoke intensely about his belief that the government needs to move far more aggressively in investing in biotech, life sciences, and health care. He returned repeatedly to the subject of job creation in those fields. And he said it was urgent that China not eclipse the United States in scientific innovation. This interview was edited and condensed for clarity.