David Macdonald’s come a long way from building weapons systems. After his start at Raytheon in his native Boston, he ventured into science and hasn’t left since. Now senior vice president of operations at Nanogen, Macdonald says his job will be “taking the technologies that have been developed here over the past eight years and turning them into products that we can commercialize.” Nanogen will be a leader in making routine clinical molecular diagnostics, he believes; it’s just a matter of selling.
Formerly president of two linked San Diego startups — one in animal fertility, one in human — Macdonald decided not to relocate when the firms moved to Israel. For about eight years before that, he headed up the Nichols Institute diagnostics division, which Corning bought and spun out as Quest Diagnostics.
Eager to stay in the San Diego area, “I sent a letter to Nanogen and they were intrigued by my background,” says Macdonald, who will focus on getting market share away from homebrew tests to carve out a niche for his company’s products.
— Meredith Salisbury