John Sadler likes software, plain and simple. He’s tried different functions and found life sciences the most fulfilling — the lure is both social value and “the meatiness of the problems,” he says.
Sadler will now tackle those meaty problems at Entigen, where he’s the new senior vice president of engineering. He’ll run the department in Entigen’s Silicon Valley and Australia offices. Entigen’s software products focus on flexibility, allowing customers to choose their own applications for bioinformatics and sequence analysis. “My job is to make that happen in the form of a system that can be delivered to pharmaceutical, biotech, and academic environments,” Sadler says.
He believes that Entigen’s approach is unique in its ability to really accommodate users’ choice of applications. “A lot of companies have stumbled on selling a platform for bioinformatics and found that when they try to go to a biotech or a pharma, they immediately get a request to integrate legacy data. In general, that’s awfully hard to do,” Sadler says. “This company was formed to do that directly.” Entigen doesn’t warehouse data, he adds, but leaves it in place and taps into it from there.
Sadler, 42, comes to the company from a business-to-business portal called auntminnie.com, which provides information for medical imaging professionals. “Aunt Minnie” is an in-joke for radiologists, he explains. “In radiology and pathology, an Aunt Minnie is an image with an idiomatic diagnosis.”
The technology used to analyze such images was similar to the microarray technology Sadler developed while working at Hewlett Packard (now the Agilent spinoff), where he was involved with producing the original scanner for Affymetrix’s microarray.
So how does Sadler describe his new job? Depends on who’s asking, he says. “For my grandmother, I would say I help make software for drug discovery. And I hope that she doesn’t ask me what software is,” he jokes.
— Meredith Salisbury