Clay B. Siegall Discusses His Career Path and the Progress in Cancer Research

Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., has contributed a lot to the research of cancer-related therapies for the last two decades. The founder, CEO, president, and board chairman of Seattle Genetics has been on the front line in the development of antibody-drug conjugates among other scientific research. Ideamensch featured him on April 14 of this year. From the feature, a few issues regarding his life came into the limelight.

Motivation behind Seattle Genetics

The idea of founding Seattle Genetics has a deep and painful history. Clay’s father was diagnosed with cancer and later succumbed when Clay was still a teenager. That painful experience made the young man develop an interest in finding solutions to cancer disease. In his mid-20s, he had established that there existed an acute shortage of oncologist knowledge at the time. He felt that that situation had to change.

By the time he completed his Ph.D. in genetics from the eminent George Washington University, he had acquired enough knowledge to kick-start his research career. He joined the Pharmaceutical Research Institute at Bristol-Myers Squibb and sharpened his managerial and research skills. With that, he quit the organization to start Seattle Genetics.

A Bright Future

Clay is optimistic that the future is bright as far as oncology research is concerned. He told Ideamensch that for the 30 years that he has been in the industry, he has never been more optimistic than he is today. He said that cancer patients are in a better place to access treatment than they ever have been.

As a researcher and entrepreneur, Clay Siegall had a word of advice for other entrepreneurs and especially the youth. He cautioned that the know-it-all attitude is detrimental to personal and career development. In order to develop as a person, Clay advised that it is of paramount importance to interact with knowledgeable people so as to learn from them.

Clay Siegall’s Professional Life

Clay Siegall is based in Seattle, Washington, D.C. He spent his first three years of his career at National Institutes of Health before joining Bristol-Myers Squibb in 1991. He has more than 70 published scientific papers, and he has 15 patents to his name.

In his leadership role at Seattle Genetics, Clay Siegall has achieved a lot. He has led the company in rounds of public and private financing that yielded close to a $1 billion. The firm has also developed several drugs that have been approved by U.S. FDA.