As the brand new director of the grants program on the Washington Research Foundation, David Shoultz joins at a novel time for a corporation devoted to accelerating innovation in science and know-how within the state.
As analysis establishments and firms all through Washington place a precedence on the response to COVID-19, WRF has acquired numerous grant functions that run the total gamut of concepts and applied sciences associated to the pandemic, together with digital well being apps, vaccines, diagnostics, and extra.
“The variety of COVID-19 associated functions speaks to the creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness of researchers working at our totally different analysis institutes in Washington state,” stated Shoultz, who’s our newest Geek of the Week.
However as compelling because the response has been, WRF doesn’t need grant candidates contorting their analysis focus simply to handle a COVID-19 angle.
“We’re nonetheless simply as fascinated by functions addressing Parkinson’s illness, clear vitality, surgical improvements, or wearables for individuals with visible incapacity,” Shoultz stated. “We proceed to take a world and long-term view in encouraging and contemplating grant functions on a wide range of subjects with potential industrial software.”
Initially from Hawaii, Shoultz moved to the Seattle space in 1986 to attend the College of Washington, the place he finally earned his PhD from the Faculty of Public Well being & Neighborhood Drugs in 1997. He later accomplished his MBA on the Albers Faculty of Enterprise & Economics at Seattle College.
An epidemiologist and longtime affiliate assistant professor on the UW with a background in world well being, Shoultz hung out on the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis, PATH and the Geneva Basis.
With regards to epidemics brought on by viruses, he’s struck by the humility of even probably the most completed consultants he has met alongside the way in which.
“We have to acknowledge how little we nonetheless know concerning the COVID-19 virus, how tough it’s to develop and distribute a brand new vaccine, and that even the most effective scientists are going to get vital issues fallacious alongside the way in which,” Shoultz stated. “We additionally need to acknowledge that we must always have been higher ready as a rustic.”
WRF is at the moment accepting functions for its Postdoctoral Fellowship via June 21. Annually, the group funds at the least 10 new postdoctoral researchers at eligible establishments in Washington state working in an array of STEM-related fields. For instance, Shoultz factors to the “fascinating, modern, and vital” analysis of Dr. Rossana Colon-Thillet on novel therapeutics in opposition to Hepatitis B virus (HBV) on the Fred Hutchinson Most cancers Analysis Heart.
“I feel that we are able to all respect the worth of latest anti-viral drugs proper now,” he stated.
Past science and tech, Shoultz is captivated with being within the mountains and waters of the Pacific Northwest. When not at work, he will be discovered snowboarding or snowboarding, crusing, or swimming in Lake Washington. He’s married to a pediatrician and stated he’s lucky to have two grownup sons who nonetheless stay and work within the PNW.
Study extra about this week’s Geek of the Week, David Shoultz:
What do you do, and why do you do it? I simply joined the Washington Analysis Basis to guide our grants program. We’re targeted on accelerating innovation within the sciences and know-how improvement in our state. We focus our funding on analysis that addresses vital wants in healthcare and different important areas that may have optimistic outcomes in Washington and past. I’ve labored within the personal sector, for different foundations (together with the Invoice & Melinda Gates Basis), and at non-profits (together with PATH and the Geneva Basis). In all of those roles, I’ve targeted on product improvement as a result of I consider that merchandise (as an illustration, new medicine, vaccines, and diagnostics) are how we make science and know-how related and significant in ways in which assist actual individuals meet wants and remedy issues.
What’s the one most vital factor individuals ought to find out about your area? Many individuals have a tendency to consider philanthropy and grants as “charity,” however I don’t. I see grants as being a type of funding that we make primarily based on a transparent mission and technique, rigorous standards, and the expectation of a return (albeit most frequently a non-financial return).
The place do you discover your inspiration? My inspiration comes from the hole between “what’s” and “what will be.” It’s probably the most vital issues that I picked up from Invoice and Melinda Gates in the course of the time that I labored on the Gates Basis. Expertise is critical however not ample for bridging that hole. And that leads proper again to why I do what I do at WRF!
What’s the one piece of know-how you couldn’t stay with out, and why? My Samsung Galaxy Buds wireless earbuds. They had been a present final Christmas from my spouse. Whether or not I’m working, biking, or simply on a telephone name, I really like not having to cope with the mess of tangled wires. For exercising, it helps that they appear to be fairly sweat-resistant, as effectively. And I just like the opalescent shade, as effectively.
What’s your workspace like, and why does it give you the results you want? Effectively … my actual workspace is on the WRF workplaces on Lake Union, and I’ve but to work there. My complete interview and hiring course of has taken place nearly (a primary for me), and I can’t wait to get to work from our workplaces and with our unbelievable crew of individuals at WRF. For now, I’m working from residence like so many different individuals in Washington state and profiting from it. However I’m somebody who actually believes within the worth of working collectively in-person and benefiting from all the important intangibles that brings; distant working will all the time be second-best for me.
In taking this image of my residence workplace setup, I seen that I’ve a Spanish Phrase-of-the-Day calendar nonetheless on my desk from final yr with the highest entry studying, “Estamos bajo la sombrilla” (“We’re beneath the parasol.”) It’s fairly apt for a way I’m feeling at this level in our response to the COVID-19 epidemic. I’m undoubtedly prepared to return out from beneath “la sombrilla” and get again to “la oficina”!
Your finest tip or trick for managing on a regular basis work and life. (Assist us out, we want it.) Outside train. I don’t thoughts the occasional journey to the fitness center, however I depend upon getting outdoors to ski, swim, bike, or run 5 – 6 days per week. I discover open-water swimming particularly enjoyable. I actually just like the single-minded focus that again nation snowboarding requires. I consider that it’s vital and helpful to step away from the constructed surroundings, to be challenged and to even be uncomfortable. I’m a giant fan of Kind 2 enjoyable. (Not aware of the Three Kinds of Enjoyable? Here’s a primer.)
Mac, Home windows or Linux? Home windows, I assume. I’ll admit that the cloud-based Workplace 365 platform is rising on me for its performance.
Kirk, Picard, or Janeway? Oh, this one is straightforward: Kirk. All day, daily. I grew up on the unique Star Trek sequence.
Transporter, Time Machine or Cloak of Invisibility? Transporter. Simply think about!
If somebody gave me $1 million to launch a startup, I’d … put it into an organization specializing in the prognosis and remedy of respiratory viral infections (together with SARS-CoV-2) primarily based on what we all know concerning the function of cytokines in responding to viral infections.
I as soon as waited in line for … hours to recover from the border from British Columbia to Washington state as a result of the Border Patrol brokers had been searching for contraband agricultural merchandise coming from the Whistler-Blackcomb space and I had skis on the roof rack of my automobile. No matter they had been searching for, I didn’t have it!
Your function fashions: Invoice Gates, Sr. He was one of many three founders of WRF again in 1981 and I had the possibility be across the Gates Basis with him from 2009 to 2014. He all the time demonstrated a basic perception within the significance, necessity, and worth of giving again that has already left an infinite legacy within the Pacific Northwest. He is without doubt one of the finest function fashions I do know for the straightforward thought of working to depart the world a greater place than once you discovered it.
Best sport in historical past: The U.S. males’s Olympic hockey victory over Finland in 1980. It was a turning level in trendy American historical past and a monumental second in 20th century sports activities.
Greatest gadget ever: It apparently wasn’t the Palm Pilot Vx that I believed was going to vary my life on the time.
First laptop: Commodore 64 with a MOS Expertise 6510 8-bit microprocessor.
Present telephone: Samsung Galaxy S8.
Favourite app: Audible.
Favourite trigger: Sail Sand Point, Seattle’s neighborhood boating middle. I’m on the board.
Most vital know-how of 2020: Zoom and different digital conferencing platforms.
Most vital know-how of 2022: A secure and efficient COVID-19 vaccine that’s obtainable globally, together with to individuals residing in low-income international locations.
Ultimate phrases of recommendation to your fellow geeks: It’s concerning the know-how. It’s not concerning the know-how. Instruments are solely as vital as what the person does with them.
Web site: Washington Research Foundation
LinkedIn: David Shoultz
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