Emmanuel Edward Baetge, A Leader in Healthcare

11 10 2010

In 1974, Emmanuel Edward Baetge was just one of many Poway High School seniors, ready to explore what the world had to offer him, and he to offer to the world (Classmates.com).  Within four years, he had earned his BA in biology from the University of California and was off to Cornell University to earn his Ph. D. in molecular neurobiology, which he attained in 1983 (Luy, 2009).  Within twenty-five years, Dr. Baetge would grace the cover of Forbes magazine for his accomplishments in the studies of diabetes (Langreth and Herper, 2008).

After finishing his doctorial studies and internships, Dr. Baetge went to work with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, one of the businesses he had interned at (Luy, 2009).  Beginning as a researcher, he advanced to group leader of their Cell and Molecular Neurobiology division and originated their Alzheimer’s focus studies (Business Wire, 2001).  During his time with Bristol-Myers, he helped author patents for technologically advanced stem cell use methods for treatments for dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers (Baetge, Hammang, Reynolds and Weiss, 1991).

In 1992, Dr. Baetge was brought onboard at CytoTherapeutics Inc as Senior Director of Neuroscience, later promoted to Vice President of Research (Eustis, 1997).  In his five years with CytoTherapeutics, Dr. Baetge led the company to “establishing cell-based encapsulation systems and adult neural stem cell technologies (Business Wire, 2001).  He directed the research and submitted patents on more than five procedural methods involving the use of genetically engineered cells to deliver molecules to enhance neural, biological functions in mammals where functions were diminished due to failures or inactivity of molecules that were naturally occurring (Baetge, 1995).

Following his work with CytoTherapeutics, Dr. Baetge was brought onboard at Modex Therapeutics in Europe and developed an adult stem cell therapy product for the treatment of chronic ulcers, called EpiDex (The PharmaLetter, 2000).  EpiDex was the first of its kind, a non-surgical skin graft that caused the tissue to generate cells and was based on the studies that Dr. Baetge began in his time with CytoTherapeutics.

In 2001, Dr. Baetge moved back to the United States and went to work with Novocell, later their name became ViaCyte, as Senior Vice President, working to make them the world’s first company to create stem cell therapy for diabetes (Nestlé Health Science S.A. and Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, 2010).  His work put him in the lead for the first person to possibly find a cure for Type 1 diabetes through embryonic stem cells (Langreth and Herper, 2008).  He used his communication skills to work with pharmaceutical companies, raising over 60 million dollars towards research.  He discovered a means of converting stem cells into insulin producing cells and participated in the Harvard Stem Cell Institute Panel to discuss his findings and plans (The Science Network, 2009).  As a result, he was offered an adjunct professor position at the Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology School of Life Sciences in 2009 (Luy, 2009).

Then, last month, Nestlé, the candy conglomerate, hired Dr. Baetge to head up Nestlé Health Science and Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences, their newest business enterprises.  The businesses will be a research and development network, led by Dr. Baetge, to use biomedical science to find treatments and preventions for disease through the use of foods and beverages (InPharm, 2010).

Since 1979, Dr. Baetge has had more than fifty published articles in various medical journals, expressing his inventive theories and experiments and results in neurodegenerative disease studies (NIH, 1979-2009).  He has continued to educate himself and use his education to benefit the diseased since his high school graduation in 1974.  To me, it is admirable to know that this man, who was just another high school senior – 36 years ago, what he has managed to accomplish in such a small span of time.  As I was researching Dr. Baetge, I found it almost no surprise to see that in his separation documents from CytoTherapeutics, he had almost 200 hours of wasted vacation days that were left to cash in.  It is obvious to me that he has drive and determination that help him remain focused on the end result, rather than merely going through the motions of trial and error.  As I watched his oratory on the Harvard Stem Cell panel, I was moved by his rationale.  A guest asked him how he would select test subjects once able to test on humans, and as he thought about the potential long term effects, you could literally witness him processing the question and his answer before speaking.  He finally responded, saying how he felt it would be best to pick an individual with a relatively mild case of diabetes, so that should anything go awry they would have better survivability and organ transplant chances.

While I would never even begin to compare myself with his impacts on the greater good of mankind, I can see his focus in myself.  I tend to allow myself to become immersed in my interests, forgetting all else until I learn all I can or finish the goal I set out to bring to fruition.  Be it finishing a Grisham novel by staying awake for over 24 hours or working at home off the clock to perfect a series of macros and functions to make a database function appropriately – I’ve caught myself being distracted by a focus so greatly that I have no other distractions to tear me away.  Some would call it poor work-life balance.  I’ve improved on this, slightly, after my husband asked me once, “Are they paying you for all this time you spend at home thinking of work?”  And as I tried to research Dr. Baetge, I found myself drawn to his seemingly Type A personality, nodding along and comprehending it well.  And I only wish that in my thirty-four years of life I could say I have accomplished even a tenth of what this man has accomplished in the same span of time.



Works Cited

Baetge, E, Hammang, J, Reynolds, B, & Weiss, S. (1991, July 8). Patent number: 6497872. Retrieved from http://www.stemcellpatents.com/patents-categories-posts.php?category_id=1&order_by=date_of_first_priority&direction=ASC&num_of_rows=50

Baetge, E, Hammang, J, Reynolds, B, & Weiss, S. (1991, July 8). Patent number: 6294346. Retrieved from http://www.stemcellpatents.com/patents-categories-posts.php?category_id=1&order_by=date_of_first_priority&direction=ASC&num_of_rows=50

Baetge, E. (1995, May 25). Patent number: 5639275. Retrieved from http://ip.com/patent/US5639275

Baetge, E. NCBI, (1979-2009). (NIH Publication No. – Multiple). U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/759585

Business Wire. (2001, November 27). E. edward baetge, ph.d., joins cythera as chief scientific officer. Business Wire, Retrieved from http://www.allbusiness.com/medicine-health/diseases-disorders-endocrine/6190910-1.html

Classmates.com. Retrieved from http://www.classmates.com/directory/public/memberprofile/list.htm?regId=418733391

Eustis III, Frederic A. (1997, July 29). Employment letter to e baetge. Retrieved from http://contracts.thetabiz.net/Employment-Contract/Employmnet-Letter-CytoTherapeutics-Inc-E-Edward-Baetge.html

InPharm. (2010, September 29). Nestlé to pioneer ‘health science nutrition’. Retrieved from http://www.inpharm.com/news/nestl-pioneer-health-science-nutrition

Langreth, Robert, & Herper, Matthew. (2008, June 16). Training stem cells to produce what the body is missing. Forbes, 98, Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2008/0616/098.html

Luy, Florence. (2009, December 11). Emmanuel e. baetge becomes adjunct professor. Retrieved from http://actualites.epfl.ch/presseinfo-com?id=856

Nestlé Health Science S.A. and Nestlé Institute of Health Sciences. (2010, September). Cv emmanuel e baetge. Retrieved from http://www.nestle.com/Resource.axd?Id=ABB3E329-4D16-4677-8E56-0331473F36C4

Paddock, Catharine. (2008, February 21). Scientists use embryonic stem cells to make insulin-secreting cells in mice . Medical News Today, Retrieved from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/98051.php doi: 10.1038/nbt1393

Pollack, Andrew. (2008, February 21). Stem cell therapy controls diabetes in mice. New York Times, Health, Research.

The Canadian Press. (2010, September 27). Nestle to expand medical nutrition business. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2010/09/27/con-nestle-medical-nutrition.html

The PharmaLetter. (2000, November 2). Modex forges ahead with novel business strategy in cell-based therapies. The PharmaLetter, Retrieved from http://www.thepharmaletter.com/file/7093/modex-forges-ahead-with-novel-business-strategy-in-cell-based-therapies.html

The Science Network. (Producer). (2009, November 6). Stem cell research in diabetes and metabolism [Video Podcast]. Harvard Stem Cell Institute Panel. Retrieved from http://thesciencenetwork.org/programs/additional-stem-cell-related-interviews-and-panels/harvard-stem-cell-institute-panel




4 responses

28 12 2010

hey, nice weblog and good publish

11 01 2011


7 02 2011

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7 06 2011
Melani MOrison

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