Tech Tonics: Sean Khozin, Attuned To Data Science

February 3rd, 2020 |
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After escaping the revolution in Iran, Sean Khozin found his way to the United States, harmonizing his passion for patients and data into a career that’s led him into startups, the FDA, and most recently J&J, where he’s now Global Head of Data Strategy – all while pursuing his love of music.

The phrase “it’s complicated” tends to be overused, but it hardly seems to do justice to Sean’s journey.  Sean was born in Tehran, a son sandwiched between two daughters.  Life for Sean’s family changed after the Revolution; the arrest of his dad, a political scientist, suggested it might be a good time to emigrate, which the entire family eventually did.  Sean, while in high school, initially went to live with relatives in Turkey, then came to the United States, where his family reunited in Maryland.   Sean completed high school in the US, and attended the University of Maryland, studying neurobiology and music theory, and traveling extensively on the side to NYC to pursue his passion for music composition and performance (especially classical guitar).

After a pre-doctoral fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and obtaining an MPH, Sean went to medical school, but was surprised by how unscientific so much of medicine was as compared to science.  After receiving his MD, he took at detour into entrepreneurship for several years, before being seduced back into medicine, completing a fellowship in oncology at the NCI, drawn by the promise he could pursue sophisticated analytics, inspired by the intellectual activity that was occurring in DC at the time, in particular the work of Todd Park and Aneesh Chopra.

After his fellowship, Sean transitioned to the FDA, where he developed and championed the “INFORMED” initiative, which he’s described as “an incubator for driving innovations in agile technology, digital health, and data science to advance public health.”  Late last year, Sean left DC for J&J, where he’s now head of data science strategy, and has the chance to work with some of the smartest and most decent people in the industry, including J&J’s head of R&D Mathai Mammen, (an MD/PhD classmate of David’s).

Tech Tonics is grateful to Manatt Health for its sponsorship of the show.  Manatt Health is a multi-disciplinary professional services firm that includes a full service law firm and a broad-based strategic business and policy consulting practice to help clients grow and prosper.  Manatt Health supports the full range of stakeholders in transforming America’s healthcare system.

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Posted in: Audio Podcast, Healthcare, Tech Tonics, Technology