The Guide Posts That Mark The Years Of Our Lives With Praveen Tipirneni


Developing your own work culture where you can develop people, as their boss, is the goal. This is why Praveen Tipirneni took the job as CEO of Morphic Therapeutic. He took the job because he took a leap of faith. He wanted to navigate through his employees by giving them humanity. He can only do that by being a leader. Praveen has been working in the science field for a long time, and he knew he was ready for all the challenges. Join your host, Tony Martignetti, and his guest Praveen Tipirneni on what it takes to be a leader. Learn how to create the right working culture for them. Take your leap of faith today.


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The Guide Posts That Mark The Years Of Our Lives With Praveen Tipirneni

Dr. Praveen Tipirneni is the President and CEO of Morphic Therapeutic, a company that is leading the way for developing new types of drugs for treating inflammatory diseases.

It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Dr. Praveen Tipirneni. He is the President and CEO of Morphic Therapeutic. Before becoming the CEO of Morphic, he was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Global Strategy at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a position which he held from 2002 until the company was acquired by Merck. In his time at Cubist, he was a member of the clinical group. He worked on Cubicin, which is their flagship antibiotic therapeutic. He was the Head of Business Development since January 2006.

Prior to joining Cubist, he worked at Sun Microsystems as well as Covad Communications in Corporate Strategy and Deltagen in business development. He also served time as a First Lieutenant in the US Army. He received a Bachelor's degree from MIT in Mechanical Engineering and an MD from McGill University. After completing his post-graduate residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Illinois, he received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business in Healthcare Finance. Praveen, I want to welcome you to the show.

Thank you, Tony. It's a pleasure to be here. You can say busy or confused, one or the other. I appreciate the opportunity.

I'm looking forward to it. You've accomplished quite a lot in your time. The great thing about what you're up to is you're always doing many different things. I feel like this even serves the full breadth of what you're up to. You build leaders in your industry and you're also doing things outside of work that are always intriguing. What we do on the show here is we highlight what's called the flashpoints in people's lives, points in your life that illuminated your gifts to the world. Along that way, we stop and look at what were the real themes that have been important in your life. As we unveil your story, I want to give you the chance to share what you're called to share. I know it's going to be illuminating and serve a lot of people by you sharing what is important to you and what has made you who you're now.

I look forward to it. This will be fun.

Praveen, I'll give you the floor. You can start where you would like to.

We met virtually for a number of years. When I first met you, you were just beginning your leadership consultancy. I would love to know what have you learned about being a full-time leadership consultant?

What I've learned is that there are many people out there who have amazing gifts to share. It's about going through their journey of figuring out how to get them out in the world. The more they're willing to get uncomfortable, the better that they become the leader they're meant to be. It's about taking risks, being okay with that and getting okay with failure. That's what I've seen most of all in the journey I've been on. There are a lot of people who are not satisfied with where they are in their life. They want more meaning. In that journey, it's about having someone to come along on the road, be the thought partner and share with them. I know that's something that's tricky but it has been a great journey for me.

Change happens. You just have to give it a chance to happen by opening yourself up to seeing what could be possible.

It's a fascinating transition there. All the things you said are very important things when people are thinking about their life and career. Have you found huge transformations? Does that take a long time or can that be done in one year?

There are tiny steps that start to reveal a lot and you can start to create some big shifts but it doesn't happen overnight. You can start to see things reveal themselves but then before you know it, you look back and say, "I can't believe how far I've come." It could be 6 months, 1 year or even longer but the reality is, change does happen before your eyes. You have to give it a chance to happen by opening yourself up to see what could be possible.

I appreciate that. That's a good segue into talking about the flashpoints. The first one that comes to mind is partially because I have kids that are high school age. One of the things that I come back to that took me a while to realize is that some of the things that you're doing when you're a young kid, let's say 10 to 12, oftentimes when you look back on it, those are the things you probably shouldn't be doing and in a time period when you're free, exploring the world and on this great growth path.

Things that are attractive to you and things that you're doing that you don't have to do, I found that was an important realization for me because this wasn't my parents. My parents were first-generation immigrants from India. They were completely shell-shocked. They came here with $4 each because they spent half of it at the airport store. They don't know anything about intramural sports or pushing the kids. We were on our own on all of it.

I started picking up when I was a youngster around second grade on Popular Science and Popular Mechanics. I tried picking up even Scientific American early on. I was not able to read Scientific American until I was a high schooler, which is an interesting realization for me that by high school, I could read Scientific American very fluently. By college, I could read Science and Nature. Going back to when I was a kid, the things that I was doing was going to a library and reading Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and Astronomy.

Science and Technology attracted me from a very young age. That is what started opening up to me. As an adult, I couldn't ignore it anymore because what happened was I was planning on being a doctor. I grew up in a South Indian urban environment where every mother wishes their son was a cardiologist and it was hard to disappoint my mom. It was that parental influence. I was planning out being an orthopedic surgeon and went to MIT. Mechanical Engineering was partially a path to being an orthopedic surgeon.

What happened was when I went to MIT, there was a huge socialization process with all the amazing people there and professors. You're seeing many different things on the Biology and Engineering sides. Every summer, I did research in the manufacturing lab. I did it in Dr. David Housman's lab, which was the Center for Cancer Research. It's all kinds of different research at that time. I was excited about Technology and Science. I was still immature from a depth standpoint. I didn't know what to do with all that and I kept going to medicine.

In the end, when I was applying for orthopedic surgery and I got in, that's when I started to realize that I was not feeling the calling to be a surgeon. To be a surgeon, you have to be completely 100% dedicated. I pulled my applications. I went to internal medicine, which was much broader and I thought, "Let me start there. I wasn't ready to specialize yet." I loved my residency. It was fantastic. The people were phenomenal. It was among the best years of my life. The growth spurt that you go through during those years in your late twenties was phenomenal.

By the end of the residency, while I enjoyed medicine, I was wondering if I could sustain it for an entire career. I thought, "At this time, it was fantastic but I didn't know 5 or 10 years down the road." All these other interests were popping up in research and technology. I was looking at my options at that point. I was still single. My friends at this point were making their way through the MBA schools. They thought that might be a good way to expand my horizons.

I didn't know what I wanted to do with it. Biotech and pharma weren't even on the radar. I didn't know anything about it. I was thinking maybe a hospital administrator. I wasn't sure. I applied to the schools and got into a few of them. Wharton Healthcare Finance was considered one of the best. I went there. Another socialization process of seeing all these people, the venture capitalists. I heard the term VC in my MBA. Initially, when someone told me VC, I was thinking Viet Cong. I was like, "What is a VC?" In the army, that's what we call a VC. I never even heard the term before.

I started hearing about Venture Capital. The pharma companies were recruiting us too. In some ways, that's how the pharma part happened. They go through the resume and start calling people that they like. That's when that came on my radar screen but that's when I was trying to make a decision about where to go from there. My technical abilities were better suited to medical devices. One of the things that's interesting here is that you have to find your people, the people that you feel comfortable with. For me, I felt comfortable around scientists.

It's partially a function of them being older and most of them have postdoc. The environment is different than a medical device company. In a medical device company, it's a serious enterprise and important one but it's more akin to tech in a way. It's a little younger. It's moving in that direction but it's not quite as rigorous from a study standpoint. I was a closet academic in a way. Those kinds of people attracted me. Those are the people that I admire and like hanging around with. That's when I started seriously thinking about biotech and pharma as a path forward.

First and foremost, I can tell from the way you're telling the story and what I've known so far is that the curiosity drove you to where you're at this point in your story. It was curiosity around particularly technology and all types of technology. You started broad and now you're like, "I got to figure out how to narrow that down." Also, you're continuing to pick up all of these different skills by getting the MBA. That's leading you down this path of like, "What I'm learning now is not just focused on technology but it's about bringing technology and the right people together."

There are people because I know college classmates of mine, even in my fraternity, who knew exactly what they wanted to do in college. I don't think it's common but it does happen. They have a huge advantage because you know what you want to do at that young age. They were TAs by their junior year in college, getting into grad school, but it's rare. For most of us, we are still young and trying to navigate. That was the case for me that I had lots of interests and curiosity. I did research on the tech, manufacturing and life sciences side. I could program since I was a kid from that interest.

It's interesting when you're applying for MBA. By this time, when I was applying for my MBA, I was in my late twenties. MBA is like a story that you planned out your life and you went from this place to this place. You're stepping toward your impact and forging that story when you're feeling your way through the whole thing, zigging, zagging and correcting. That's not the story you write on an essay to apply for school but that is the way it all works.

There's reality and there's what you put into the essay.

If you don't know what you want to do in life, find your people. Find the people that you feel comfortable with.

I do think for me, it was much more zigging and zagging. By making decisions, it's figuring out what you like and don't like. By saying, "I don't want to do this," and then, "I do want to do this," when you have the opportunity, that's how I was navigating toward what I wanted to do. It doesn't go away in the sense that after Cubist was acquired and trying to figure out what to do next, at this point, I was 45. It's the same thing in the sense that you knew you wanted to make an impact.

Now, you knew that you're feeling your mortality a bit and being 45. Here, you're like, "I don't know how many cycles are left here," but still, they're trying to narrow down the set of options. It was by interviewing for a whole bunch of things, getting offers, saying no to that, see what is attractive and both energizing. At that moment, that's how I was navigating that whole system.

You made me think of something that I wanted to share. I always talked about how if you expand your vision and narrow your focus, you open up your universe to more possibilities because there are many things that you could do with that moment. "Once I've identified the possibilities, how can I go in and execute?" That sounds like where you were at that moment of, "Now what? I need to think about what other possibilities that I could open up. Once I do, how do I make sure that I narrow it down to the things that I'm capable and wanting to do?"

A good way to think about it is making sure you have the full long-range view of all your set of options and then having a method to figuring out what energizes you to narrow in on the thing that you want to do.

Tell me what happened then. We did fast forward a little bit but it's fine.

I can rewind a bit. Even going back to some of the things that we talked about, this one story is worthwhile for jumping into situations. You're scared of them, but you take them on. When I initially went to Cubist Pharmaceuticals, I got hired into the business development group but within the first couple of weeks, I was put into the clinical group because they didn't have enough MDs and we were nearing the MBA time period.

A few weeks after that, I was put on a plane to the FDA by myself to navigate our phase three data sets with the agency. I had to still remember that day as I was walking through the hallways of Cubist. I was scared because I knew studies but it was my first pharmaceutical set of studies and they are a little bit different. I remember Mike Bonney. He wasn't the CEO at that time. He was the President. Frank Tally, who was the Chief Scientific Officer, is the godfather of Cubicin. I happened to see both of them as I was walking out and they saw that I was white.

I thought, "The future of the company is on my shoulders right here and that would be the phase three datasets." They were extremely supportive and said, "Do your best." You just jump into it. I could have said, "No. I'm not trained. I'm in the business development group. That's where I got hired," but this is what the company did. In retrospect, it was a great opportunity. At that time, you were mortified but you jumped into it and learned. Going through that process and opened up a huge set of opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise.

There's a quote I think of is, "Jump before you're ready," because if you wait until everything is perfect, you're never going to take that leap. Nothing ever gets perfect.

Even when you're starting and joining companies, at some point, there's no perfect opportunity. You have to make a decision and go with it. There are people that spend years looking for the best opportunity. By that time, probably half a cycle of a career is done. You have to think, "What can you make of this opportunity, learn out of it, who you meet going through it and then jump in?"

I want to fast forward a little bit and play around with your story. Tell me the journey to get into Morphic. What got you there?

I was trying to decide what to do next right after Cubist was acquired. I was trying to avoid the CEO role mainly because my kids were still young and I was thinking to myself that, "When they go to college, then I could think about the CEO role. Time is limited. Let me spend it with them." There was an opportunity and a couple of things changed my mind there. One was Gustav Christensen who was the Chairman of the Board and the CEO of Dyax at that time and a mentor to me. I didn't know him super well but we would have dinner once a year. When I was having dinner with him when I was looking for some mentorship and advice from him, the meeting he had right before was with another person who was in their late 50s.

One of the quotes he made to Gustav was, "I'm having a difficult time getting a job because all the venture capitalists are in their 40s and they're seeing me as older." That had an impact on me and got me thinking, "Maybe these opportunities aren't always available for me and there is a time for these opportunities. I'm in my 40s. A lot of these venture capitalists are my friends around my age. They're semi-peers at this point, a lot of them."

Although I was thinking to myself, "What's the difference? Do we have ten years from now?" Maybe that's not the right way to think about it and there is a time limit to these things. Gustav told me that, "Nobody wants a first-time CEO that's older. Even if you fail the first time, people would typically prefer that to a first-time CEO." It hit me that maybe now is my time and this time won't come back. All the things came together and I needed to grab them.

That's when I started swinging my job search back to CEO positions and then it's like, "What type of company do you want? What can you get even on top of it?" I was not a proven entity and would be a first-time CEO. Also, this was a time period of CRISPR gene therapies and all these very hot technologies. You have to think about what it is that you want to accomplish because the thing that energizes me looking at different opportunities was eventually I got to the point where I felt excited and energized about building a scientific culture.

One of the things that I enjoyed about at Cubist was developing people. I enjoyed my team. A lot of them went on to do great things. Those are the things that were energizing to me. I started looking for a vehicle for that. That veered me away from the gene therapies and CRIPSRs because those technologies were so new, cutting-edge and super exciting stuff. I knew a lot of them. The nature of the technologies is so reactive because there's something new every week that I didn't know if I could be thoughtful about building a culture, especially a first-time CEO on top of it.

What energizes you will be the impact you make on others.

Morphic, which has happened to be the first company that I met with. Kevin Bitterman was at Polaris at that time. I told him, "The technology chapter would be right from the get-go. It was this first thing I'm looking at." I can't jump into the first thing I'm looking at. Once all these dots started connecting, then I thought Morphic. "This looks like what I'm looking for." I went back to Kevin and said, "I would like to throw my hat in the ring."

The thing I liked about Morphic was that first of all, it is Chemistry. We know a lot about Chemistry. It's no less risky but in some ways, we know this works a little bit. The targets are risky still but we've had 50 years of experience with small molecules. We know a lot of what the surprises and risks are. At least, I felt while no less risky, I could be more thoughtful here. There are lots of experienced people in these areas that I can hire. I'm not going to be jumping from one company emergency to the next. That's when that all came together. I threw my hat in the ring. I didn't know any of the Morphic folks. I didn't know Kevin, the founder, Tim Springer and the inventor Albert Lin. This was purely interviewing. We got along well and then I accepted the position at Morphic when it was a three-person company that was incubating in the Polaris offices.

The other part of the story that people have to think about is that what it is that they want to do because other people were telling me, "Why would you go to Morphic? You're not a discovery scientist. You're starting from scratch essentially. You're much more clinical and business development." I thought to myself I was looking long-term. I wasn't looking for a quick hit. The opportunity to start a culture from the get-go was exciting to me. I felt more comfortable crafting the environment from scratch rather than jumping into something and then trying to convert it to what is suitable for you.

There's something about the way you described that. I'm thinking about it's not just sweats on paper or what you see out in front of you. It's about searching back into who you are and what you've built and truly reflecting on what you're bringing to the table, but also casting forward and saying, "I'm seeing the future and what I can do with this based on what I've done in the,” past and appreciating all that you've done in the past and knowing what you're bringing to the table. That's what a lot of people do when they're in this place of flux or big decision point, they don't take the time to go inside and think, "Who am I to be doing this? Is this the right thing for me?" It takes a lot of that back and forward-thinking to truly see, "Is this the right opportunity?" That's what I reflect on what you were saying.

I do think that it's hard, especially when you're younger but there will come a time when you know that time is running out. It's not like your career is ending tomorrow. There's still plenty of time, but you know there is a clock ticking. Your energy levels won't be the same as they had been when you were younger. You have more responsibilities. This time will come later for some people and earlier for others. Chances are that what will energize you will be the impact you make on others rather than anything that you can do for yourself. It takes some level of maturity. It took me a little while but that is the recipe ultimately. In some ways, that is the lesson of almost every religion and culture that we tend to look inside, but eventually, you're probably going to find the answer outside on what impact you make on others.

I want to shift gears a little bit to something slightly different and ask. What has been the most emotionally challenging part of your journey to get into where you're now? That might evolve a story.

One thing that immediately comes to mind is that when I finished my residency. I told you that my mother wanted me to be a cardiologist. My dad wanted me to be a doctor and I was applying for MBA schools. My mom was upset about it. My dad didn't even talk to me for a while. He got over it eventually. Some people can do it. Some people can do medicine, business or all these things at the same time.

I had this view again. It's probably from something when I was younger that to succeed at something, you have to close doors. I wasn't the one who thought I can do everything under the sun at the same time. I knew that to succeed, I needed to close some doors. My entire constitution, what I studied for at that time was to be a doctor, but I knew that it was something else that was calling me. To give that up was hard. My family didn't understand it. My friends understood me but it was very tough to close doors.

At one point, I said that, "This is the last patient I'm going to see." That was a conscious decision because I knew that to be good at anything, you can't do everything. For me, it's somewhat of a military metaphor, but I had to burn the bridges behind me to know that I was going into something else. It was emotionally scary. I didn't know the right answer. I could easily have failed and regretted it, but I knew that there was no other way. There are some special people that are able to manage that better, but for me, I knew that I couldn't do it all.

That was well put that you had to burn the bridges, put that behind you and then move forward into the unknown. There's an element of also improv like the yes, and. You're doing things now that are still saving patients, make a meaningful impact and purpose in your world and have a ripple effect too because of the work you do inside of your organization. I've seen it firsthand in the sense that you want to help emerging leaders and the people in your team not just to have a job but to become the leaders that they're meant to be. From that perspective, you're constantly having a ripple effect on people around you. That is where you're wanting to have an impact to be in the place where you can help patients and people. It's there every day.

Ultimately, it's important that we are affecting the patients and this could be a transformational drug for a group of patients. In the near term, what you're seeing is, "What is the impact you're having on your employees?" That's what drives you is that there's a humanism of people behind everybody. They're going home to their kids and wife at the end of the day. "Are they going to go home happy or in a bitter mood? How are they growing?" We had the five-year anniversary of Albert who is a founding employee. These are probably the two people that were there before me. I knew Blaise who is the Head of Chemistry.

At the five-year, I would say, "Look at Albert and Blaise. Over five years, look at who they were and who they are now." Seeing that growth of who they were is enormously satisfying. That's the legacy that I look at. There are these people at their time at Morphic, hopefully, was impactful as it has been, but there is a life after Morphic that they will have. What kind of impact that they're having going forward afterwards is important to me.

I love that sentiment and when people believe in their people. That's important. I want to shift gears to something different and talk about what are the lessons that you want to make sure that people know from your story to help them on their path to become the leaders they want to be. Anything comes to mind, 2 or 3 things that you think are important that you live by or anything that you feel is important that hasn't been said yet.

Amir Nashat was a Managing Director of Polaris. He is on our board now but he came on when Kevin left. I interviewed with Kevin, but right before being offered the position, I met with Amir. When I sat down in his office, one of the first questions I asked him was, "You've been around a long time with lots of CEOs. What do they complain about? What are their issues?" He said, "They all say that they're lonely." It's interesting because in the first couple of years, I didn't quite feel that. There's a time when it does come where you are going through a set of decisions that only you can go through it.

The reason I bring it up here is it's not just CEOs. It's everybody where you are your own unique individual. There are times when you can get all the advice you want from everybody, your friends, peers, parents and bosses, but ultimately, that decision in where you go and what you do is a lonely individual decision. That's okay. You can feel lonely. In some ways, you are the only one that can make that decision. That's the impact that you are going to have going forward.

One lesson is there are times when you'll be lonely where it's an important decision. You can get all the advice you want but it's ultimately you reflecting by yourself on what's important to you, what do you want and then making that choice and stepping into it. It doesn't matter what everybody wants of you. It's either, "What do you want to do? What energizes you?" One of them is that don't be afraid of that. There are times when you have to be by yourself and make the choice that's right for you. People are afraid of that.

To be good at anything, you can't be good at everything.

There's something about that says that sometimes you have to go it alone but know that you're not alone. Meaning that you're not the only one feeling that way.

That's exactly what it's like. Everybody goes through that. That's one. The other thing is not a big revelation. Certainly, everyone eventually gets this. You realize, especially in our industry in Life Sciences, that it's all about people. Some leaders might be able to manage through tasks in some very defined situations but it's pretty rare. In any technical situation where there's uncertainty, especially in drug discovery where there are some events that happen that can change the whole trajectory because of some data, either positive or negative, the only way to navigate through these situations is through people. It's not through tasks. Keeping that most in your mind that the only people who can get you out of trouble and create the opportunity for you are the people around you.

Oftentimes, the things that we think of our tasks are not really because they're about people. It does all the time. Something new or different that you didn't expect is going to happen. The only way to navigate through that is by the people that you have. It's investing in those people and trusting them. When you're coming out of school, you think it's about your Excel spreadsheet and technical skills. In school, everyone tells you that it's ultimately about the people. Everyone goes through a path but eventually, that's where you are.

It's funny because this has resonated so much through all the conversations I've had so far in pretty much all the conversations on the Campfire community. The right people around you are important. A lot of people feel like you can do it all yourself. Nothing great happens by one person doing it alone. There are elements of one person starting a movement. I always think of Gandhi of how amazing the person is but he had to have people who believed in what he was doing to come along on his journey. That is where the people come into a community. You can start something but you can't finish it without people. What is one book that has had a major impact on your life and the way you think?

Let me preface that. When you think about books especially, you have to be careful because the impactful book for me may not be the impactful book for you. Part of the reason for that is that the book has to come at the right time in your life and when you're reading it too. Steve Jobs and other people have said it too. In terms of music, your music appetite shuts down by your mid-twenties. All your favorite songs for the rest of your life are going to be those that you heard between 15 and 25.

That is the case with me. For a lot of people, that is the case. I don't think it's so much the song. It's that you heard the song at a time when you were in this growth phase when it was an impactful time for you. Books are like that as well. This particular book is called Moonwalking with Einstein. I don't know if you've ever heard of it. It's by a journalist called Joshua Foer. I was approaching 40 and I read this book. This book, to make the long story short, is he was a journalist covering the World Memory Championships. There's a World Memory Championship where people can memorize three decks of cards in twenty seconds. My kids never forget this. We went to go see the World Memory Championships in New York. I forgot the date and I was wrong by a week. We went to New York in the wrong week. They always remind me of that, even ten years later.

This is a book about memory. One of the things he said in there is that, "Your memory has to notice the differences. If this year is like next year, then your mind can't distinguish those years. It just looks like a blur." If you want the sensation and feeling of a long life, you have to put guideposts in the ground each year to mark that year so that your mind can distinguish year-to-year. I'll tell you some of the examples for me. People are like, "I can't do extreme things like that." It doesn't have to be extreme. It could be with your spouse or kid. You're putting guide posts down for that particular year.

As I was approaching 40, every year since then, that hit me when I read that book. I assembled all my friends. These were friends from high school, medical school, college, business school and residency. They're people from all over the place and assembled them. Every year, we've taken a trip since then for 1 year to 18 months. Sometimes it's not every year. It has been things like we have climbed an active volcano. We have done Rickshaw Races in India. We have done the craziest stuff every year. Everyone likes that kind of stuff. It's not a real secret but I like journeys.

For me, that had a real impact, both from the standpoint of it brought my friends together and they all thanked me for that. These were friends across generations that we're very close now. In that ten years, we got married and separated. Now, it's always a continuous dialogue. Those years from 37 to 50 are probably in my mind more significant than those years before it because I spent so much energy on making sure each year matters and that I could distinguish year-to-year.

I feel as we're coming to an end, we're just stretching the surface of all the layers of who and what you're all about. There's one thing I can recommend people to do is to follow you on Twitter because you have so many great things that you share about your journey and things that you're up to. That's definitely what I'm going to recommend.

Also, I can say the same on you truly because of the time issue and not anything else. I've learned to say no to these podcasts from a pure time standpoint. I've seen the journey that you've been on and that has been great to watch as well. That has been impactful for me. That's why when you said, I said, "Yes, I will do this."

This has been amazing. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing all the great insights and your stories. I want to also give people an opportunity to know where they can find you if they wanted to find out more information. They can find more information about Morphic Therapeutic at their website, but for Praveen specifically, where can they find you?

The easiest way is @PTipirneni on Twitter or LinkedIn. If you would like to email me, that's fine. It’s at

Thank you to the readers for coming along this journey. I hope you're leaving with some amazing insights and I know I am. I'm thrilled to have you on this journey. Praveen, thank you again.

Thanks for your time, Tony. I appreciate it.

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About Praveen Tipirneni

Praveen Tipirneni, MD is President and CEO of Morphic Therapeutic Inc.  Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Corporate Development and Global Strategy at Cubist Pharmaceuticals, a position in which he served from 2002 until the company’s acquisition by Merck in 2015. In his time at Cubist, he was a member of the clinical group working on the Cubicin NDA (skin and skin structure infections) and sNDA (Staph. Bacteremia and Endocarditis) teams. He was head of business development since January 2006.

Prior to joining Cubist, Dr. Tipirneni worked at Sun Microsystems in corporate strategy, Covad Communications in Corporate Strategy, and Deltagen in business development. He also served time as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Dr. Tipirneni received a bachelor’s degree from MIT in mechanical engineering and an M. D. from McGill University. After completing his post-graduate residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago, he received his MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business in healthcare finance.

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