Entrepreneurial success tips and the secret of aging with Dr. Misha Shchepinov

Event life and career advice from Dr. Misha Shchepinov

“You have to have to be sincere in your work, and strive to become an active participant in your field as soon as you can.” ~ Dr. Misha Shchepinov

Last week, we had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Misha Shchepinov during his visit to Queen’s University. Dr. Shchepinov is the Chief Scientific Officer and founder of Retrotrope Inc., a company aiming to “change aging as we know it”. During an intimate Q&A session, we asked him to share with us some of the lessons and tips he has learned since he took the entrepreneurial path more than 10 years ago. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. On becoming an pharmaceutical entrepreneur MS: “Once you’ve done the research and submerged yourself, at some point the facts will click (into place). In drug discovery you need to determine what others are not working on or something that others are not considering… Perhaps this idea holds the key. Perhaps, the greatest pleasure in the world is to be able to come up with something and when you talk to others about it, they say “Oh wow that’s interesting”.

  2. On taking your ideas to the next level MS: “A good indicator of a well-versed professional is someone who can go past the learning stage and engage with new material to begin participating in the conversation as an “influencer”. I would encourage everyone who wishes to continue in science to spend at least one day a week reading in the library (about interesting fields similar to yours). If you are only typing in keywords into search engines, you are limiting yourself from discovering new things. It is important to push yourself outside of the borders, at the learning stage as well as the creative stage that follows.”

  3. Read. Read. Read. MS: “Make time to keep up to date with new findings in the literature, and then you are open to changing and improving your own work and learning interesting things along the way. If you want to continue in research, it’s important to keep an open mind by reading as much as you can. By reading you can predict how your field is changing and adapting… And one day you may happen upon a new idea because you increased your scope”

  4. On positioning yourselves to become your own mentor MS: “Perhaps mentors could help you clarify your ideas, but only you can come up with your own path. …When things click, all of a sudden in your brain, and you realize how something works, fully, then you are having an ‘eureka moment’… Ultimately, when you are engaging with your research on a deep level, so much so that you don’t notice the hours go by, you are becoming your own mentor.”

  5. On the secret of aging MS: “So many studies have been conducted around the world looking at people who live to very old age, over 100 years. Of all the variables that have been measured, the one thing these people seem to have in common is that they just don’t care. These people have lived through terrible things, gone through hardships in their life, and they tell their stories, they do it with a smile on their face. The one thing that will help you live long is your attitude in life”

"The message is, once you come up with an idea which seems worthwhile [to you], only you can take a good care of the follow up, even if the path is [initially] thorny."

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