Look Who Google's Verily Is Hiring

Look Who Google’s Verily is Hiring May 4, 2016
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO – Google ’s life science division Verily has snapped up about 45 new employees with a range of skills that provide some insight into what the spinout company may focus its enormous, yet so far secretive, energies and resources on.

Verily is the first of Google’s many “moon shot” companies to stand alone under its new Alphabet umbrella. The San Francisco Times noted that Verily Life Sciences LLC. tapped employees with a wide range of skills, including software, hardware and sensor development engineers. While those may be seen as par for the course employees for a spinout of a tech giant, the company has also hired computational and cell biologists, the Times said. Many of the new hires have held previous spots with Google, particularly with its earlier healthcare initiative, Google X. However, Verily is also attracting employees from more established biotech companies such as Amgen , Abbott and Illumina . Some of the noted individuals who have signed on with Verily include Abbott’s John Hernandez, who is head of health economics for Verily and Jason Hipp, formerly of Bristol-Myers Squibb , who now heads the pathology department. Last year Jessica Mega, a prominent cardiologist at Harvard Medical School and the Brigham and Women's Hospital, has left to head up the Baseline Study of Google X and is now Verily’s chief medical officer, the Times said.

Verily is also looking to fill spots for an immunology scientist, a lead for robotic surgery engineer, a product manager for diabetes management, genomics scientist, clinical research lead, cell biology research associate and a phage display scientist.

While Verily has been a bit tight-lipped about the scope of its future plans, there are a few projects the company has shared with the public. Verily’s focus seems to be a combination of merging big data and healthcare, while at the same time developing various biological data monitors. Verily has developed several relationships with larger biotech companies, including Novartis , DexCom and Sanofi .

In September, Google teamed up with Novartis, one of the largest insulin makers in the world, to develop contact lenses to monitor blood glucose levels. The lens, as described on Jan. 16, 2014 on the official Google blog is “a smart contact lens that’s built to measure glucose levels in tears using a tiny wireless chip and miniaturized glucose sensor that are embedded between two layers of soft contact lens material.” The blog went on to indicate the company was testing prototypes that could create a reading every second and that might have integrated LED lights that would light up to warn the wearer when glucose levels were too high or low.

In August, Google and Paris-based Sanofi, another leader in diabetes therapies, teamed up on diabetes monitoring and treatments, although little was revealed about the partnership. Also in August, Google entered a partnership with DexCom to develop a Band-Aid sized wearable glucose monitor.

In January, Google and multiple sclerosis drug maker Biogen teamed up to research and address environmental and genetic factors that can cause the debilitating disease multiple sclerosis.

Earlier this year, Verily secured a large space for its future projects. The company snapped up the 400,000 square-foot space formerly occupied by Onyx Pharmaceuticals in the heart of San Francisco’s biotech industry.

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