Patrick Soon-Shiong: SA’s billion-dollar genius
Patrick Soon-Shiong has found international success by upending the way we think about health. Now he’s decided to return to SA to give back to the country of his birth
Dollar billionaire, cancer-drug inventor, surgeon and modern-day renaissance man Patrick Soon-Shiong likes to draw detailed but somewhat unintelligible pictures of the immune system. They’re somewhere between a mind map and a doodle, and he gives them catchy names, such as "dance of the proteins".
Speaking at the virtual Wits Botlhale Orenstein memorial lecture last week, the SA-born polymath said he didn’t expect anyone to actually read the "crazy map". But he did want them to understand his theory that, by learning how the immune system works — down to the smallest molecule — you could harness its power by, for example, manufacturing immune cells to kill cancer...