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Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw Launches Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Latest Book In B’lore

The book launch was attended by luminaries from the tech world, including Rekha Menon (Chairperson and Senior Managing Director at Accenture in India) and Nivruti Rai (Country Head, Intel India and VP & GM, Automotive Solutions Group, IFS at Intel Corporation).

Photo Credit : Rohit Chintapali

Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, oncologist and cancer researcher Dr Siddhartha Mukherjee’s latest book ‘The Song of The Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human’ was unveiled on Wednesday by Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Executive Chairperson, Biocon and Biocon Biologics Ltd. 

The book unveiling was followed by an insightful fireside chat between the Biocon Chairperson and Dr Mukherjee, at the Museum of Art & Photography (MAP), Bengaluru. 

The fireside chat threw light on the exciting and evolving field of gene and cell therapies, which is a group of technologies that promises to revolutionise medicine through their potential to heal hitherto incurable diseases. The chat also peered into the future of modern medicine and its transformational potential in helping humanity enjoy longer and healthier lives.

Commenting on the book, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said, “Siddhartha Mukherjee’s ‘The Song of the Cell’ is a priceless chronicle of how scientists discovered cells, how they began to understand cell biology, and are now using that knowledge to usher in revolutionary changes through biomedicines. Siddhartha brings his own experience as a scientist, a doctor and a brilliant writer in telling this fascinating story of cells, which are the basic structural and functional units of every living organism. 

“An immaculately researched book, it inspires the reader to delve deeper into the mysteries of cellular science. It also inspires the reader to hope for a better future as greater understanding of cellular science is helping unravel the diseases that still afflict us and our ability to treat them. I believe it should be a prescribed textbook in every high school,” she added. 

Mukherjee’s ‘The Song of The Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human’ talks about a new kind of medicine which is nothing less than revolutionary and is fortified with his own personal experiences as a researcher, doctor, and writer. Through his latest book, Mukherjee makes complex science accessible to everyone and leaves readers rethinking how they imagine life at a medical and even philosophical level. 

The book launch was attended by luminaries from the tech world, including Rekha Menon, Chairperson and Senior Managing Director at Accenture in India and Nivruti Rai, Country Head, Intel India and VP & GM, Automotive Solutions Group, IFS at Intel Corporation.

‘The Song of The Cell’ is Mukherjee’s third book. He is best known for his debut book, ‘The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer’, which won several literary awards such as the Pulitzer Prize and the Guardian First Book Award. It was also listed in the ‘All-Time 100 Nonfiction Books’ by Time magazine. His book ‘The Gene: An Intimate History’ made it to #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list and was among The New York Times 100 best books of 2016. 

During the fireside at the book launch, Mukherjee said, “The Song of the Cell understands life at the level of its most fundamental unit: the cell. We are entering a new century of the cell. The fundamental questions in biology and in medicine today can be answered through a better understanding of cells and cell biology. Our new-found ability to manipulate cells and thereby change their properties is also opening new frontiers in medicine. I wrote this book because I felt these ideas needed to be communicated to the public at a level that they can understand.” 

A Rhodes scholar, Dr Mukherjee graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, and Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and Cell. 

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw and Dr Mukherjee are the co-founders of Immuneel Therapeutics, a clinical stage startup company that looks into cell and gene therapies and personalised immunotherapy for patients in India, along with 5am Ventures Co-founder Kush Parmar. 

Headquartered in Bengaluru, Immuneel Therapeutics is working to bring breakthrough treatments like CAR-T therapy to cancer patients in India at a time when India is witnessing a dramatic increase in cancer cases. CAR-T therapies, previously not available in India, have shown promising results for patients who have exhausted all other means of treatment in a range of blood cancers. 

These therapies are available internationally at over USD 350,000 per dose. Immuneel is looking to dramatically increase the access to transformational cell-based immunotherapies for cancer patients in India at affordable rates.