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Norio Hamamatsu - Senior Director and Head of US Office at RevolKa Ltd


How long have you been in Boston?


I've been in Boston since 2008. I came from Japan with my wife and a domestic short hair. I started my career in the US as a Ph.D. biochemist at a big pharma company, Novartis. I made the second big decision last year to take a new role at a small Japanese start-up and bridge the US and Japan.


What does your company do?


RevolKa is a venture-backed startup in Japan. We have a cutting-edge technology platform of artificial intelligence (AI)-integrated protein engineering, called aiProtein. Our mission is to create unprecedented protein therapeutics and contribute to human well-being. Protein therapeutics are an increasingly important class of drugs especially for difficult-to-treat diseases, such as cancer. Naturally occurring or artificially designed proteins are used for the treatment. Our technology learned and mimics the biological evolution process and integrated AI to accelerate that at laboratories. We believe this will open the door to designing prominent molecules. We started our US office in Boston in Sep 2022 to expand our business outside of Japan. Currently, we are focusing on partnerships with pharma and biotech to co-create phenomenal therapeutic molecules by using our technology.


What are the benefits and challenges of working in America?


There is no doubt that the US bioindustry is the largest in the world. Boston is one of the top bio-hubs in the US that has great ecosystems. Working here in Boston will provide us with higher success and opportunities. Meanwhile, our company is a rookie from the outside. Building a presence and network will be one of the challenges for us. In my personal life, I made a lot of friends originating from many different countries. This opened my eyes to the world and also allowed me to look at my country from different angles. This motivated me to contribute to both countries.


What is your favorite thing about Boston?


I love Boston because people are open-minded to multiple cultures. Many friends of mine have strong interests in art, food, and culture outside the US, including Japan. Thanks to the Boston culture, I can easily find my favorite, "Ramen". I also love local New England's beers. My recent favorite is Lord Hobo, Cambridge! I'm pretty honored to be a part of this wonderful place.


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