Noam Solomon is the CEO and co-founder of Immunai Inc., a biotech company whose mission revolves around mapping the entire immune system and its functions using machine learning and genomics. After recently securing $60 million in Series A funding, Immunai is now planning to expand its mission statement from enhancing the performance of existing immune therapies to discovering entirely new drugs and treatments. Find out more about Immunai’s groundbreaking work as we take a look at ten things you didn’t know about Noam Solomon.
1. He was a post-doctoral researcher at Harvard
Between 2017 and 2018, Solomon was a post-doctoral researcher in the CMSA, the center of mathematical sciences and applications at Harvard University. According to Forbes, his research involved developing and applying tools from Algebra and Algebraic Geometry in the study of classical problems in Combinatorics, especially in Combinatorial Geometry. Between 2018 and 2019, he was a post-doctoral researcher in the Mathematics department at MIT under the supervision of Professor Larry Guth.
2. He has two Ph.D.s
Solomon completed his first Ph.D. in Pure Mathematics at Ben-Gurion University under the supervision of Professor Amnon Besser. His dissertation was titled “P-adic Elliptic Polylogarithms and Arithmetic Applications.” He completed his second Ph.D. in the School of Computer Science in Tel-Aviv University, under the supervision of Professor Micha Sharir. His dissertation was entitled “Algebraic Techniques in Combinatorial and Computational Geometry.” During his second Ph.D., he won the prestigious Fulbright Post-doctoral Scholar Fellowship, along with the Rothschild PostDoc Fellowship.
3. He was an algorithms developer in the Israeli defense forces
Prior to completing his postdoctoral studies, Solomon served in the Israeli defense forces as an algorithms developer. Before launching Immunai, he also spent time as a data scientist, consultant, and head of data science for several Israeli tech companies.
4. He’s widely published
Solomon has been published in a wide variety of well-respected journals. Some of his most notable works, either as sole or co-author, include “Traces of Hypergraphs” (Journal of the London Mathematical Society, (2) 0, 1–20, 2019), “Subquadratic Algorithms for Algebraic Generalizations of 3SUM” (Discrete Comput. Geom., 61(4): 698–734, 2019), “Incidences between Points and Lines on Two- and Three-Dimensional Varieties” (Discrete Comput. Geom. 59(1): 88–130, 2018), “Incidences between Points and Lines in Three Dimensions” (New Trends in Intuitive Geometry, Bolyai Soc. Math. Studies 27, 2018), “Incidences between Points and Lines in R^4” (Discrete Comput. Geom. 57, 702–756, 2017), “Two Absolute Bounds for Distributed Bit Complexity” (Theoret. Comput. Sci. 384, No. 2-3, 2007), “Highly Incidental Patterns on a Quadratic Hypersurface in R^4” (Discrete Mathematics, 340(4), 585–590, 2017), and “Cohomology of Deformation of Line Bundles on Complex Tori” (Israel Journal of Mathematics, 2012).
5. He loves uncertainty
Most of us thrive with a routine. We like to know what to expect and when to expect it. In a world of uncertainly, a routine makes us feel like we’re at least in control of our own environments… even if that control is just in our heads. Not so Solomon. During an interview with startup.info, he explained how he thrives in uncertain environments. “Being an entrepreneur, you need to embrace the fact that you’re paving a path in uncharted territories and that the environment keeps changing,” he explained. “I also believe that certain stress and anxiety levels are good for you, and keep you alert and sharp. We can’t always control everything, and there are times where the best you can do is regroup and do your best even if you don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring.”
6. He founded Immunai with Luis Voloch
Solomon conceived the idea for Immunai while he was still a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and MIT. The idea came after discussing the possibility of bringing cutting-edge artificial intelligence methods into genomics with his co-founder and CTO, Luis Voloch, who at the time was working in computational biology. After bringing onboard Ansu Satpathy, Danny Wells, and Dan Littman to help refine and shape their scientific vision, Immunai was born.
7. He’s just raised $60 million
This February, Solomon announced that Immunai had raised $60 million in Series A funding. The funding round puts the total raised since the company’s inception to over $80 million. Solomon has confirmed that he will be utilizing the cash influx to support the development of entirely new therapies.
8. He’s planning rapid growth
Thanks to the recent cash injection the company has received, Solomon is now planning on expanding Immunai rapidly. “We don’t have the luxury to move more slowly,” he explained via Tech Weekly. “I think we are in kind of a perfect storm, where a lot of advances in machine learning and compute computations have led us to the point where we can leverage those methods to mine important insights.” Acknowledging that most growth is hampered by the number of people a company has, Solomon went on to explain that he believes the combination of Immunai’s vision and its large network of employees and partners across both the US and Israel will allow it to “harness people to say, let’s solve this problem together.”
9. He’s partnered with a Fortune 100 pharma company
Despite being a young company, Immunai has already forged several successful partnerships with leading institutions. Over the past three years, Solomon has overseen a seven-figure deal with a Fortune 100 pharma company, as well as teaming up with Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard, Memorial Sloan Kettering, and UPenn.
10. He’s building a roadmap for the future
So far, Immunai’s research has been mainly theoretical. But over the next couple of years, Solomon plans on moving the company into more practical territory as they look to apply their research into developing new therapies. “The next step is to say, ‘Now we understand the human immune profile, can we develop new drugs?’,” he says via Tech Crunch. Solomon went on to explain how, for the past few years, Immunai has been building a ‘Google Maps for the immune system,’ mapping out the different routes and paths in the human immune system. However, having discovered that there are certain bridges and roads that haven’t yet been built, their next task is to support building those bridges and roads, essentially leading away from the current ‘cities of disease’ to building ‘cities of health.’