How GI Joe Influenced Scientific Innovation

Stefan Lukianov, Founder & CEO, Salve Therapeutics

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Stefan N. Lukianov is the Founder/CEO of Salve Therapeutics, Inc., and an MA student in the Biotechnology Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Program at Johns Hopkins University. His company builds new viral-mediated therapies using computational tools. He has two BS degrees from the University of Maine (2006), an MS from the University of Pittsburgh (2013), and an AM from Harvard University (2019). He enjoys art, reading, sports, and nature.

The cartoon villain Serpentor influenced eight-year-old Stefan who grew up to found Salve therapeutics, a gene therapy company. Stefan Lukianov explains the role of technology in scientific innovation and the implications of using CAD designs in biology. 

Talking Points:

{01:16} How GI Joe influenced Stefan.

{04:00} The story of Salve Therapeutics 

{06:15} Technology in Scientific Innovation

{08:00} How does Salve Therapeutics affect the people in America?

{10:10} The implications of using CAD designs in biology.

{26:45} Best place to go for resources on this topic.

Welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast where we share the stories of tremendous humans, so you are inspired to lift up your organizations, family, and community! I am your host Tom Finn and, on the show, today we have a man Inspired to study DNA by the G.I. Joe villain Serpentor from the 1980's Saturday morning cartoon. His name is Stefan Lukianov, and it is Russian if you didn't know.

Stephan, I'm thrilled to have you on the show.

Thank you very much; it's a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

We're thrilled to have a GI Joe fan on board, but if you don't know Stephan, he's the CEO of Salve Therapeutics, which he founded after 20 years in biomedical academia. Certainly, at the University of Maine, as well as at Pitt, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. A great deal of academic research has been done before he got into the business of developing his own company. And we're going to talk about all things AI drug design. There's so much Stefan has depth and knowledge in this area. I’m going to learn a lot today, but before we arrive. Tell me about how DI Joe influenced you and inspired you to study DNA.

Yeah, I was about 8 years old and watching Saturday morning cartoons at the time, and they had a story arc about this supervillain named Serpentor, who was a clone of DNA from various historical conquerors and villains. So, like Caesar Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, and Alexander, I believe that is what captured my interest . When I heard about the power of DNA, I was like, "Can it really do that?" Like, what is DNA?

I didn't have any inspiration to create my own supervillain. I don't want to be one, so it wasn't like anything... It wasn't insane or twisted, but more like, "Well, what is this molecule they’re talking about? It sounds pretty. Cool, and you know how? How can it? Like doing what they're suggesting. So, I had a science project that year that my mom mostly helped with and for me, because I didn't understand much of what was going on.

But, over the course of the report, I learned about the different chemical components of DNA. What goes into it? What difference does it make in terms of RNA and protein? And, as you know, we didn't touch on human cloning or recombinant DNA. Anything you know is kind of high school level, but it definitely got me interested in sort of the life sciences and chemistry.

And it was dormant for a while. I think it wasn't until high school when I had a chemistry class at Framingham High, that I really kind of opened my eyes to what chemical reactions are you familiar with. The various types of bonds are, and I thought it was lovely. Sort of in line with, you know, the awe I felt back at 8 years old. So that's kind of the story arc of my biology interests.

And then you went on to further their education in this field. Help us understand a little bit about your educational background.

Yeah, I think I was most consistent as an undergrad at the University of Maine. I majored in biochemistry and molecular and cellular biology, kind of like subfields of the biomedical sciences. And I liked state school, just like you, Maine. I went to a lot of hockey games. I did an honors thesis in the lab, so I got pretty good experience, and then when I got to grad school, which I've tried several times, I started reading a lot of like the Wall Street Journal, the Economist, and other stuff, and I just realized there is sort of better or faster ways to do science than is currently done in the academic lab, which is notoriously slow, is usually quite crowded on antiquated technology, I was a very good graduate student, even though I was a good undergrad student?

Eventually, I realized that this type of idea was better suited to the scaling mechanism of a start-up than peer academic research. I wouldn't mind getting a Ph.D. at some point, but it's not going to happen in lab science, so probably something more remote to write and type documents.

Tell us a little bit about Salve Therapeutics, and what this company is setting out to do as an ACO.

Yeah, so Salve Therapeutics was kind of a multi-stage idea that I had between graduating from Hopkins and submitting it to, or sorry, graduating from Harvard and submitting it to Hopkins as a tech transfer report.

The idea was to start another viral gene therapy company. There are many graduates of that university living in the Boston area right now. Some are starting to apply techy AI-type stuff to drug design, but it's mostly for one or two modalities.  And thinking about it for a little bit, what you know as COVID was starting and there was a lot of downtime and webinars kind of coming up.

I realized that if you had software similar to what is called CAD programs for other engineering fields, CAD stands for computer-aided design and drafting. You could virtually prototype many different types of viral drugs quickly on the computers we have now, which are quite powerful, before you go into the wet lab to test at random, like in screens or discovery by accident, which can be very expensive.

And the CAD platforms are not new, they're used for every other engineering field you know from electronics to chemistry. They allow people to get from, you know, an idea to a virtual prototype that behaves quite similarly to a real one sort of, you know, manufactured product.

And that totally streamlines their, you know, product development process that hasn't really happened in biotech, and I think that's what's leading to dried-up pipelines, especially for biologics and complex therapies like the ones we're proposing. Just because, given their complexity, if you don't have design tools, there's no way to engineer new ones, basically.

And so, I think now that tech is getting a bit more accepted in biology, especially with Google's alpha fold you have more and more data scientists and computational biologists taking tech tools into you know the dry lab we call it. To build things on a computer that leads to more confident leads from the sort of like virtual hits, basically, and then once you have those you can bring them into the lab and test more economically.

Do you feel like there's been an adoption of technology in science more recently, or has technology always played a pretty big role in scientific innovation?

It has for, I'd say, the harder science fields. The older science.

So, for example, in physics, engineering, or chemistry, because the field is more mathematical in nature, they definitely have a stronger affinity for technology. They often build their own laboratories.

For biologists since it is more observational and less deductive and mathematical reasoning, you don’t have as many math brains, never mind the product-oriented engineering types. It’s more about discovery through observation. Even in a wet lab. The DNA, a linear chemical code of limited sort of pieces, is the central language of biology, you don't really need to know math to read that per se, which makes the field more accessible to everyone, whether they're good at math or not, which is nice.

So, I think that more and more of those like it. Mathematical brains like physics and chemistry move into biology. They're bringing that tech focus with them, not necessarily tech as we understand it like Facebook and Google, although that does have relevance because a lot of the functions of their IP being big data-oriented also apply to fields like genomics and genetics.

The big data that they'd be looking at is where the stuff that makes up the blueprint of our cells comes from. So a lot of the principles are already there; they just have to keep shifting, essentially, or keep convergent. Maybe that is the better word for it.  

So, you could have done a lot of different things, right? You've got a great educational background. You've got a real nose for science. You really love this space. So tell me what do you think Salve Therapeutics will achieve if I'm just a regular consumer in the middle of the country or sitting in Australia or in South America?

Like, how is Stephan actually going to impact my life? What's this guy really going to do?

No, it's a good question. So even though we're called Salve Therapeutics, the idea of virtual prototyping through a bio-CAD platform does apply to other types of inventions. So, for example, in the agriculture space, Bayer bought mints from Monsanto pretty recently, and they produce genetically modified organisms to help, like making crops more resistant to pests or pesticides or, you know, implementing weather.

And all of that is genetic engineering that can be accomplished through viruses. Again, they have a limited virus arsenal to actually engineer these crops. So if we use our technology or if somebody else does to help these agricultural companies build new types of viruses to engineer their crops, which can be, you know, in Uruguay or Hawaii or Ohio, and that has a direct impact on food supplies. Especially if you're in a sensitive area that has I don't know about chronic syncada sort of interruptions or blights or, you know, an invasive species introduced by accident, so that's the most direct application.

Also, I think the energy will increase as we move forward, if you engineer, for example, certain types of microorganisms to generate fuel like ethanol, right? Which you can't get from corn or mine, for example. But if you enter your corn to make better, purer, and more ethanol, for example, using viruses, again, that's an application that you know a platform like ours could help the companies do aside from therapeutics.

So, basically, using CAD design with this model for biology has a lot of implications. Is that what I am hearing?

Yeah, no, for sure. I believe the point is that we have a repertoire of viral and biological pieces that can be re-engineered into tools or medicines. There is no such thing as a middle-ground software toolkit. There’s some. I mean, there are a lot of companies coming out now with, like, small molecules that have programs like that. But once you get into biologics, the field narrows quite significantly.

So, I believe, and they usually have their own proprietary tools, so it's a little bit limited, and there's not much interaction. So, I think that by developing more of these software tools, you'll see more and more companies’ kind of getting into this space and standardizing, and certainly, based on the people I've talked to, I think the next few years after this one will be when they are taking their genetic engineering seriously, given the tech capabilities that we have.

And so, as you start to think about the next couple of steps, you're thinking about prototyping you've probably got a hypothesis that's sitting out there, and you've probably got a bit of a timeline, I mean, you're literally at the intersection of science and entrepreneurship, right? I mean, you're sitting right on the line there.

So, help us understand. So, your prototype, your hypothesis, is what you're thinking about in terms of timelines and going to market.

Yeah, so we've been moving slowly slowly steadily just because I wasn't actually sure if this was good. Valid, so I spent a long time researching and re-educating myself to ensure that this idea of bio-CAD was actually legitimate, and the first companies I spoke with were distributors like NVIDIA and Microsoft. Then came the idea for Ver CAD, as well as the NVIDIA GTC conference in the fall of 2020.

And so, we haven't liked trying to grow as fast as possible, and I couldn't build the idea myself, not being a coder. So, I took an IP first strategy where I made it ours, so I got technical transfer assistance from Hopkins. I got a provisional patent, and then I started marketing the idea as I moved from the East to the West Coast to different conferences and pitch competitions, not necessarily to raise money more to generate buzz and, essentially, test the idea, and as I did so, I got more recognition from bigger organizations, including corporate Startup programs or university-type stuff, helped me leverage hiring people who could build it for me.

They did it just because they thought the idea was cool. It was similar to things they’d done in the past. like other computer science or engineering fields, and so I was able to kind of negotiate all the curves to get people who could do it.

Not for me, more for the company, and more for the patients Really.

And now we're still not fundraising. Not in the traditional sense, I believe, because one is an academic bent. I am a fan of government grants for small businesses, so we're just about to submit a phase one NSF STTR for the Varicad project with a collaborator at Children's Hospital, Los Angeles. This is huge.

Like, we never would have thought of, you know, being able to do that a year ago. Also, developing other IPs that are smaller first to generate revenue, and that was kind of the idea with Varicad, was to generate revenue through B2B SaaS for the software platform that would then be applied to the biotech component, which is much more expensive obviously.

These smaller IPs were generated through hackathons and university workshops. The intellectual property is not ours, but we do have inventor rights. And we could acquire the IP eventually. or license it, but in any case. The revenue from those, once they're operational, can then be reapplied to the bigger viral design project, and they're in the healthcare space. So, it also kind of builds our name up in that way.

And then, once we have the capabilities to build the platform, we just, you know, kind of do it. Customer and market researchers create specifications and conduct alpha and beta tests, possibly at the university level or with what they know corporate partners, and then go to market and I don't really have a timeline for that.

I should research how long it takes to build a CAD platform. It might be a bit more for biology, though, and I agree with the way social media works. Now we want to make It's more like not quite open source, at least not in the traditional sense of the term, but part of the software design involves constructing a virtual tissue space that you would use for simulations of the drug you design, and so if researchers at Merck, Novartis, Ultragenyx, or you know Dino create a suite of virtual tissue spaces, it's kind of like having drum kits for you know a DJ. Platform, we'd like to have someplace where they could deposit those so that other researchers could use them as well because they're not inventing the tissue space or the drug, right?

So, it's not really an IP conflict; it's still our IP because they're using it, and we're licensing it to them in the DB. So, for example, another company working on a different drug for the same tissue but with a different education can sort of borrow that virtual tissue space that's already been developed and run the simulation, as well as modify it if you know.

Patients with their indications have different ion or solute concentrations or hormone levels, and I think that in that way it almost becomes like mudding in the gaming community, which actually inspired the idea because, as a PC hobbyist, not a programmer but just a hobbyist, I like to sort of where hardware was I going when I had the idea, and am I still do so, then what I see in the industry is being applied to what I see in the future of biotech.

So I think if I go back to the beginning of that story, I heard IP first. I heard that you wanted to be an intellectual property company first and then go out and start to build, and as you start to build, go and make sure you have relationships in the community so that you can continue to get other great ideas; share ideas in the spirit of, you know, empowering others in the spirit of being inclusive and trying to get others from big drug companies to utilize this space that you're creating for All of us to benefit.

Yeah, no, for sure. That wasn't the explicit plan at first, but then I realized that having that IP portfolio strategy is useful, as long as you have really secure protections, including from partners who will defend you if you are unable to defend yourself, which we started to have amazingly, even from the very beginning of investor interest, then you get more comfortable, and everything is already on paper, so you can stay lean and in control while still conceptualizing and theoretical things.

I think that nothing we're making is that was a novel or ground-breaking idea. It’s more like clever applications from the past, sort of like software tricks applied to new industries.

Yeah, I feel like there are some people listening out there, Stephan That is saying, what's he talking about? This is absolutely ground-breaking.

Part of it really is, and it's taking lots of good ideas that are out there and pulling them together, right? If we were a chef in a restaurant, the chef did not invent the potato, or, you know, the fish, but he or she could certainly invent the dish, right? And come up with new herbs and spices, ways to cook, and ways to build a plate that is unique and different.

I think that's what you're doing, which takes nothing away from the innovations that you're coming up with you and your team, and the folks that you've spent a lot of time with over the last few years, I think that's a really important nuance here, because while you may underplay it just a little bit…

and that's OK. Humility is a wonderful, wonderful thing, and certainly, we have a lot of scientists out there with humble hearts and brilliant minds.

But in this particular case, I think it's really important that people know that this is a really sophisticated model of bio-CAD, literally building a bio-CAD platform. We can then go into computerized drug development. Where we can test this drug in an environment that's essentially inexpensive before we go into a wet lab and actually test the drug and save billions of dollars for the organization.

Right so. critically important that people understand how big this can be, even though you're taking a very methodical and thoughtful approach to the way you're looking at the business.

I’m glad you mentioned cost savings because that was one of our goals. It is also beneficial to patients because many drugs can be manufactured using this for patients suffering from rare or orphan diseases. They're called the industry that isn't usually targeted because they're very complex and there are small patient populations.

But again, if you like what you pointed out, we reduced the price of drug design and development. And you can compensate for the expense of serving those populations, which I think they would. They're eternally grateful because they have literally received death sentences.

Yeah, there are certainly a lot of people who are working hard to develop new and improved drugs that will benefit humanity. Are there competitors in this space already that exist that you think are doing a good job, or are there some that you think may be open to competition?

Yes, I believe there are some competitors. There are some companies that East Coast academic labs are applying machine learning techniques to, for example, capsid design for viruses. This is what they mostly focus on AAV, an adeno-associated virus, which was discovered in the 60s by accident as a replication-deficient version of adenovirus so can't replicate, as far as I know, it is safe.

So it can be used in gene therapy to deliver drug payloads without causing too much trouble for patients. There is still a lot unknown about its mechanisms of action, and so even just, you know, I was at this conference last week. Pep Talk 2023 is in San Diego actually.

Even the engineering of this well-known modality is kind of a mystery, as are the changes that are being made using technology by these companies, they're not breaking new ground in Field, it's more like they're there putting different colors on the same picture If you want to put it That way.

It's not increasing access to new types of viruses, because each tissue already has its own suite of viruses that have evolved to target it, and those are vectors. Those are things you can use to deliver drugs to those disease tissues; they're there for you.

There's just no way to really engineer sad stuff like that. Your-effectively tests before using them in a wet lab setting. And then there's also sort there’s only a collaborative spirit about it, so I don't. That appears to be done. As the virtual tissue space concept suggested, create a repository of tools that everyone can use that aren't anti-competitive and don't neutralize a company's profit margin.

It is basically the same as enabling technologies or sort of like a little bit of data sharing that could help patients overall, this is leading to dry pipelines. You know, as far as I know, there are three therapies on the market, a number of patient deaths, and different tests that lead to small-sized academic careers or stalled funding from the government. And I think it's due to a little bit of hubris.

You know, a lot of these companies are kind of skeptical of the wider tech community, and that's why there's sort of a resistance to it. I believe that adopting technologies like this is somewhat necessary. They're almost like social media platforms for drug design. You are aware of what kind of people are open to information usage.  

And so, do you feel like this came from some particular part of you, this openness that you want to be inclusive in your design and business?

I'm not sure, maybe the second to last job I had in academia had a little bit of drug design at the end. And my last job in academia was a drug design job too. But they're kind of disappointing because they're still very heavily based on sort of antiquated wet lab techniques. In my opinion, they weren't aiming to really make anything they were aiming to be... to make something profitable.

And there was no software standardization. The collaborators used their favorite apps, their favorite websites, or their favorite code XYZ to accomplish something quite limited. But publishing is boring.

There is no sort of openness to using or simply liking the start-up business model small business model to obtain the resources and corporate interests required to actually bring… this isn't even ground-breaking technology like Cat's…it's been around for a while. A long time.

But bringing new types of technology from other fields into, you know, biology, so I just It's a product of, like, academics. Basically, that's a word. It didn’t fit my personality, not at that time. I have no problem with getting a PH.D. I think PHDs are great. They teach you to think really rigorously, teach you a lot of discipline and focus. I was simply elsewhere at the time. And I believe that if we create an MVP using someone's dissertation. It is not off the table, I just think where I was wasn't right for me, and it inspired this significant degree.

Well, and now you're in the school of entrepreneurship, my friend, and you're getting your Ph.D. in entrepreneurs, building products and services, going to market, looking through all of the data and science, and then building relationships in the market So that you can ultimately build this thing the right way and get it into the hands of all of the other brilliant biologists, scientists, and data analysts in the community so that we can build better products, so I believe you're doing everything right.

No, I agree. And honestly, I couldn't have seen it that way if I had moved to California. That may sound, you know, glamorous or romantic, but it's completely true that context changes, especially with respect to why historical pioneering are beneficial. And I've even seen in my own interactions, in webinars, that depending on where I am, I feel more confident and come off as more convincing than in other places.

So, you know, if I'm in LA, sort of, like our home turf. I do generally feel like Seattle is more entrepreneurial and creative than other places. I mean, it still helps to be On-site to move a project forward or perform administrative tasks.

But you already know that this generation of frontier ideas is business-friendly and successful business-friendly people around you. I don't think there is a better state, really.

Well said, my beautiful home state of California, sometimes You get a bad rap for that.

That's from East Coast publications, don't worry about it.

A little East Coast, a little West Coast. Just like the old rap days of the 1990s.

No, yes, for sure.

Help me in understanding. If somebody is coming up there, perhaps in the undergrad or graduate school? They're listening to you, Stephen. They're thinking, man. This guy knows what talking about. Where would you send them in terms of instructional books or resources on the topic? If somebody wanted to dig into this a little bit, where would they start to look?

I think the two places I learned the most from Were the Harvard Biotech Club, which runs a lot of great webinars and workshops for anybody in the community. You have to be a student.

Also, the federal government is great, subscribe to newsletters from places like the NSF or the NIH, and you know about grant notification services. They do tell you quite a bit, and then if you read through the details of the grants and you attend the webinars, you can learn a lot about how our federal funding structure is very business friendly, as well as IP and inventor friendliness, Pro Inventor.

Here, you can have an idea, and if somebody files it before you, you can use them for filing your idea. That's not the case in the EU. There it is, first to file, and if it was your idea, too bad. That sounds like a perverse sense of justice for any sort of ownership to basically enable the stealing of ideas So I'm very thankful that doesn't happen here.

UCSF and the Rosenman Institute have a lot of great webinars and connections to community resources, and then in Los Angeles, I've gone to a lot of SBA webinars, SBDC scores, and other affiliated organizations just to kind of get an idea of how local businesses work to network better.

So, I believe I have thought things through. All that. Whether you're in a Ph.D. program or not, or anything else you can learn about, you can cover a lot of ground from people in the industry who will present you with the information afterward, especially with webinars nowadays. And it gives you confidence in your ability to construct this.

Also, I think even before the webinar I read The Economist in the Wall Street Journal pretty religiously, and even though that's kind of, you know, on a much more macro level than what we are, It did instill trust in terminology and markets, and you know what The big players are doing their best to get into it, and they are still kind of there. It is where I get my information.

Yeah, I'm with the idea that using periodicals and understanding some sort of modern business is critically important to the development of science because knowing biology and knowing the disciplines of science are really important.

However, you must be able to go to the market. It's important to have something in the business realm that generates revenue that can help sustain the company. Otherwise, it all falls flat, and it goes away. And it might be the greatest idea on the planet, but unfortunately, nobody's going to hear about it, yeah? That's the real trick.

Yep, that's for sure, and that's why I think we've been doing pitches and conferences and stuff like this. It's almost like advertisements, you know, for our company, because we're confident in what we're designing and we like presenting it, and we all sort of have day jobs to support ourselves. So, you know why Not just play around a little bit?

So let me ask. You know what I mean. We talk about investors, and I know you're not necessarily going down that track. But when we talk about investors and entrepreneurship, this statement is always made.

You've got to like the horse. But you've got to love the jockey, yeah?

And that's just investor speak. Or if you're going to invest in a business, you really should like the product. That's the horse in this example, but you've got to fall in love with the founder because the founder will drive that horse to the front of the line.

Help us understand why we should fall in love with you as a founder. What are the things that make you different Stephan?

So, I guess I'll answer with an anecdote.

So, the first pitch competition in the spring and fall of 2021. Begin spring boarding in a Carlsbad hotel. I believe you are aware that we collaborate with a number of other businesses. They were more advanced than us. They had demos. Full Professors and XC Suites are on their team, and so are we were quiet, you know, the underdog, and one investor, Rep One VC, reached out to us because he just found our idea interesting.

Also, one giant Japanese drug company found our idea interesting, so that was very confidence-boosting. We didn't get any investment or corporate partnership because we were still in the early stages.

But we've stayed in touch with at least the investor who contacted us that day, and they've been really instrumental in helping us find some sort of IP protection from groups or larger companies than that. Shield smaller companies like us from people who would, you know, try and kind of hijack our patents.

I believe that I was able to help others. I've had several teammates over the years, and the teams have settled on a group of five, including myself. I think that since we've retained that interest to this day from our very first investor, that interest shows that we are committed to this project. They appear to like us. And that's actually happened with every other major investor or representative that we've interacted with.

We are still in the early stages. We acknowledged that but we stuck in their minds, and I think they could sense our passion and our dedication to this project even then. So, we know that we know that they're in our Rolodex in some ways, so when we're ready to start building and need investment, we're confident that we can get it.

It's not always. I mean, I've gotten some sound advice from the ground. That I attend, or webinars about Startup fundraising, and how it is acceptable to defer. You know, if you don't feel like you want to match that speed, and if you want to retain equity, that's OK. That's the whole reason we're doing a STR is also used to retain equity and obtain such grants from the start.

Now that the team has grown to include people I don't deserve and we still have those investors, you know, who were originally interested in just me and some former members. I don't know that that gives us a lot of confidence that we're doing something right, and on paper, you know we're building up the right sort of blueprint for the Startup and its products that can later be built quite easily.

Yeah, well said, Stephan, and nothing feels better than somebody else in the investor community. Or really in the market in general, saying, "Hey, great job! We love where you're going." We love the direction.

For sure, and it's also been helpful because we've kind of mapped it out. The regions we're appealing to are cities or even countries, and all of those investors or corporations have similar personalities in some ways, so it's built markets for us, which has been fantastic. So, it's almost like being ultra-strategic, and it just shows in our behavior. A founding team too, and so that gives us quite a bit… Again, we have the assurance that we can move at our leisure at our own pace and make sure the best product gets out there to companies and patients.

Yes, very well said. I couldn't have wrapped it up any better myself. Today's discussion was fantastic. Thank you so much for the work. You're doing fine; yeah, you're welcome. I just think it's cool that you're taking some things that exist but putting your spin on them in the bio-CAD universe and building something that's going to save billions of dollars once it hits the market, and then not only doing that but doing it with an IP first.

The thought process, and then, in the end, attempt to bring in others along the way and not build a fortress around your technology but rather share it which I think Is the most human thing you can be doing with this big, beautiful brain of yours, my friend? Thank you for doing good work, look, and if people wanted to track you down, find you. Figure out how I can get in touch with you. What would be the best way to do it?

I guess our website would be first. It's You can just search for "Salve Therapeutics." It's the only hit. And then LinkedIn is fine. I'm Stefan Lukianov, and that's usually a good way to get in touch with me. And yeah, I'm always looking to meet new contacts in the industry and have conversations about big ideas in technology.

Yeah, beautifully said, and we can't thank you enough for being on the Talent Empowerment podcast. Stefan, you are the personification of what it takes to empower others, my friend. By utilizing the tools and items at your disposal that you've been. You truly lift others through your work, and I appreciate what you're doing.

Great, thanks to Tom. No, that's massive. We get a lot of compliments. We get joy from doing stuff like this, and it does sort of help us keep moving forward with, like, resolve and motivation. So, thank you.

Yeah, well done, and thank you for joining the Talent Empowerment podcast. I hope this conversation has inspired you so you can lift your organization. Your family and your community. We'll see you on the Next episode, let's get back to people and culture together.

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