Leah CannonI have always been fascinated by science and have always loved animals. So I became an emergency veterinarian. I very much enjoyed fixing the little muffins but my nerdiness was too strong so I went back to university to do a PhD in molecular biology and then moved to sunny San Diego to become a postdoc scientist. In San Diego I researched how the genes in our heart change as we age. I also became part of the very strong life science startup scene in San Diego. The life science entrepreneurs in San Diego are wonderfully welcoming and willing to help young scientists learn about the business world.

For the past six years, I have worked as a freelance startup marketer and science writer, writing anything from academic papers to blog posts and email campaigns for startups, student organisations and big life science companies.

I have turned thousands of hours of research and interviews with life science entrepreneurs into a comprehensive guide called ‘How to Start a Life Science Company’ that takes first-time entrepreneurs through every step of founding a life science company. It covers all the business basics that we aren’t taught in science and engineering courses.

This book is based on interviews with hundreds of life science entrepreneurs and runs through how to decide whether your science can be commercialized, intellectual property protection, regulatory hurdles, how to find the right co-founders, how and when to incorporate, how to write product development, marketing and business plans, and how to pitch to investors.

I also write science fiction about how we might use discoveries to change ourselves and the world around us. My past life as a vet and a scientist is such a deep part of me that I can’t help but write about science and animals and what it means to be human. My style is more Gene Wolfe or Paolo Bacigalupi than space ships and tentacles.

My book ‘five minute science fiction’ is a collection of short stories that you can read anywhere, anytime. From a virtual zoo coup to a murderous cat-dog team to a genetic black market behind a China Town food market, there is something for everyone in this collection of science-flavoured tales.

My latest story ‘never grow old’ is a science fiction novelette written in the form of letters from a family desperately missing the child they gave away, a family refusing to let the government control their genes and their lives.

If you want to talk startups, science or science fiction, feel free to email me at leahcanscience@gmail.com, on LinkedIn, twitter or Wattpad.

If you would like to hear about my new books, join my email list. I know how spammy the world has become so I promise I will only email when I have a new book out, a sale or giveaway.

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  1. Your blog sounds very interesting. I am going to read it and pass it on to my friends. Very cool topic.

  2. Leah: It would be great to get your take on Augmented Reality (AR). Most people I ask have never heard of it, but experts expect great things of this new technology in the near future. Here is a popular article that can wade one into AR:


    You have probably heard that Microsoft is going into VR and AR in a big way with Windows 10 and the HoloLens. Moreover, Google just invested 1/2 billion dollars in Magic Leap. Here is there demo. I dare you tell me it not totally killer:

    Looking forward…

    1. Frank – I think it’s only a matter of time before AR becomes mainstream. The potential to use this technology as medical treatment is really exciting, so long as it doesn’t completely replace more traditional medical research. It would really be a shame if we stopped trying to understand and prevent ageing at the cellular level simply because we could plug into a reality where we didn’t perceive that we aged at all.

  3. It is a shame that your novel is about a dystopian future where there is no more death by aging. Surely anyone living in such a time would consider our world “horrid history”. Incidentally, you should read Arthur C Clarke’s novel The City and the Stars, which seems to follow similar plot lines, if you haven’t done so already.

    Clarke eschewed cryonic suspension, and instead welcomed annihilation. There are many people around at the moment who are so imbibed with past fantasies about self sacrifice that they think it is everyone’s duty to die. The most extreme examples (fortunately very few) fly planes into buildings, lace themselves with explosive and enter crowds, and more. But average otherwise kindly people still want everyone to die. This is totally irrational, but if rationality is the will of the majority, then the will to live is lunatic. We should all jump over the nearest cliff, and not be interested in the abolition of death by aging.

    Maybe I am a lunatic by thinking that the indefinite extension of life is the most important thing that anyone should strive for. But all those people who through that heavier than air machines could fly were once considered lunatics. However about 70 years after the first one flew, “lunatics” set foot on the moon.

    The world we live in was made by lunatics, or those who were once considered so. Sensible people adapted themselves to the world, not the other way round. However most of them that ever lived are now nothing.

    1. Yes, in my story everyone does view mortal times as horrid history. I haven’t read The City and the Stars yet as I am new to both reading and writing science fiction. I have it and will read it next.

      I think the most important thing is to increase health span – to find a way to keep people healthy until they die Brave New World-style. However, there are many researchers, myself included, who are working to find out what causes ageing and how we can prevent it. I think that it’s reasonable to think that ageing will be cured within the next century. And when that happens society will need to find ways to deal with that.

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