Wagner’s Real-Life Counterpart

David E. Shaw

There’s an actual Jude Wagner.

While Jude Wagner is a fictional character working in computational biology to avenge the loss of his mother to cancer, there is a non-fiction person who has led a strikingly similar life, and that person is David Shaw. Unlike Wagner, Shaw made billions on Wall Street. But very much like Wagner, Shaw had close relatives who died from cancer and devoted his wealth and intellect to develop life-saving drugs.

“Shaw thought protein dynamics problems provided a good fit for his interests and his background in developing novel machine architectures. He had a personal interest as well: his mother, father and sister all died of cancer.” Mr. Shaw hoped that he could design a computational tool that would “someday be used to develop life-saving drugs.”

Wall Street Journal article:


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