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Video: Tuan Ha-Ngoc on Learning from Science Whizzes at GI

Xconomy Boston — 

Tuan Ha-Ngoc remembers feeling like he belonged in the bottom 10 percent in terms of intelligence at Genetics Institute when he was getting started in the 1980s.

Looking back, he says he loved it.

“Most of the people at Genetics Institute in the 1980s were much smarter than I am,” Ha-Ngoc said. “What a fantastic way to grow, to learn.”

Ha-Ngoc, now the CEO of Cambridge, MA-based Aveo Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: AVEO), talked about the lessons he learned at one of Boston’s pioneering biotech companies during a short one-on-one video interview he gave at Xconomy’s big event last week, “The Genetics Institute Impact.”

The science is much more complicated now, and the biotech financing environment much tougher, but still, Ha-Ngoc said that much of what he’s doing now at Aveo has been influenced by his earlier experiences at GI. There, he learned about the importance of having a science-based culture, and bringing together a group of smart people you can trust and respect. Then there was also the matter of learning to live with the inevitable ups and downs of this volatile business.

Here’s Ha-Ngoc’s quick video interview, which was recorded by my colleague Lilly O’Flaherty. You can also check out short recordings of Adelene Perkins, the CEO of Cambridge, MA-based Infinity Pharmaceuticals, and Gabe Schmergel, the former CEO of Genetics Institute, by going to the Xconomy channel on YouTube. We’re also posting those recordings on Xconomy’s Facebook page.