Chris Witowski: A Journey to Transform the Face of Human Healthcare

Beyond's Top 10 Most Inspiring CEOs to Watch Out in 2021

Destiny plays a significant role in shaping an individual’s life entirely. They say that those who are successful in their fields never chose that path in the first place. Such people are rare to find, and those who have accomplished something that was never jotted down in their bucket list have an inspiring story to tell. These awe-inspiring leaders are one in a million with the will and courage to choose a field that never defined them. One such incredible person and motivating leader of this modern era is Dr. Chris Witowski, the co-founder and CEO of Psilera Bioscience, a leading biotechnology company researching psychedelic medicines. He is one of the many visionaries who have some inspiring words to share. 

Being brought up in a state like Florida that is continuously hit by hurricanes and experiences its periodic inclement weather, it was quite natural for a high school boy to be intrigued by meteorology, but destiny had something else in store. Like the hurricanes he’s experienced while residing in Tampa, Florida, he took the market by storm after introducing his own company, Psilera Bioscience. With a stern belief in cannabis and psychedelic medicine’s life-changing potential, he now aims to disrupt human healthcare and eradicate the mental health pandemic that continues to grow each day. To motivate others, he has a beautiful journey to share and narrate about the roller-coaster ride that he had before he reached his pinnacle of success. 

Destiny had its Plans in Place to Nurture a Future Businessman

As a kid, Chris had a great interest in weather changes and meteorology. Since he grew up amidst the lightning, thunder, and fierce winds of Florida’s Gulf Coast, he had a desire to pursue fields of study in engineering and meteorology. However, an act of destiny led him to change his career path and land in the field of Environmental Chemistry, a slight deviation from what interested him as a young boy.

He says, “My interests grew into meteorology and engineering, but after taking one physics class in high school, I knew that path wasn’t going to work for me!” After realizing that it was not the ideal path he was looking for, he switched to the world of chemicals and reactions.

He found natural products and organic chemistry more interesting than solving the quadratic equations and working on Bernoulli’s principles. He received his doctorate and then found employment in a cannabis start-up to bring a drastic change in the existing healthcare field.

Though he thought of landing in a conventional pharmaceutical role, his new workplace fed his cravings for knowledge and built upon his passion for medicinal products. He honed this skill set to one day build his enterprise.

Dr. Witowski thrived for five years in the demanding start-up company to acquire the knowledge required to change the lives of millions of people. He believes that starting his entrepreneurial endeavour is a non-traditional path for a scientist like him, but his driving force to improve healthcare and the human condition kept him moving forward.

When asked about his consistency in success, he replied that the positive impacts on the lives of patients suffering from severe ailments act as a driving force. The psychedelic medicines that his company researches were built upon a foundation of compassionate science established from the cannabis industry.

“We are shifting the paradigm of how we treat illness, addiction, and even cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. There’s a very personal motivation for me as well, as I’ve witnessed the devastation of these ailments first-hand within my family and friends.” Chris says while speaking about what is the most significant motivational factor behind his work.

History teaches important lessons

Dr. Witowski has worked in several start-ups and gained a lot of marketing, business development, and budgeting experience. Before Psilera Bioscience, he handled the title of Chief Scientific Officer at AltMed. There, he honed his skills with patented innovations, planning, and execution of business development strategies, which played a crucial role in founding his current company.

With a strong scientific background and armed with well-rounded business experience, he took matters into his hands and founded Psilera Bioscience with his long-time colleague Dr. Jackie von Salm. Currently, Dr. Witowski is the CEO of the company, and Dr. von Salm holds the CSO position.

He is all set with a strong network of research and business connections with academically and industrially inclined partners to expand their horizons.

One Scientific Breakthrough that Transformed Psilera Bioscience

While talking about Psilera Bioscience’s inspiration and how it came into existence, Dr. Witowski gave a detailed insight into his company and how it functions. According to him, psychedelic medicine traces its origin back to indigenous use and, more recently, throughout the pharmaceutical era, however, the research was banned in the 1970s. These shelved mind-manifesting compounds now appear to be destined to replace existing pharmaceutical antidepressants and more. Psilera Bioscience fuses the latest 21st-century technology with these age-old medications to optimize psychedelic treatments and transform the legacy mental healthcare paradigm.

The latest virtual technology created by Psilera is dubbed “BRAIN” (Bio-Receptor Activity Intelligence Network), which is being leveraged so that new alternatives can be developed and psychedelic side-effects can be reduced significantly. He states, “Psilera is developing new molecules to solve these challenges and new formulations which can be administered as outpatient therapies; the result will be safer, better tolerated psychedelic-based therapies and will greatly increase access for patients in need.” This scientific breakthrough in the medical field indeed has a promising future and will eradicate the neurological issues that millions of people suffer from in the present.

Validating the proof of concept study for a new transdermal method was a major scientific breakthrough for the company. This allowed them to provide the therapeutic value of these compounds in very low doses, which further reduce side effects. He believes this concept to be a game-changer in the healthcare industry and aims to create the first psychedelic transdermal delivery system to help suffering patients.

The most significant aspect that differentiates Psilera Bioscience from other contenders in the race is the long-term vision and experience to bring forth the best forms of psychedelic medications for those in need. This aim is to be achieved by rigorous research in clinical trials with a patient-centric approach. Psilera Bioscience uses its strength in drug development and research to usher in a new era of mindful medicine.

Self-Motivation and perseverance are the keys to a Successful Venture.

Dr. Witowski is a self-motivated person as he puts his soul into every activity he undertakes, which is one reason why he has tasted success at such an early stage of his life. Immense learning, determination, and putting your heart into everything is what he encourages every aspiring business mind to do. 

Combining research with business competency adds fuel to the determination in building his business. He says that scientific research does not always go according to plan, and one must put all the efforts to garner the data and carry out research until the desired outcome is achieved. Hence, perseverance is an essential quality that an entrepreneur should possess to climb up the stairs leading to success and one that has helped Dr. Witowski become a successful leader. 

The most motivational line that he shares is, “It’s not about where you are but where you will be years down the road, this allows you to be a trendsetter and define an industry with your business.”

He urges one to be quite vigilant when setting up a business and understand the market trends that are prevalent at any point in time. Forecasting the business’s future enables one to bring new trends into practice and drive the market through his business. He is determined to leverage the available technology and deliver these innovative therapies to benefit the millions of people struggling with mental health. He notes, if he has done that, he will have managed to build a very successful business.

Achieving work-life balance effectively

Dr. Witowski likes to keep himself updated with the latest trends in the industry. With that, he tries to encapsulate these trends into his company and stay engaged and ahead of the curve. He loves his family and friends and is grateful for their support and fosters these relationships in his free time. 

He indulges in a regular exercise regime to keep his body and mind fit. He is a firm believer in the fact that a healthy mind resides in a fit and healthy body.

He believes that travel is the best way to relieve yourself from regular stress and fill your mind and body with new positive energy.

Typical days start within the research laboratory at the University of South Florida. The focus remains on the search for new, effective compounds that reduce side effects and favours the benefits while finding new ways of delivering them in the body.

The past research on the topic is exiguous. So, every day, there is a breakthrough that instils excitement throughout the whole team. They meet with investors and interested personnel regularly to expand their research pipeline. With operations running smoothly, Psilera is ready to make a dent within the psychedelic market.

The Face of Psychedelics in Psilera Bioscience’s Future

Psilera Bioscience is already on a path to success dealing with the underrated psychedelics and will continue to innovate treatments and deliver benefits to patients in need.

Their drug pipeline, which aims to eradicate many neurological issues, is sure to change the pharmaceutical industry’s existing functions. When asked about what the future trend is like, Dr. Witowski responded with high enthusiasm that positive data and other significant clinical milestones will be unveiled this year.

Several psychedelic alternative therapies are under study and are likely to make headlines soon. Their pipeline builds upon existing psychedelics and has shown positive results in their trials, especially virtually. 

Their proprietary compound library was screened virtually whereby serotonin receptors in the brain were targeted to observe the outcomes when Psilera’s psychedelic alternatives were administered.

Results from animal testing will be completed soon along with enrolment of phase I clinical trial, but one thing that is sure to come shortly is the deployment of new tools, mechanisms, and partnerships to bring more success to the venture.

As a conclusion, Dr. Witowski added, “There is a monumental shift occurring in mental health, and Psilera will be at the forefront of cutting-edge research and next-generation treatments for neurological diseases with significant implications on human well-being.”

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