Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD

//Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD

Dr. Patrick O. Brown is CEO and founder of Impossible Foods, a company at the forefront of making nutritious, delicious meat and dairy products from plants to satisfy meat lovers and address the environmental impact of animal farming. 

The idea for Impossible Foods came to Dr. Brown while he was on sabbatical from his position as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator and professor of biochemistry at the Stanford University School of Medicine. In reflecting on how he could use his training and experience to make the largest positive impact on the world, he realized there was a way to make delicious, affordable meat and dairy products directly from plants that would be better for the environment and for consumers. In 2011, Dr. Brown chose to devote himself full time to Impossible Foods. 

After receiving his B.A., M.D. and Ph.D. (in biochemistry) at the University of Chicago, Brown completed a residency in pediatrics at Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital. As a fellow with Mike Bishop, M.D., and Harold Varmus, M.D., he defined the mechanism by which HIV and other retroviruses incorporate their genes into the genomes of the cells they infect.

At Stanford, Dr. Brown and colleagues developed DNA microarrays – a new technology that made it possible to monitor the activity of all the genes in a genome – along with the first methods for analyzing, visualizing and interpreting global gene expression programs. 

He pioneered the use of gene expression patterns to classify cancers and improve prediction of their clinical course. He has also been a leader in making scientific and medical research results freely available to scientists, physicians and the public. With Dr. Varmus, then director of the National Institutes of Health, and Berkeley Professor Michael Eisen, he founded the Public Library of Science (PLOS), a nonprofit scientific publisher that has transformed the publishing industry by making scientific and medical research results freely available to the public.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine and recipient of the American Cancer Society Medal of Honor. He is also the co–founder of Lyrical Foods, Inc., maker of Kite Hill artisanal nut–milk–based cheeses and yogurts.