Investing in Care: Abel Negussie ’22

Abel Negussie ’22 is working on innovative and accessible solutions to cancer.

Abel Negussie ’22
Abel Negussie ’22
Abel Negussie ’22
Abel Negussie ’22

Born in Ethiopia, Abel Negussie experienced a dramatic change when he was three years old. His mother won the Diversity Visa Lottery, opening doors to new opportunities in the United States and an escape from political instability at home. Still, moving across the world was a leap of faith.

“My mother’s bravery and determination has always inspired me,” Negussie says. “She was a computing professional in Ethiopia, but here in the US, her skills were undervalued. She worked in retail, often multiple jobs at once, to make ends meet for me and my brothers before starting her small business.”

Negussie’s mother made the difficult choice to move to the United States in large part due to the educational opportunities she hoped it would provide for her children. However, the local high school where they moved had a low graduation rate and large class sizes – just four percent of graduating students passed a single AP exam.

“My mother cultivated a family culture which encouraged me to take education into my own hands,” Negussie says. “I self-studied Calculus 2, and I enrolled in College Track, a program that helps students in underserved communities earn college degrees. It empowered me to take control of my own education and be ambitious in the college application process.”

Inspired by Science

Negussie’s self-determination and commitment to education led him to Yale College, where he studied Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology and took advantage of undergraduate research opportunities and access to innovative scientific tools like CRISPR, a revolutionary gene-editing technology.   

Negussie says he chose Yale in part due to the unrivaled access to advanced life sciences technology. But his long-term goal was to expand the accessibility of health care.

“I have always wanted to work to help mitigate health disparities because I have witnessed how inaccessible medicine can be in Ethiopia, in the US, and around the world,” Negussie says. “Many diseases have so few treatment options, but even when effective treatments do exist, accessibility is a real issue. I wanted to tackle both of these challenges, creating new drugs with scalability and access in mind.”

Investing in Access

An internship in health venture capital senior year showed him how he could combine those two passions.

“I realized that I could be part of directing capital towards the most cutting-edge science addressing the most serious global challenges in health,” Negussie says. “Accessibility must be at the forefront when developing new medical technology. So many of the newest exciting developments in medicine are prohibitively expensive. I want to support innovations which lead to accessible solutions.”

Now, as an analyst at Yosemite, a venture capital firm dedicated to advancing cancer research, Negussie is at the forefront of channeling resources into transformative science with global impact.

“Research in the life sciences requires a lot of money, time, lab space, and expertise,” Negussie says. “Public funding for cancer research is often limited and often supports incremental improvements. We fill a gap for researchers and early biotech companies with ambitious ideas that could be game changers in cancer care.” 

Share This Story

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter