By: Shaharyar Lakhani
Everett Stone, a cancer researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, was recently featured in and episode of “Forged-in-Fire”, a series where experienced bladesmiths try to recreate some of the most iconic weapons throughout history. Stone even ended up taking a $10,000 check home as he was crowned champion of the bladesmithing competition. However, Stone’s path to this was rather unique.
Ever since he was 16, Everett Stone loved blacksmithing because of the way that he could solve problems hands-on, such as helping his horses with their sore feet due to the rocky ground. For 14 years after that, Stone had his own horseshoeing business. Stone later decided to attend college when he found an interest in medical science. Due to his background with animals, he planned on becoming a veterinarian, but he quickly fell in love with biological research and the potential discoveries that could come along with it. He went on to receive a B.A. in chemistry and biology from Drury University, and then headed to UT to get a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology. Since then, he’s been a research assistant professor focused on creating new cancer drugs and immunotherapies.
In addition to being an assistant professor, Stone has helped found two biopharmaceutical startups: Aeglea BioTherapeutics and Kyn Therapeutics, which received $28 million from venture capitalists in 2016! If that wasn’t enough, he is also the co-inventor on 15 patents and patent applications, oh, not to mention that he’s currently working on a drug that would help in battling cancer.
Tying back to his blacksmithing passion, Stone states that the theme of his career has been making tools, some of which are good enough to become medicines. A researcher by day and a blacksmith by night, Stone lives a double life, incorporating creativity with problem solving in both.