Dr. Birndorf holds a Master of Science in Biochemistry degree from Wayne State University and has received honorary doctorates from both Wayne State University and Oakland University. Beginning in 1978, Dr. Birndorf worked with Hybritech Incorporated and he later went on to participate in the founding and management of notably successful biotech companies such as Gen-Probe (1984), IDEC Pharmaceuticals (1985), Gensia Pharmaceuticals, Ligand Pharmaceuticals (1988), Neurocrine Biosciences (1992), Nanogen (1993), and Illumina Inc. (1998). He was co-founder of Nanogen and served in various roles, including CEO and Chairman, until August 2009. Dr. Birndorf also has been an investor in biotech start-ups, served as President of Birndorf Technology Development, and participated in numerous other ventures.
Interviewed by Matthew Shindell, Historian, UCSD
At the time of this interview, Dr. Birndorf served as Chief Executive Officer at Nanogen.