When I was 17 I used to play on my calculator at school. I was curious of the games, so explored their codes. Then, every time I was in class, I have tried to put words together in order to make a program that worked. I understood nothing of the words. But by trying again and again, I managed to figure out what word did what. Although tedious, this is how I learned to code in Casio BASIC. I started to make complete programs it was great, but the professors started to confiscate my calculator every time. So I started to make programs on papers. They thought I was noting their courses.
But one day, in philosophy class, I wondered, "Why do I have to die? Maybe my biological body can be recoded as I am doing
with the programs on my calculator..."
By searching on internet, I discovered transhumanism. I watched videos, documentaries, read articles, and with time, I started to be interested in the anti-aging movement. I kept coding, learning new languages, and made a social network. A year later, seeking perfection and complete control, I wanted to code my social network in assembly language. I started to learn assembly language. Then, I wanted to know how my computer worked. So I completely gave up my website and fully started learning electronics from scratch, in my room. I succeded to make rudimental projects: detectors, mini stun gun, etc.
After a while, I started to contact some researchers, asking them to work with them, that my goal was to cure aging. Since I had no knowledge and no skills in science, nor any related degree, I couldn't find anything. I had to find in the programming field.
In 2015, I found an internship at EMBL-EBI in Cambridge. After 3 months, I felt disappointed as a web developer to not effectively contribute to advance science, especially the field of biology. I started to thought about creating a large campus, devoted to the creation of scientific instruments. I already felt that we needed new instruments in order to decode the code of life. I wanted to fully understand and manipulate biology at the smallest scale possible, in my lifetime. In the next few days, I resigned my internship and went back to Paris, my hometown.
Since I knew I would not be able to find any position with my background, I decided to meet the researchers in person.
I thought by showing my passion, they would maybe accept to hire me.
So in 2016, when I was 21, I went to the United States for 3 months. I hadn't the money to sleep at the hotel, so I slept at people's home using Couchsurfing. An interesting story is that I managed to find Jonathan Rothberg's house by searching on Google satellite a home with a stonehenge. I explored some laboratories and companies, I met people working in the biotechnology industry. (Google Calico, The Buck Institute Research for Aging, Thermo Fisher Scientific, NIH, UCSF, and others). At the end of those 3 months, I was really disappointed to not have seen any place that was similar to the campus I envisioned. I was also really disappointed by how most of them were trying to make advance in biology. For me, the goal of curing aging was like the Eiffel Tower, and our tools were like a shovel and a hammer. It was so obvious to me that focusing on inventing new tools was the key.
Two weeks before I had to go back to France, I met Kent Kemmish. He had the same goal and were inventing a novel nanopore in a garage. The last week, I also met the CTOs of Pacific Biosciences and Genia Technologies. I was happy to meet developers of instruments.
For a few months I pondered. I was not interested in the companies and laboratories I visited. But I remembered Kent Kemmish.
I have to admit it did not feel attractive to go work with him. But in 2017, because he told me he was really struggling, I realized I had to help him,
he had the same goal and doing right thing: inventing an instrument. So without asking him, I flew to him and join his basement in Arizona.
I helped him during 3 months develop the novel nanopore. It was a beautiful adventure. The last 2 weeks we took the car and went to the Bay Area
to meet investors in hawaiian shirts. Then I became a co-founder and board member of his startup Demonpore.
Because the visitor visas are only for 3 months, I had to go back to France, again. Arrived at home, I had time to think, and again, that idea of a research center for scientific instruments filled my mind.
A year later, in 2018, I went back to the US for another 3 months. I met George Church in Boston to talk about the idea of a center. Then I went to Stanford to
meet Drew Endy as well. I didn't want to stay at people's home again, so that time I slept outside. My first night outside was in San Francisco city.
I have to say sleeping by the ocean was really cold. Drew Endy were interested in the instruments we developed. He asked me if I could give a
presentation to him and his students the next week. So I stayed in Stanford. I secretly slept in Stanford, in the bioengineering building,
sleeping in conference rooms. The presentation was positive so I told Kent to come as soon as he can to Stanford to meet Drew. He had to pack
the heavy setup and instrument, and drive from Phoenix to San Francisco. In the meantime, I kept staying in Stanford, exploring every laboratory
of the department.
Drew Endy offered us to join his lab as visiting researchers. We installed our instrument in his lab. Kent needed money so had a part-time for a startup. In my case, that gave me the time to explore other labs in other departments. At the end I secretly slept there during 2 months. I can say I had the time to feel the "spirit" of the place... Again, I was disappointed... disappointed by the lack of vision and sense, because none of the infrastructures and projects I had seen so far would enable me to achieve my first goal of curing aging in my lifetime.
A week later, after having left the US, I learned our startup Demonpore have been selected by Y Combinator. It was great news! I few to the US again, but this time, unfortunately, I wasn't allowed to enter the frontier; I didn't have a return ticket for convenience, and had already been there 3 months 2 weeks ago – that didn't look like a visit to them.
We thought I could help developing the nanopore if I installed it in our partner's lab dealing with electronics, in Italy. So I went there for 2 months. It was a bad idea because it was too hard to deal with two setups in different location with a small budget. We gave up that idea. However, it was a great experience because during those two months I slept outside, often by the sea and in the middle of a sunflower crop. I discovered a lifestyle of freedom, and was seduced by its beauty.
Since I could not go back to the US, and I was exhausted of living at my parents' home, I started to go to other countries, Brazil, Switzerland, China, every time sleeping outside, every time carrying less things, except books. I hadn't enough money to rent a place anyway. I started to observe society, to think more deeply, and to really enjoy this lifestyle of complete freedom. Those long journeys of homelessness really helped me to grow. And the more I grew the more I found reasons behind the idea of reversing my aging process. I ignored them when I started to be on this quest. But now, although I don't care about death because of the conception I have of it, I have many other reasons to pursue.
In late 2019, I started SolveBiology – a large campus devoted to the creation of scientific instruments, to fully control biology at the smallest scale possible, in our lifetime. I went to Spain as well, reading, thinking...
But in April 2020, I was finally convinced it would be easier to change the whole world. I knew it since the very beginning. What I want to achieve is against how the world works. So I am going to change the world.
This biography is omitting many things. You barely have an idea of what I have lived, and thought.