Skip to content

CHOICE Alum Will Canestaro recognized for health innovation

Will CanestaroCHOICE alum Will Canestaro was selected as a 2019 Seattle Health Innovator of the Year in Collaboration.

This award recognizes individuals who are exhibiting extraordinary talent in the four attributes that contribute to successful innovation: collaboration, customer focus, imagination, and perseverance. Recognized for collaboration, Will is currently the Managing Director at Washington Research Foundation/WRF Capital.

Will regularly collaborates with UWSOP students, faculty, and the institute through his work with the Washington Research Foundation, of which several UWSOP graduate and professional students are currently fellowship recipients.

Will earned his PhD from the CHOICE Institute in 2016. His dissertation research was on “Publication Bias: Development and Assessment of Methods for Adjustment and Quantification of Impact” and Dr. Josh Carlson served as his committee chair.

Will is a valuable catalyst for life science startups in the Pacific Northwest. In his role at WRF, Will is responsible for the Foundation’s investments in Life Science and Biotechnology start-ups where he provides insightful strategic advice and facilitates connections based on his own startup experience. During his PhD. studies at the UW, Will worked extensively with several university spin-outs to help them launch. He always finds time to meet with students and advise them; moreover, connect them to others in his network.

Will has been on the management team for the Institute for Translational Health Sciences, ITHS/WRF Summer Commercialization Fellows program, and teaches the Health Innovation Practicum. He has served on and been a great collaborator on committees and boards for M3 Biotechnology, Faraday Pharmaceuticals, Phase Genomics, Icosavax, One Radio, Life Science Washington Institute, and the ITHS. He was also recognized by Puget Sound Business Insider as a 40 under 40 for 2019:

I’m tremendously excited and humbled to have been selected as a finalist for Health Innovator of Year by Health Innovation NW alongside so many impressive people here in the community. For me, this highlights the impact and reach of the WRF platform for supporting promising health technologies and entrepreneurs within Washington State. I am energized to work at a place like WRF with such a strong team and an important mission. Will Canestaro

He was recognized for this honor at the Health Innovation NW 2019 Annual Awards and Holiday Party.