Last Saturday morning our friend and Nines advisor, Dr. Sam Gambhir, MD, PhD, passed away. Sam’s contributions to medicine and science are immense and he fostered the development of hundreds of students and colleagues while at Stanford. I was fortunate to learn from Sam when he agreed to advise me and my colleague Dr. Alex Kagen as we founded Nines three years ago.
We shared lunch at our first meeting. Sam was full of energy and we had the tremendous advantage of his belief in the Nines mission very early on. As was typical of his generosity, Sam readily offered to recommend us to knowledgeable physicians and investors to help us move faster. His support was key to our growing Nines’ ecosystem of radiologists and engineers.
While building my past three companies I’ve benefited from the counsel of numerous advisors. I think about what I learned from Sam: his style that was both pensive and concise. His very fast replies to email day or night - that one I’ve emulated to the chagrin of my team, I know. His warmth in conversations. My Nines colleague Russell, who previously worked for Sam, says it well:
Sam was successful at sharing his point of view due to his off-the-charts intelligence and sharp understanding of the social and business context of each situation, which was balanced by his compassion and genuine interest in doing what was best for each individual. He had a calming presence about him that people gravitated toward.
How lucky I’ve been to receive Sam’s guidance. I recently told him that my dream since I was little was to do world-class work at the intersection of technology and important problems facing the world, and that his support was a key part of continuing to make that dream come true.
I will always remember Sam for that.