Tin-Chuen Yeung

Throughout much of his career, Tin-Chuen Yeung has straddled two worlds within the life sciences: bench science and business development.

Karen Pallarito
Nov 6, 2005
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Courtesy of Tin-Chuen Yeung

Throughout much of his career, Tin-Chuen Yeung has straddled two worlds within the life sciences: bench science and business development.

In 1988, a year after completing a master's degree in management, Yeung got a chance to combine his business and scientific skills. Monsanto Company's NutraSweet division invited the pharmacologist to participate in "Rent A Genius," a program in which hand-picked scientists in the company's R&D unit spent six months in business development, and vice versa.

That cross-fertilization mingled talented individuals who think and behave very differently. It was as if they were "from two different cultures," Yeung, now 53, reflects. "R&D people talk a different language than the business people, and they don't seem to understand each other."

It's not unlike the culture clash he experienced in 1974 when he arrived in the United States from Hong Kong to attend the State University of New York...