Current projects

Biotech

A therapeutic for autoimmune conditions that aren’t well-treated by biologics

The hypotheses:

  1. A lot of autoimmune conditions are well-treated by biologics. But there are some that fall through the cracks.
  2. For example, chronic spontaneous urticaria is a condition in which cyclosporine is recommended as a treatment following failures of biologics. My conversations with experts in the field suggest roughly 10% of people fail biologics.
  3. Moreover, in countries with poor healthcare, or in people with poor health insurance, biologics are often unavailable or impossibly expensive.
  4. Cyclosporine is a commonly used immunosuppressant for chronic spontaneous urticaria as well as other autoimmune conditions. However, it has problems, including severe side effects and difficulties with administration.
  5. Combining cyclosporine with a metabolic inhibitor would reduce side effects, make it easier to administer cyclosporine, and ultimately make life easier for people with that condition.

Evidence:

  1. Surprisingly, there are case reports with the combination of cyclosporine and metabolic inhibitors. They show good results, and they show the combination is safe in humans.
  2. My in-vitro experiment also showed good results.

Current status: patent secured, funding mode activated. Find out more on highwaypharm.com .

A therapeutic for levodopa-induced dyskinesia in Parkinson’s

The hypotheses:

  1. Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s is poorly treated. It’s a serious problem, and the only real solutions are amantadine and deep brain stimulation. Amantadine is not an easy drug: it can cause nightmares and hallucinations. Deep brain stimulation requires invasive surgery.
  2. Dyskinesia in Parkinson’s is caused by [tba], which can be treated by [tba]. This should be a safe, effective treatment which will produce dramatic results that are easy to see (unlike, say, disease modifying treatments for Parkinson’s, which are masked by levodopa until levodopa stops working).
  3. Other dyskinesias will also benefit from this therapeutic.

Evidence: TBA

Current status: in the process of filing a provisional patent and getting experiments done.

A therapeutic for glutamate excitoxicity

The hypotheses:

  1. Glutamate excitoxicity isn’t responsible for all neurodegeneration. However, there is some neurodegeneration that is caused by glutamate excitoxicity.
  2. In neurodegeneration that is caused by glutamate excitoxicity, [tba] will prove effective.
  3. Neurodegeneration, on the whole, is poorly treated and frankly terrifying. For ALS, traumatic brain injuries with neurodegeneration, Alzheimer’s, etc. , there is really nothing that can be done currently.

Evidence: TBA

Current status: in the process of filing a provisional patent and getting experiments done

A therapeutic for chronic heart failure

The hypotheses:

  1. Despite being common, chronic heart failure is not well treated. If there are no obvious causes (and there usually aren’t), care is more palliative than curative.
  2. [tba] is a major cause of damage in chronic heart failure, and, when untreated, can lead to decline in heart function.
  3. [TBA therapeutic] can treat this major cause of damage.

Evidence: TBA.

Current status: Refining my evidence.

Education business

My graduate exam tutoring business, Trevor Klee, Tutor

The hypothesis: People will pay a lot per hour ($100+) to get tutoring for graduate exams, if they think it will help them get into a good graduate program.

Evidence: A lot of people doing it before me.

Current status: Successful. It’s the main way I fund myself.

My graduate exam coaching business, done under the aegis of my graduate exam tutoring business.

The hypothesis: Tutoring involves a lot of wasted time covering stuff people could have taught themselves. There are a lot of people who just want support while they teach themselves, and don’t need to spend the time/money tutoring requires.

Evidence: Students I have taught who are mostly running on autopilot (i.e. I more answer questions and have them do homework than teach them directly).

Current status: Reasonably successful. It’s been very successful with MCAT students, as the MCAT is a very content-heavy exam which never lent itself that well for tutoring. It’s been mildly successful with less content-heavy exams, as a lot of people still just want tutoring.

My graduate exam books

The hypothesis: There are parts of the exams I teach that aren’t well covered by the “mainstays”, and there’s room to sell books to students still.

Evidence: Students I’ve taught who have gone through the mainstream courses and books, and still have gaps in their knowledge.

Current status: Reasonably successful. The books sell well, and I think the main barrier to them doing better is simply discovery. I’m currently making efforts to make them more discoverable on Amazon by gathering reviews, and I also sell them on my own website.

My studying app, 21st Night

The hypotheses:

1. Spaced repetition is a really useful way to memorize things that isn’t used enough. This is because it’s boring, somewhat difficult to incorporate with the rest of learning, and is somewhat counterintuitive.

2. A studying app based around spaced repetition that allows notes and a study plan, is gamified, and encourages but does not force spaced repetition will be popular with students.

Evidence: Looking at Anki’s success stories, it’s obvious that spaced repetition can be useful. However, Anki needs an explainer just to be useful. And, judging from personal experience, as well as the experience of students, it’s easy to bounce off or slack.

Current status: Eh. Work in progress. The hardest thing about it has been simply to continually make it easier to use while still accomplishing what I want it to accomplish. App development is hard. It makes some amount of money, at least.