As OMRF’s new vice president of technology ventures, Manu Nair will focus on transforming OMRF’s laboratory breakthroughs into products that doctors can use to diagnose and treat human disease. But while the position is new to Manu, OMRF is not. He first worked at the foundation from 2004 to 2009, learning the ins and outs of technology licensing. He left Oklahoma for a position with the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota but returned this spring to put his people skills and deal-making experience to work for OMRF. Manu and his wife, Athira, have a four-year-old son, Jai.
I was the first one of my family to come to the United States. They call me “the pilgrim.”
In India, I was a divorce lawyer. Every day for an entire year I spent hearing the worst about people.
My wife and I had an arranged marriage. The concept was normal for us. You marry the family, not just the person. It worked for me, thanks to my wife, but I don’t expect my kids to do that.
My older brother is a country-and-western music fan. As kids we’d pool our money to buy Kenny Rogers or John Denver albums. Today, I listen to a lot of Keith Urban.
I never get tired of washing dishes. Some days, my mind is racing to the point where I can’t sleep. Tending to the dishes lets me put things in order and completely clear my mind.
When my dad died, I was unable to attend his funeral. He was my best friend. I almost gave up my green card status to go home for the service, but my family reminded me to carry on with my life—our dad would have wanted it that way.
Before my son was born, I was quite a risk-taker. Now I’m more careful. Fatherhood has made me wiser.