Dr. Soon-Shiong was born in apartheid South Africa to Chinese immigrant parents, who fled from China during World War II. He graduated from high school at age 16 and received his medical degree at age 23 from the University of Witwatersrand, finishing fourth out of 189. After finishing his internship at Johannesburg’s General Hospital, Dr. Soon-Shiong earned a Master of Science degree from the University of British Columbia, where he was the first resident to receive multiple research awards simultaneously from the American College of Surgeons, the Royal college of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada as well as the American Association of Academic Surgery. He then moved to the United States where he initiated his surgical training at University of California, Los Angeles, became a board-certified surgeon both as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Canada) and a Fellow of the American College of surgeons and joined the medical school faculty at UCLA as Assistant professor at age 31.
Dr. Soon-Shiong founded APP in 1997. Soon-Shiong joined the faculty of UCLA Medical School in 1983. He left UCLA in 1991 to start VivoRx, a diabetes research firm. Forbes estimates his fortune is $3.5 billion, ranking him #87 among billionaires.
On July 7, 2008 it was reported that Soon-Shiong, who owns more than 80 percent of American Pharmaceutical Partners (APP), agreed to sell his stake to Fresenius SE for 3.7 billion US dollars.
Today Soon-Shiong is Executive Chairman Abraxis BioScience, President's Council at RAND Corporation, Executive Director of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute, Professor of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics Professor of Bioengineering at UCLA, Chairman of the National Coalition for Health Integration, on the Board of Directors for the National Institute of Transplantation, on the board of directors for the Technology Council for the new Center for Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence at Northwestern University, etc. He is accused of spreading himself too thin yet positive things happen everywhere he goes.
From accompanying him on hospital rounds to interviews with patients impacted by his medical discoveries, the documentary offers a glimpse inside the world of the internationally renowned physician, surgeon, inventor, scientist, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Patrick Soon-Shiong: Man on a Mission also revisits his early years. Raised in South Africa under apartheid, Dr. Soon-Shiong experienced the challenges of discrimination early in life and dedicated himself to closing disparity gaps that exist in the world through his belief that defying conventional wisdom leads to the kind of innovation that makes a real difference in people's lives. His vision and mission is straightforward: to think globally and act locally by finding the common thread that connects throughout and expand the work he does in the United States to all parts of the world. Ultimately he believes that successful healthcare initiatives are one path toward achieving greater international diplomacy.
In June 2010, Dr. Soon-Shiong, M.D. received the 10th KCET Visionary Award, which honors individuals who have made unique and visionary contributions to improving the lives of others through their support of arts and culture, healthcare, education and the well being of children