Police Encounter and Soviet Aircraft

Day 10 /// Latvia and Lithuania

October 7, 2020

Favorite Healthcare Image of the Trip: Latvia

Day 10 began with the team exploring the beautiful 13th century city of Riga, with its art nouveau architecture and 19th century wooden buildings. One thing that caught our attention was an enormous monument outside of a medical museum depicting a nurse in a white medical gown with a stethoscope and a face mask, which struck us as particularly poignant in these uncertain times. Unfortunately,  Phill and Mark’s attracted some negative attention from local law enforcement for photographing the monument (apparently a faux pas).


We were taken on a tour of MGI Latvia’s new R&D and manufacturing facility for its gene sequencing and multi-omics platforms by Rolando Delgado, after which we interviewed the General Manager, Andis Šlaitas, who provided a very personal take on the COVID-19 pandemic.

After leaving Riga, we stopped to conduct a Zoom interview with Vladas Bumelis, Chairman of the Board of Northway Biotech, which is based in Vilnius, Lithuania, precisely where we were headed. With over 40 years in the industry, few can match Vladas’s experience, and he told us about the considerable expansion underway at the Vilnius facility.

Continuing on at dusk, the team was struck by coming across an airfield connected to a hotel that was full of MIG aircraft and large Russian helicopters. Crossing into Lithuania and finally encountering real highways again, we ultimately reached Vilnius late in the evening, where we were able to locate an elegant restaurant where we enjoyed a rare fine meal before calling it a night.

Rolando H. Delgado and Dr. Andis Šlaitas,
MGI Latvia; (Virtual) Dr. Vladas Bumelis, Northway Biotechpharma


Nigel Walker

Mr. Walker is the founder and managing director of That’s Nice LLC, a research-driven marketing agency with 20 years dedicated to life sciences. Nigel harnesses the strategic capabilities of Nice Insight, the research arm of That’s Nice, to help companies communicate science-based visions to grow their businesses. Mr. Walker earned a bachelor’s degree in graphic design with honors from London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, England.