Deniz Kirik was drawn to medicine by his desire to better understand the human brain, but he found that doctors in his native Turkey have little opportunity for research. Nonetheless, he has turned what first felt like a failed career choice into an advantage. Now a neuroscience professor at Lund University in Sweden and co-founder of a spinoff company, Kirik uses his medical background to develop novel gene-based therapies for Parkinson's disease and bring them to the clinic. In October, Kirik secured a partnership with his regional government in southern Sweden to build a hospital specialized for testing and implementing gene therapies. --This interview was edited for brevity and clarity.