Happy New Year! We are excited to share some of the great things that are happening in the BioBuilderClub community.
Team Spotlight - Bayview Glen in Toronto, ON, Canada
This month we spotlight one of our 6 international teams. Bayview Glen, located in Ontario, Canada, is a third-year participant in BioBuilderClub. Led by teacher Ms. Kristin Carpenter, the team is very active, and has benefited from weekly meetings and an involved group of students with clear roles. The team website chronicles its challenges and brainstorming sessions in the narrowing of a group project. After much consideration, the focus for their group project will be: How to clean up salt run-off from winter icing.
BioBuilder friends in cold, snowy areas can appreciate this challenge! We wish the team well as it works toward a solution. Follow their progress in this blog!
As we spotlight an international BioBuilderClub team, we also celebrate the extended BioBuilder family through the new BioBuilderGlobal website. See the scientists and students highlighted around the world!
"Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of the imagination." - John Dewey
BioBuilderClub Important Reminders
If you intend to pursue publication of your team project through BioTreks, January 13th is the deadline for teams to register!
Remember to update your website....and check out other team websites before our next group call on January 11th!
Mentor Spotlight: Dr. Roy Maute, Ph.D.
Co-Founder and Head of Biology at Ab Initio Biotherapeutics
As a child, Roy was full of questions about how things worked and why. He has always loved the science fiction and fantasy genres, which have been a source of inspiration for him in thinking about what is possible. While many people in the field consider the academic career track (rather than the biotechnology industry) to be the premier way to be a scientist, he has never shared that opinion and has always wanted to balance scientific investigation with practical technological advancements.
One of the amazing and difficult things about a career in science is that there is no single, defined track to follow. Therefore, one of the most important skills for any scientist is the ability to keep your eyes open for opportunities, and for ways to make your own luck. In order to find a balanced blend of scientific investigation and practicality, Roy looked for opportunities to start a company, and tried to put himself in environments where that might be possible. He did his postdoctoral studies at Stanford University, which has a tradition and culture of entrepreneurial activity. While there, he had the good fortune to collaborate with several scientists who shared his passion for scientific work and his interest in starting a company. This led to the founding of Ab Initio Biotherapeutics. Ab Initio’s mission is to engineer novel protein biologics for difficult therapeutic targets. This requires understanding the biological systems that they’re trying to modulate; to design and create huge collections of proteins that can serve as drug candidates; to isolate the drugs that have a desired activity; to produce them in the lab, and test them in in vitro and in vivo settings.
Roy's advice for students who think they want to have a career in biotechnology:
For many scientists, the moment that defines the beginning of their career is when they first set foot in a real lab. Roy encourages students to find a lab position as early as possible. Access to early lab experience often correlates with privileged situations, but it doesn't have to be that way. Having passed through a number of different types of labs, Roy thinks that many students would be surprised to find out how available these opportunities are. He also recommends that you aim for specific short- and long-term objectives. It's your prerogative to change those objectives at any time, so don't become dogmatic.
Next virtual group meeting:
January 11, 2017
*Reminder of new virtual meeting platform. GoToMeeting login details posted under Team Resources.*
5:30 - 6:30 pm EST - All Massachusetts teams and East Coast teams
8:00 - 9:00 pm EST - International, West Coast, and Mid-West teams
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