Science Exchange Stories: Derek Duan, Eyegenix, LLC.

June 26, 2014 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Scientist Spotlight |
BioSynthetic Artificial Cornea of Eyegenix LLC.

BioSynthetic Artificial Cornea of Eyegenix LLC.

Derek Duan is a Principal Investigator at Eyegenix, a small biotech in Hawaii that is creating a unique way to cure corneal blindness.

How are they doing it? By creating a synthetic, transplantable cornea that promotes tissue regeneration.

I spoke with Derek about their novel approach to curing blindness, the biotech scene in Hawaii, and his experience using Science Exchange. Check out our conversation below.

Q: Tell me about Eyegenix.

Derek: We’re a biotech company located in Honolulu, Hawaii. We’re doing research and development on the most advanced artificial cornea in the world. This is a biosynthetic polymer based product.

We’re very excited to put our artificial corneas into the market as soon as possible, because there are millions of people globally that could be cured with this product.

Q: How did the company start?

Derek: Dr. Hank C.K. Wuh, who was born in Hawaii and educated in the mainland, founded the company in 2012. He wanted to come back and serve Hawaii. He’s making use of the island as an intersection of Asia, Australia and America to be a center for biotech research. That’s why he decided to come back and fund his company. Read the rest of this entry »

Lab Profile: Zhiyong Wang, ADS Biosystems

June 19, 2014 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Lab Profiles |

 

Zhiyong Wang in the lab at ADS Biosystems.

Zhiyong Wang in the lab at ADS Biosystems.

I recently talked with Zhiyong Wang Ph.D, CEO of ADS Biosystems Inc. ADS Biosystems specializes in cell-based assay development. In particular, Zhiyong applies his experience and expertise from the renowned Hunter Lab at the Salk Institute to develop assays with brown and white fat, routine human cell lines,  human adult stem cells, and rodent cochlea.

Check out more on his background and inspiration below.

Q: What were you doing before you started ADS Biosystems?

Zhiyong: From 2002 – 2009, I was a research associate in the Hunter Lab at the Salk Institute. The lab is fantastic and everyone enjoys developing and working on their own projects. It’s a great environment with diverse expertise and collaborative spirits. Tony encourages people to be independent and explore what inspires them. Tony co-founded the Signal Pharmaceutical Inc., which is now part of Celgene Corp. Therefore, it is not surprising that a few people from his lab have started their own companies.

I was researching metabolism, obesity, and diabetics with mouse genetic models, and discovered crucial roles of transcriptional master regulators in obesity and glucose resistance. I was fascinated with fat cells (adipocytes) in particular.

That was the reason why I was recruited to a local stem cell company that planned to build a brown fat program from scratch. At that time, there were exciting discoveries that adult humans have brown fat, which burns energy and may be used to combat obesity and diabetes. I was really excited about the project and enjoyed building the brown fat program from the ground up. I discovered a family of small molecule compounds that induced brown fat formation from human adult stem cells. I also developed a platform to discover novels compounds, which induce brown fat formation in obese patients to burn extra energy.

Another project at my previous company started with a Department of Defense (DOD) grant. As you know, some of our soldiers at Afghanistan and Iraq experienced battlefield noises and lost their hearing. We wanted to restore their hearing by stimulating stem cells in cochlea to regenerate inner ear hair cells, which are responsible for sound wave sensing. As the lead scientist for the project, I developed cochlear organ culture-based assays to identify candidate compounds, which induce hair cell regeneration. Our hearing team was great in that we really enjoyed working together and we were very productive: we generated two patents for the compounds of hearing restoration and discovered a novel pathway critical for inner ear hair cell regeneration. Read the rest of this entry »

Is scientific collaboration broken?

June 12, 2014 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Infographics |

At Science Exchange, we believe that collaboration is the future of science. In fact, we created Science Exchange to help scientists access top equipment and expertise to simplify their collaborations.

We wanted to learn how scientists are currently working with their peers, so we surveyed over 1500 scientists about their collaborations. Check out our infographic below which summarizes the enlightening data on the state of collaboration.

Science_Exchange_Collaboration_Survey

Check out 2000+ experiments you can order on Science Exchange here.

Use the code below to embed this infographic:

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