Science Exchange Stories: Ethan Perlstein, Perlstein Lab

September 25, 2014 | Posted by Tess Mayall in Scientist Spotlight, Stories |

Perlstein Lab Cropped

I recently spoke with our user Ethan Perlstein, whose one-of-a-kind independent lab is flipping traditional drug discovery on its head. Check out how he is changing the paradigm of traditional research, pharmacology, and more below.

Q: What is the focus of the Perlstein Lab?

Ethan: The Perlstein Lab is focused on personalized orphan drug discovery. We take a two-pronged approach. We first create a primordial disease model for a given patients’ mutation; that involves taking a change in the DNA that you see in the disease and putting it into the model organisms.

We use yeast, worms, flies, and fish that have ancestral versions of that gene. We can use those models to do drug discovery, and we can validate the hits that we get in patient derived cells of the same genotype. So it’s a closed system where everything is personalized from the outset.

Q: How did it come into existence? What was the progression from your very first crowdfunding experience to starting your own lab?

Ethan: The science behind it has been incubating a long time, since I was in grad school, so it’s been a ten-year process. Screening using a model organism is something I did in grad school, so it’s existed for awhile. As a post-doc, I took some of those scientific concepts and drilled down deeper, so that put me in a good position to have a scientific foundation.

I spent the next 18 months leaving academia and navigating the business side. Last fall, I put together a business plan, had it reviewed by business people, improved my plan, and by the end of 2014 I began fundraising.

The team started to come together in early April. The lab started to come together in terms of equipment and structure in mid-April. And now we have a fully functional lab that has yeast, worms, and flies, and it’s off to the races. Read the rest of this entry »

About Science Exchange

We are transforming scientific collaboration by creating a marketplace where scientists can order experiments from the world's top labs.

Check the Science Exchange blog for updates, opinions, guest posts and the latest happenings at Science Exchange HQ!

Visit Science Exchange →

Subscribe to the blog
Never miss a post! Science Exchange blog posts delivered right to your inbox.
Thank you for joining the SciEx revolution!
Powered By WPFruits.com