Still in Berkeley Biolabs, Berkeley, California. We are now with Ryan Bethencourt, co-founder and CEO of this space, and he takes some of his time to tell us about his main interests. His keywords? biotechnologies, innovation and hackers!
Could you introduce yourself?
Commercial biotech guy with an undergraduate background in genetics, a master from Cambridge university (in Bioscience Enterprise) and a PhD dropout in Stem Cell Research from Edinburgh University. I’ve been involved with building 3 biotech companies and also worked for the last 10 years with Biotech/Pharma companies to run clinical programs and get approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMEA) for novel therapeutics.
What does hacking represent for you?
I’ve been involved since the early days of DIY Bio in trying to make biotechnology more accessible to a broader group of people. I’m passionate about accelerating the pass of biotech innovation, which I believe is linked hand and hand with democratizing access to biotechnology knowledge, tools and equipment.
What do you expect from a hackerspace?
I expect biohacker spaces to accelerate innovations in biotech. I actually like the term biohacker much more than DIY Bio. DIY Bio hints at an amateur aspect to doing biotech which many of the biohackers we work with are not: some are relatively new to biotech (like software, electrical or mechanical engineers but are very much highly talented professionals in their own field) and others, like PhD’s, Postdocs and Professors who already work in this space. All have a genuine passion to create novel and useable new technologies!
>> Picture: Dailylaurel (CC)