Interview with Leader of Tomorrow 2016: Dr. Sandhya Sriram, Research Fellow at A*STAR & Director of the virtual newsroom Biotechin.Asia

Leader of Tomorrow and GapSummit 2016 attendee Dr. Sandhya Sriram is currently a Research Fellow at Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC), A*STAR, working on stem cells from fat and teeth. She is the Vice President of the A*STAR postdoc society (A*PECSS) as well as the co-founder, director and assistant editor of the online virtual newsroom Biotechin.Asia. Q: Sandhya, thank you very much for joining us today. What was your motivation to apply for the GapSummit? Sandhya: I am an active member/Vice President at the A*STAR postdoc society (A*PECSS) in Singapore. A*PECSS is a volunteer…Read more

Synthetic Biology Continues to Grow in the U.S., Raising More than $0.5B in 2015

In the past year, industrial applications for synthetic biology have simply exploded. Just in 2015, SynBio companies in the United States have raised more than half a billion dollars to advance fields as diverse as personalized medicine and next-generation textiles. The dramatic increase in synbio investment is primarily concentrated in two transcostal hubs: the greater San Francisco and Boston areas. Companies in San Francisco have benefitted from a very supportive startup culture, taking advantage of infrastructure laid down from years of Silicon Valley endeavours. The startup process has been streamlined in the area…Read more

What are the key factors to let Synthetic Biotechnology flourish in the UK?

The excitement in the synthetic biology community in the UK is palpable. It’s apparent in the buzz at SynBio meetings and conferences, but also evident by the sector’s rapid growth in the UK in the last five years. Thanks to the UK government’s pro-active mindset towards the industry - having identified SynBio as one of its seven key enabling technologies, it is perhaps the only country to have a coordinated and cohesive SynBio plan in place (in the form of the Synthetic Biology Roadmap). SynBio companies that set up shop in the UK…Read more

What makes the “People gap” tricky

What makes the “People gap” specifically tricky is that the biotech world needs highly trained individuals – PhDs with several years of postdoctoral experience - and that this training is mostly outsourced to academic institutions. In consequence, if there are major flaws in these institutions, talented people are discouraged from pursuing this career path and turn their back to research long before they can even reach the entry portal to the biotech world. And this is what I believe is currently happening. We, the young scientists who would ultimately be the ones discovering…Read more