What led you to join Primordial Genetics?

After years of research in an academic setting, I was eager to transition into the
biotech industry, and everyone at Primordial Genetics was incredibly welcoming.
Our size and team dynamics allow us to take on biological problems of real
impact with a laser focus. Combine that with the awesome power of evolution,
which we harness as our primary tool to create new and better enzymes, and I’m
continuously excited to see what we can achieve.

What industries are you most excited about that will benefit from this technology?

The coronavirus pandemic has reminded all of us the importance of public
health. In the midst of this tragedy, the speed and number of vaccines developed
in response has been uplifting. Our RNA polymerases have the potential to make
production of such vaccines and other therapies quicker and easier.
Antimicrobial resistance is another growing threat to public health, and we’ve
got a project to address that as well.

What does a day in the life of a Primordial Genetics researcher consist of?

I would be lying if I said I didn’t spend a lot of pipetting clear liquids into other
clear liquids. Fortunately with the right setup, and a pair of headphones, I can
really get into the zone at the lab bench. In between experiments, it turns out
that carefully planning and designing the most useful experiments is really worth
it. Lastly, research inevitably comes with its failures, but it’s important to
celebrate the small successes we achieve every day.

When you aren’t in the lab, what do you like to do? 

I’m a runner, a reader, and a regular at live-band karaoke (pre-COVID). I’m lucky
enough to live in Southern California, meaning I try to soak up all the sun that I
can, whether on a hike through the mountains or just an afternoon on the
beach. And sometimes I just have to dance.

What are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

The last great book I read was Dawn by Octavia Butler. If you enjoy science,
fiction, or a masterful mix of both, do yourself a favor and find a copy.

To read Shawn’s full bio, visit https://www.primordialgenetics.com/about/