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Scientist Spotlight | Shirin Bakre

Updated: Mar 14

This week we interviewed Shirin, a creative and insightful research assistant who conducts experimental procedures with her team at Fount Bio. Fount Bio is developing innovative glycopolymer-based products to revitalize tissues.

Shirin using the Rotary Evaporator at Nest.Bio Labs

What is your earliest memory of being interested in science?

"The first time I felt like science spoke to me was in sixth grade. Before this, I felt like science was just a subject I needed to learn. Sure it was interesting, but most of it was just textbook materials and fun little lab experiments with falling eggs or measuring water.

So, in sixth grade, when our teacher took us outside to watch the clouds, science became something else. We were learning about weather predictions and charting the various types of clouds. The question we asked was, ”how did meteorologists estimate weather just by looking at the clouds?”. I wrote in my notebook, cumulus, stratus, and cumulonimbus as I watched the clouds pass by. This was the first time I took science home with me from the classroom. I constantly watched the sky and felt joy when I predicted the weather correctly. It was then that science, for me, really became tangible and something I can take part in."

What piece of equipment is your favorite to use?

"My favorite piece of equipment is definitely the rotovap (a device used in labs for the efficient and gentle removal of solvents from samples by evaporation). This was the first piece of equipment I was given the responsibility of. As someone who was just learning the ins and outs of science, it was a proud moment for me when I was left in charge of the machines and our samples that needed to be rotovaped."

Post-It Portraits by Shirin of the FountBio Team

What's the most challenging part of your field?

"Well, this statement might relate to most startups in the science field. The things we are testing/creating are completely new. As a start-up, we have an open-ended question that hasn’t been answered and so we must “forge our own path”. This can be a daunting task because there really isn’t any “correct direction” or a “path commonly taken”. I believe this is both a challenge and a reward since most of the things we do are a novelty. It is exciting to see our projects succeed and come to life and quite disheartening if not. However, since working at a startup is quite open-ended not all failures are true failures, they are just a chance to change gears and start again."

What would you like to see for the future of your field of research in 20 years?

"I hope that the science we generate at Fount Bio can impact various fields of practice. Sometimes one solution can be applicable to a variety of different problems as long as the solution is tweaked. I also hope that the company is able to expand and work with even more talented scientists who are passionate about the work we do."

FountBio at the Nest.Bio 2022 Holiday Party

When not working at Fount Bio what do you typically like to do?

"My after-work activities can range from just going to work out, spending time with friends and family, or just relaxing while making art. There isn’t a specific order of doing those things, I just kind of do what I need to do to make the most of my downtime. Doing this helps me come back to work fresh-faced and ready to take on the tasks for the day!"

Thank you, Shirin, for your responses! If you are interested in learning more about Shirin's team check out Fount Bio here.

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