TomorrowScale Podcast

TomorrowScale Podcast

By Justin Briggs
Conversations with the scientists and entrepreneurs who are building the future.
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On-Demand Biology - Tierra Biosciences
How do you build biology? Simple: DNA to RNA to proteins, right? Not so fast.  Each one of your trillions of cells are themselves little factories, constantly producing various peptides and proteins that your body needs from building blocks of amino acids encoded by our genes. Multiple industries use various forms of biological manufacturing wherein they've harnessed cells of some kind: yeast, E coli, animal, and human cell lines to manufacture proteins for us. But there are downsides to traditional cell culture methods; those same cells that protect also constrain. And some scientists want to leave the cell behind entirely. On this episode, we'll speak about the potential of cell-free manufacturing "bits to biology" with Tierra Biosciences CEO Zachary Sun, PhD, who co-founded Tierra with leading synthetic biologists in Harvard's George Church and CalTech's Richard Murray. Their vision is to "break free of the cell and fundamentally change how scientists approach discovery." Launched just last month, Sol by Tierra is a cell-free manufacturing system that serves as a biological synthesis-as-a-service layer for R&D scientists. And it could play a key role enabling an on-demand biological future, where the protein of interest is just a click away. This is the TomorrowScale Podcast. Hosted by Justin Briggs. Tierra Biosciences: https://tierrabiosciences.com Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tomorrowscale Listen on Your Favorite Podcast App Join our mailing list: https://tomorrowscale.com The TomorrowScale Podcast was created to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building science-based businesses, and to hear stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
39:14
June 26, 2020
Nature's Nuclear - Oklo Inc
On this episode Oklo co-founders Jacob DeWitte and Caroline Cochran join us to discuss what it took to get their startup to this point in development of the first advanced nuclear fission power plant; how a chance meeting with Sam Altman (OpenAI, YCombinator) changed their path; and how to think big, by starting small, even in nuclear. This year, Oklo became the first company to submit a combined construction and operating license application to the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (or NRC) for what is called an "advanced fission power plant." (Update 6/15/20: Oklo's application has been accepted and docketed for review by the NRC.) Their design, the Aurora "powerhouse" centers around the concept not of a traditional reactor, but of a small, modular fission battery hundreds of times smaller than traditional reactors. Listen as Jake and Caroline take us through the fascinating founding story of Oklo and their big vision for the small future of clean energy. This is the TomorrowScale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs. Oklo Inc: https://oklo.com/ Aurora Powerhouse Press Release: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20191202005499/en/Oklo-Announces-Aurora-Advanced-Fission-Clean-Energy Aurora's NRC Application Accepted for Docketing: https://www.ans.org/news/article-269/auroras-docketing-marks-dawn-for-advanced-reactor-licensing/ http://TomorrowScale.com The TomorrowScale Podcast was created to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building science-based businesses, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
1:36:03
June 12, 2020
Trials to Your Door - Sanguine Biosciences
At the center of every clinical trial is a group of patients; each with a medical condition that we seek to understand more about through interacting with those patients directly. Startups like Sanguine Biosciences are part of a clinical services innovation layer, connecting population health, clinical research, and healthcare delivery in new ways using new technologies. On this episode, our guest is Brian Neman, CEO of Sanguine Biosciences, and adjunct instructor at the University of Southern California's Price School of Public Policy. We discuss how recent technological advancements enable new way to make clinical research more patient-centric, better efficiency, and—critically in the time of COVID-19, ensure continuity of care and the advancement of medical research. This is the TomorrowScale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs Sanguine Biosciences: https://sanguinebio.com https://TomorrowScale.com Disclosures: The host and guest have no conflicts to disclose. Mr. Briggs and companies he is affiliated with are not current or previous clients of Sanguine Biosciences. The TomorrowScale Podcast was created to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building science-based businesses, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
34:33
May 29, 2020
Your Digital Twin - UnlearnAI
On this episode we'll meet biophysicist, machine learning researcher, and CEO of UnlearnAI Dr. Charles Fisher. He and the team at Unlearn have the goal to build the entire biomedical machine learning stack, from scratch. Their strategy is that with a fit-for-purpose biomedical machine learning infrastructure and novel deep learning techniques, along with enough data about patients, that they can generate synthetic versions of actual patients, entirely in the data, with the goal to make them “computationally indistinguishable” from real patients. A “digital twin” that could help to better understand the impact of medicines before they’re used in a patient, or in clinical trials to be used alongside real patients in what they call “intelligent control arms.” Unlearn believes that we can obtain the same rigorous, statistically-powered clinical evidence but with fewer subjects. A fascinating approach to the problem of how to make clinical trials more efficient, and understand more about what may be possible with more and better patient data. This is the Tomorrow Scale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs (@briggsly). Unlearn AI: https://unlearn.health Charles Fisher CV, Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=MQlhMlwAAAAJ&hl=en Boltzmann Encoded Adversarial Machines (BEAM) paper: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1804.08682.pdf “The FDA needs to set standards for using artificial intelligence in drug development” by Dr. Charles Fisher in StatNews, 11/7/2019: https://www.statnews.com/2019/11/07/artificial-intelligence-drug-development-fda-standards-needed/ Dr. Fisher’s presentation at a recent FDA Meeting (begins on page 175; linked here since we didn't end up discussing each point after all): https://www.fda.gov/media/136577/download#page=175 Photocredit: Dr. Fisher’s headshot, augmented based on the blue binary background image, using a neural style transfer model found here: https://git.io/Jf4a6 http://TomorrowScale.com The TomorrowScale Podcast was created to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building science-based businesses, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
53:29
May 14, 2020
The Measure of Medicine - Prof. Frank Lichtenberg
On this show we talk a lot about the opportunity and the promise of innovation. It is incredibly difficult, however, to study the actual impact of those new technologies. In healthcare, we do have some chance to measure the impact of new medicines. But! What data do we use? What metrics are used? and why are they used? Today’s guest is Dr. Frank Lichtenberg, the Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business at the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. Dr. Lichtenberg has taught at Columbia, Harvard, and Penn, worked for the Department of Justice, the Congressional Budget Office, and the Census Bureau, and has conducted several large studies on the impact of pharmaceutical innovation across diseases and geographies over the last 25 years. Right now, billions are sheltering in place from a pathogen that we must fight with drugs and vaccines. The purpose of this conversation is to gain a little bit better understanding of an important topic, relayed in the voice of a leading researcher, so that we may, in the future, invent and develop safer, better technologies to fight disease. To do that, we must measure medicine’s impact not only on the patient, but also the patient population, the healthcare system, and the entire economy. This is the TomorrowScale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs. Dr. Lichtenberg’s Columbia Page: https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/cbs-directory/detail/frl1 Dr. Lichtenberg’s Publications via Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=t3NSVwoAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate http://TomorrowScale.com The TomorrowScale Podcast was created to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building science-based businesses, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
49:57
May 8, 2020
Computing the Universe - Jonathan Gorard, Wolfram Physics
On this episode, we’ll speak with one of the principal researchers on the Wolfram Physics Project, Jonathan Gorard. We'll discuss how they plan to actually implement their “fundamental theory of the universe” and build these computational universes. Jonathan Gorard is a theoretical mathematician, researcher at the University of Cambridge, and consultant to Wolfram Research. He is ostensibly the scientist tasked with doing the maths to demonstrate these concepts to the scientific community and the public. Actually proving these ideas out in the open, over the din of more than a few detractors, may be one of the most difficult parts of this highly complex project. Along with a call for scientists everywhere to contribute and critique the project in an open-source manner, the team published nearly a thousand pages and over 500 hours of video. All since Wolfram’s announcement on April 14th titled, “We may have found a fundamental theory of the universe… and it’s beautiful.” The Wolfram Physics team, consisting of Stephen Wolfram, Jonathan Gorard, and theoretical physicist and competitive programmer Max Piskanov, are literally live-streaming the entire thing. Scientific discovery, open collaboration, and peer review happening in real-time, and anyone can get involved. Now that is beautiful. This is the TomorrowScale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs. Wolfram Physics Project Website: https://www.wolframphysics.org/ Announcement by Stephen Wolfram: https://writings.stephenwolfram.com/2020/04/finally-we-may-have-a-path-to-the-fundamental-theory-of-physics-and-its-beautiful/ Registry of Notable Universes: https://www.wolframphysics.org/universes/ Jonathan Gorard, Cambridge University Center for Scientific Computing: https://www.csc.cam.ac.uk/academic/MPhilSciComp/directory/gorard http://TomorrowScale.com The TomorrowScale Podcast was created to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building science-based businesses, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
1:09:50
April 29, 2020
Accelerating Evolution - Prof. Chang Liu
Dr. Chang Liu, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at the University of California, Irvine, has transformed traditional yeast culture methods into an engine to accelerate evolution in order to understand the drivers of selection and gain the ability view fitness not as a crossroads, but a landscape--a mutational topology that he and his collaborators are able to navigate. ACE, or automated continuous evolution, combines the Liu Lab’s orthogonal replication system, OrthoRep, with the robotic culturing system eVOVLR, developed by the Khalil Lab at Boston University, to automate evolution. Together, they can synthesize new biology; build novel enzymes and proteins to serve multiple industries; and, even help us fight not just today’s pandemic but tomorrow’s pandemics as well. A story of discovery in the fast-paced world of synthetic biology. This is the TomorrowScale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs. ACE pre-print on bioRxiv: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.02.21.960328 Liu Lab at UC Irvine: https://liulab.com/ Khalil Lab at BU: https://www.bu.edu/khalillab/ http://tomorrowscale.com The TomorrowScale Podcast was created to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building science-based businesses, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
45:26
April 16, 2020
Chemification - Prof. Lee Cronin
In the beginning, there was chemistry. Well, not exactly. From those primordial reaction conditions … life emerged. But how? What separates chemistry from biology? How do we study the origin of life? What can we do with a Chemputer? In this episode, we’ll head to the lab of Dr. Lee Cronin, Regius Professor of Chemistry at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and perhaps one of the most provocative chemists in the field today. We'll discuss his lab's view into the origin of life, the balance between theory and reality, and how the Chemputer could be an important component to the future of chemistry. This is the TomorrowScale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs. The Cronin Lab: https://croninlab.com Dr. Cronin on Twitter: https://twitter.com/leecronin Chemify.org: http://chemify.org The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs (https://twitter.com/briggsly) to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building science-based businesses, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
47:10
April 3, 2020
Building a Brain - Rain Neuromorphics
What does the future of scientific computing look like? Labs all over the world are racing to build chips based on our brains. But what can it do? And what will it be used for? On this episode, we’ll meet a company that built an actual analog neural network in order to solve this problem. Gordon Wilson, CEO of Rain Neuromorphics. This is the TomorrowScale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs.  Rain Neuromorphics (https://rain.ai)  The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs (https://twitter.com/briggsly) to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building science-based businesses, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
52:53
March 26, 2020
Engineering the (Immune) System - DistributedBio
On today’s episode, we’ll sit down with DistributedBio co-founder and CEO Jacob Glanville, and Centivax program lead and director of contract research Sarah Ives. We’ll hear more about the company's founding story, get perspective on bootstrapping a biotech company, and learn more about their internal and client development programs that cover everything from vaccines, antibodies, and chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies, and which target diseases as varied as influenza, HIV, cancer, and even the SARS-CoV2 Coronavirus. This is the TomorrowScale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs. DistributedBio (https://distributedbio.com) Follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/tomorrowscale) The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building the future, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thanks to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
57:15
March 16, 2020
Information Therapeutics - Oisin Biotechnologies & OncoSenX
Drugs are getting smarter. A new wave of companies, including those founded by our guest, Matthew Scholz of Oisin Biotechnologies and OncoSenX, ride on recent advances in drug and gene delivery that are enabling what could be considered intelligent therapeutics. That is, they are able to both identify target cells (not visibly, but genetically) and then selectively destroy those cancerous or senescent cells. Novel medicines that include a diagnostic targeting system right within them, to potentially treat everything from cancer to aging. This is the TomorrowScale podcast. Oisin Biotechnologies: https://www.oisinbio.com/ OncoSenX: https://www.oncosenx.com/ Follow Us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TomorrowScale The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building the future, and to hear their stories from the benches and in the trenches of research & development. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thank you to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thanks for listening. Please science responsibly.
42:55
February 27, 2020
Reading Between the Scans - AIQ Solutions
The ability to visualize disease is vital to many parts of patient care. On this episode, we’ll meet AIQ Solutions, a company that is taking a long-term view of a patient’s response to cancer treatment using computer vision and artificial intelligence. In doing so, they might change not just how we visualize cancer, but how we treat cancer. Our guest is a former GE executive turned entrepreneur Eric Horler, the CEO of AIQ Solutions, based in Madison, Wisconsin. This is the TomorrowScale podcast, hosted by Justin Briggs. AIQ Solutions: https://www.aiq-solutions.com/ Follow Us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TomorrowScale The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building the future, and hear stories about how to build the future. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thank you to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thanks for listening. Please science responsibly.
40:15
February 18, 2020
Generating Discoveries in Days - InSilico Medicine
Drug discovery is changing. Deep generative models, as being pioneered by our guest Dr. Alex Zhavoronkov, founder and CEO of InSilico Medicine, are able to generate entirely new molecules and even, as we’ll hear, can discover new targets altogether. Within days. This fall, InSilico and collaborators published an application of their generative reinforcement learning (GENTRL) to generate tens of thousands of novel compounds, synthesized only the 6 best, and identified a selective and nanomolar-potent candidate among them. We discuss deep generative drug discovery models, promise and criticism on these new methodologies, and dive into new research from their pending publications on NASH and we hear about a breaking new contribution by the InSilico team regarding a potential treatment for CoronaVirus. This is the TomorrowScale Podcast. I’m Justin Briggs. Sources: “Deep learning enables rapid identification of potent DDR1 kinase inhibitors” (Zhavoronkov 2019) “Reply to: Assessing the Impact of Generative AI on Medicinal Chemistry” (Zhavoronkov 2020) https://insilico.com https://tomorrowscale.com The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building the future, and hear stories about how to build the future. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thank you to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us. Thanks for listening. Please science responsibly.
37:43
February 6, 2020
Medicine from Microbes - Lodo Therapeutics
Guests: Dr. Dale Pfost, CEO & Dr. Steven Colletti, SVP R&D - Lodo Therapeutics On this episode, we'll hear about Lodo and their plan to discover medicine from microbes. This is the TomorrowScale Podcast. Hosted by Justin Briggs. Lodo Therapeutics is a drug discovery company based in New York City. Founded based on work by Dr. Sean Brady at Rockerfeller University to discover, develop and even produce medicines by exploring the uncultured microbiomes in our environment. Lodo’s platform could potentially unlock therapeutic molecules encoded within the genes of these bacteria by sequencing the microbial DNA. By doing so first, and at massive scale, they’re able to bridge next-generation sequencing with high-throughput screening to discover what they call “genetically-encoded small molecule” therapeutics. Armed with hit-producing microbes and mountains of data, they then leverage machine learning and synthetic biology to optimize and even produce these drug candidate compounds rather than relying on traditional synthesis approaches. It’s modern drug discovery and development from the ground up. To guide us through this complex technology stack, we’ll meet two guides. Dr. Steve Colletti spent 24 years building multiple discovery pipelines across Merck, and currently leads R&D at Lodo. Dr. Dale Pfost is a five-time biotechnology CEO and former General Partner at venture firm Advent Life Sciences, who recently joined Lodo Therapeutics as CEO and Chairman. Lodo Therapeutics: http://lodotherapeutics.com TomorrowScale Website: http://TomorrowScale.com Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tomorrowscale The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs to showcase scientists and entrepreneurs who are building the future, and hear stories about how to build the future. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thank you to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us.  Thanks for listening.
37:23
January 14, 2020
Proof of Prophylaxis - MIT Langer Lab
Guests: Dr. Ana Jaklenec, MIT Langer Lab & Dr. Kevin McHugh, Rice University Vaccines save lives. Yet, despite concerted global efforts more than 1.5 million children die each year from vaccine preventable diseases. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are at the center of this massive endeavor, and have enlisted labs around the world to help solve intractable problems in the developing world, including work was recently published in Science Translational Medicine. The technology involves a microneedle patch that can administer a standard vaccine, painlessly, but also leave an invisible vaccination record right on the skin. Meaning those who need vaccines can get them, even in the most remote locations, and those who don't need them, can prove they are protected without the need for paper or even digital records. You could carry the proof of prophylaxis with you, invisibly, as long as the vaccine protects you.   On this episode, we’ll meet two of the paper’s co-authors, out of the Langer Lab at MIT: Dr. Ana Jaklenec and Dr. Kevin McHugh. This is the TomorrowScale Podcast. Hosted by Justin Briggs. Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tomorrowscale TomorrowScale Website: http://TomorrowScale.com Publication (McHugh 2019): https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aay7162 The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs to showcase technology companies building the future. Interviews may be with old friends or were cold-contacted by Justin directly to be on the show. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thank you to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us.  And thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.
32:04
January 3, 2020
Life from Light - Prellis Biologics
On this episode, we’ll meet Melanie Matheu, Ph.D., a scientist turning light into life. Her company, Prellis Biologics, has developed what may be a defining technology for the bioprinting industry: A method to print biology on the cellular level. They're shipping printed vasculature and organoids now, and have a plan to be in the clinic with printed organs within 3 years; that's right, some day you might walk around with a Prellis Biologics bioprinted organ inside you. Another interesting startup with huge potential. This is the TomorrowScale Podcast. Hosted by Justin Briggs. The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs to showcase technology companies building the future. Interviews may be with old friends or were cold-contacted by Justin directly to be on the show. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thank you to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us.  And thank you for listening. Please science responsibly.  Visit us at http://TomorrowScale.com
33:19
November 20, 2019
Harnessing Photosynthesis - Zeakal
Unanticipated results can lead to great discoveries. Zeakal is a company founded by turning such an unexpected outcome into a promising biotechnology company. We conducted multiple interviews between 3 cities, two hemispheres, and a dozen time zones. We have one of the co-inventors, Dr. Greg Bryan, CTO, take us through the science behind the PhotoSeed and the genetics of photosynthesis. Then, stateside, we dig into the agricultural biotech industry and how Zeakal the company is approaching it, with CEO Han Chen. This is the TomorrowScale Podcast. Hosted by Justin Briggs.  The TomorrowScale Podcast was created by Justin Briggs to showcase fascinating technology companies building the future. Interview may be with old friends or were cold-contacted by Justin directly to be on the show. The views expressed by the host and guests are their own, and the content of this show should not be considered legal, tax, or investing advice. Thank you to our guests for sharing their time and knowledge with us.  And thank you for listening. Please science responsibly. Visit us at http://TomorrowScale.com
52:36
October 20, 2019
Serial (Hard Science) Entrepreneurship - Sensulin
What is the difference between an entrepreneur and a serial entrepreneur? Is there a difference? We dig into this question with a four-time hard tech entrepreneur.  Mike Moradi is the co-founder and CEO of Sensulin, a company marrying nanotechnology with biotechnology to develop a novel treatment for diabetes that releases insulin on when a patient has high blood sugar.  Mike has founded or helped establish more than a dozen nanotechnology and biotechnology companies, and was selected as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. Sensulin: http://sensulin.com Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app.
42:44
October 1, 2019
TomorrowScale Podcast Preview
The TomorrowScale Podcast is a series of conversations with the scientists and entrepreneurs who are building the future. We explore cutting edge technologies with huge potential, and go deep to understand how these founders and inventors must chart entirely new territory to bring their technology to market. We'll learn - quite literally - how science fiction becomes reality.
00:54
July 12, 2019