Science in the Mall, Y'all


Let’s Talk About Antibodies, Baby!

Season 2, Ep. 1

To kick off Season 2 of “Science in the Mall, Y’all,” previous ACC Bioscience Incubator intern Mauricio Tellez is joined by another former ABI intern Marcia McCallum, who you might recognize from season 1. She is back to talk in-depth about the science that she does everyday as a Senior Lead in Upstream Processing at XBiotech. XBiotech develops and manufactures medications using antibodies. Don’t worry, we don’t expect you to understand what that means - listen to the full episode to get a more detailed run-down! 

Mauricio and Marcia interned together at ACC’s Bioscience Incubator, so it’s enlightening to hear them reconnect as working scientists and explore how the things they learned about as students and interns apply in the workforce. They reflect on their early days at the incubator and talk about the role that each other and their experiences at ABI has played in their professional development. Marcia shares some of the fun that comes with trial and error in the lab, and they talk about what they love about being working scientists. But it’s not all fun and games - Marcia and Mauricio get into the nitty-gritty of antibodies, proteins, and all of the high level science that they use everyday to contribute to creating life-changing therapeutics in the bioscience field. This is part one of a two-part conversation - tune into the next episode to hear more about Mauricio’s work as a clinical laboratory scientist! 

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More Episodes


Community in the Time of COVID

Season 2, Ep. 9
Jolie is back on the podcast with her supervisor Josue Moran, who is the co-founder and VP of Research and Development at Angstrom Bio. Angstrom Bio is an Austin-based biotech company that is using Amplicon sequencing to revolutionize diagnostics, which Josue and Jolie explain in detail. Angstrom Bio’s ultimate goal is to develop a diagnostic tool that is more efficient and sensitive, so that one test tube can detect multiple viruses and variants at a faster rate, instead of requiring multiple tests for each virus. They are also able to test more patients at once, so the work that they are doing is incredibly valuable on many levels. Angstrom Bio is a start-up that was conceived in response to COVID-19, and Josue shares the company’s journey from their initial pivot to work on diagnostics, to moving from St. Louis to Austin, to finding a community of entrepreneurial scientists that helped them scale and grow. Josue and Jolie met through the Austin Community College Bioscience Incubator lab space, and Josue shares how Angstrom Bio found lab space at ABI through a company called Tevido, highlighting the unique community of entrepreneurs in the biosciences here in Austin. Josue and Jolie share the journey that Angstrom Bio has been on over the last 2 years, and explain how crucial ABI and Austin’s community of entrepreneurs and ecosystem of resources and like-minded scientists was to their development. Jolie explains how she was able to use her experiences at ABI to start her career as a Research and Development Scientist, and Josue and Jolie talk about their shared mindset about what they’re looking for in their team members. They highlight the importance of being fearless and being willing to test and fail and never give up. They close out the episode with advice for people who are interested in a career in the biosciences, vouching for the importance of networking and finding creative ways to “prove” your skills and character to hiring teams, whether it’s through an internship or a volunteer opportunity or in the classroom. Learn more about Angstrom Bio. Learn more about ACC Bioscience Incubator. This is a founding_media podcast.

A Bioscience Playground

Season 2, Ep. 8
Former interns Jolie Muren and Liz Hampton both joined Austin Community College after deciding that their original educational paths weren’t suited for them. Jolie shares how she started out pursuing nursing, but quickly learned that she loved science and the creative problem-solving it entailed. She was drawn to the ACC Bioscience Incubator because she was able to get hands-on experience and jump into ‘doing science,’ instead of just learning about it. She shares how Nancy encouraged and supported the interns to try new things and how ABI gave her diverse experiences in all types of biotech processes and instruments. Liz had her own unique trajectory, seeking out ACC after moving to Austin specifically because it was a biotech epicenter and she knew that biotech was the industry she wanted to work in. When she visited ACC she saw signs for the ACC Bioscience Incubator, and decided to pursue the biotech program at ACC because of the internship opportunities at ABI. She shares Jolie’s experience that she was able to try new things and “play” with technology that she would never have encountered in a classroom or anywhere else, and both Jolie and Liz share some of the projects they were able to work on during their time as ABI interns. Our guests talk about how their ABI internships helped them in job interviews and how the skills and hands-on experience they gained during their internships transferred to their current roles at diagnostic companies. Beyond the knowledge and experience they learned at ABI and ACC, Jolie and Liz also talk about their personality traits that make them a good fit for their current roles. Both agree that perseverance and a desire to get to the bottom of a problem no matter what are helpful traits for aspiring scientists to possess. They close out the conversation talking about how many COVID tests they’ve had to take as part of their jobs working in labs developing new testing methods, and Jolie and Liz give their advice to folks who are interested in bioscience, stressing that no matter where your interests lie, bioscience and biotech companies have a role for every type of person out there. Learn more about Angstrom Bio. Learn more about Nuclein. Learn more about ACC Bioscience Incubator. This is a founding_media podcast.

Fancy Plumbers and Quality Control

Season 2, Ep. 7
In part 2 of this conversation, Mike and Amanda talk about what they’re doing now in the job force. Mike is in Downstream Processing at XBiotech, and Amanda secured a new job recently in quality control and assurance at National Resilience in Florida. While they don’t work together, they are familiar with each other’s roles because both roles exist in both companies, and so they give us unique insight about what each person’s job is like from the perspective of having that job, and interacting with that job. XBiotech manufactures and researches medications, and more specifically antibody therapies. This means they find people with a resistance to an illness or affliction and use the human matter with those antibodies to create medicine. Mike uses the ACTA Machine we learned about last episode to filter and refine a big vat of material that contains the antibody in it - although he describes what he does as a “fancy plumber” since it is so dependent on the instrument itself! Amanda’s career began at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies in Texas, and she has since moved to Florida to pursue a new opportunity at National Resilience. In both companies she found her niche in Quality Control and Quality Assurance where she audits documents and processes to ensure that everyone is following regulations and best practices. Mike and Amanda confess that they would not want to work in the other person’s job, but that their respective roles fit their unique personalities. They explain the many different roles in a biotechnology company and how there is a position fit for every type of person. They also vouch for the importance of finding a job that fits your personality and your preferences, in addition to fitting your passion for science. Mike and Amanda hold a discussion about the business side of working in biotech, especially for newer Biotech companies or companies that contract out their facilities, and close out the podcast episode with advice for aspiring scientists and those interested in bioscience careers. Learn more about XBiotech. Learn more about ACC Bioscience Incubator. This is a founding_media podcast.