Inside Biotech Podcast


Inside Biotech is an exciting new podcast from BCLA, which focuses on the science behind SoCal’s most innovative new biotech companies. This monthly podcast, hosted by Dr. Yewande Pearse, is the perfect way for LA’s biotech community to stay informed about current progress and developments, and features conversations with scientists, entrepreneurs, and investors about the cutting edge science that goes on inside their companies. On Inside Biotech, science story-telling meets big business, touching on a range of themes from across the world of southern California’s biotechnology industry. 

Series 2: The Dish on Biotech in Food
Episode 5: Ryan Bethencourt
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Despite the popular trope that our furry friends only want to eat meat, suck on bones, and chase rabbits, dogs are actually omnivores meaning that their diet does not have to consist mainly of meat. While doting owners want to feed their dogs the best food to keep their loving companions in tip-top shape, there are many times that plant based dog food might be best for them. One California startup, Wild Earth, has developed a high protein, plant based dog food that will have any dog happily munching away. Not only is the food great for dogs, it is also a meat-free alternative that relieves pressure on the environment. To learn more, we sat down with the CEO of Wild Earth, Ryan Bethencourt, on the first episode of our second series: The Dish on Biotech in Food.

Episode 6: Julianne Hummelberg
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Ever walked around the supermarket and noticed a new product like a plant-based egg, a plant-based milk, or a bean-based chip? Chances are you have come across a company or product in PowerPlant Partners’ extensive portfolio! A Los Angeles based growth equity firm, PowerPlant Partners is on the hunt for the next exciting consumer wellness company or product. With the lofty goal of creating a sustainable future in mind, PowerPlant Partners invests in plant-based products, new ways to keep produce clean, and so much more. Excited about the prospect of a delicious and sustainable future, we sat down with the Vice President of the Investment Team, Julianne Hummelberg, to learn more about the company and the next trends in healthy food. Join us on a delicious journey from concept to shelf in the second episode of our second series, “The Dish on Biotech in Food.”

Series 1: Alternative Careers in Biotech
Episode 1: Kayleen Sabino
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Cannabis use has skyrocketed in Los Angeles (LA). From March 2018 to March 2019, the percent increase of the use of this substance in LA was a whopping 62%. 

Interested in learning more about how this Los Angeles staple goes from the plant to your pocket safely? Join Dr. Yewande Pearse PhD, Social Media Associate at Biotech Connection Los Angeles, as she speaks with Kayleen (Leong) Sabino, Vice President of Operations at Cannalysis - an LA based company that focuses on efficiently testing new cannabis products so that they meet state guidelines. Sabino virtually sat down to discuss how Cannalysis does it and what the future of the cannabis industry in LA might look like moving forward. 

Episode 2: Nadja Oertelt and Allan Lasser 
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Science news is important. It enables a person to keep up on the latest issues, discoveries, and problems, making topics like the COVID-19 pandemic less daunting and devastating. Science news, however, is often inaccessible, hard to read, or rampant with misinformation. Enter Massive Science: a scientific content and media company which is powered by a “Massive Science Consortium” -- a group of scientific experts from over 50 countries, in over 150 fields, and at over 700 institutions who become expert science storytellers as part of their training through Massive Science. Join Dr. Yewande Pearse in BCLA’s second episode of Alternative Careers in Biotech as she chats with the two founders of Massive Science, Nadja Ortelt and Allan Lasser!

Episode 3: Anna Skaya
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Drawn by the pitter patter of their little paws, the sweet purrs, and the source of unconditional companionship and friendship, cats (felis cactus) have been interacting and coexisting with humans for the last 8,000 years. However, despite our long history with cats, very little is known about them, especially in comparison to dogs. One LA-based startup is attempting to close this gap. Basepaws works to create a genomic database that enables the company to learn more about cat breeds, traits, and their health. The goal is built on the idea that understanding cats genetically will enable us to better serve cats and improve their lives. Join Dr. Yewande Pearse and Anna Skaya, founder of Basepaws, to learn more about Basepaws and their mission.

Episode 4: Peter Mponzi
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Blue-green, grown in freshwater and saltwater, and potentially the biggest new source of energy? It might sound too good to be true, but microalgae has all these possibilities and one more: it can be a food source! A vital energy source in all ecosystems, microalgae can be cultivated, dried, and manipulated to extract nutrients, compounds, etc, that can be used as human supplements. One SoCal company, Lyxia, is taking advantage of this amazing substance by partnering with researchers in Shenzhen, China to extract a compound that is key for cardiovascular health. We sat down with Lyxia’s Former R&D Senior Process Designer Peter Mponzi to find out more about it on the last episode of our first series, Alternative Careers in Biotech.