The In our DNA blog series profiles the terrific people who make Codex DNA a truly special place to work, as well as compelling science and technology success stories.
Team member: Souriya Sengphet, Program and Solution Architecture Manager
Came aboard: November 2019
What do you do at Codex DNA?
I oversee any initiative designed to fulfill our company’s goals of innovating, refining the customer experience, and expanding our product and instrument use. My goal is to help bridge the gap between the various teams. I was brought on to establish an ecommerce platform, and now I’m working with development, product, and scientific teams to make sure we’re fulfilling everybody’s needs and goals. I like to make sure people have every tool they need to do their job, whether that’s knowledge, or time, or access to other people.
How did you get into that kind work?
I was a change-management consultant during the early part of my career, working with Fortune 500 companies during the dot-com boom. I lived and worked all over the world. As a consultant, I managed many projects at a time, which suits me well because my brain does better when I have many different tasks to do. One of my very first projects was creating a custom software solution for my family’s farm, digitizing a lot of manual processes. I realized I wanted to make a career out of this.
What brought you to Codex DNA?
I had just finished several years of working in consumer and corporate travel, managing IT and technical projects, and I wanted to try something new. I like to challenge myself to adapt to new industries and new technologies. When I interviewed here, the team and the mission resonated with me.
How has the science learning curve been?
My mind was blown when they said “DNA printer.” It took me awhile to really understand what we were building, but I’m a human sponge when it comes to learning. Now I know more about DNA than I ever imagined.
What’s the company vibe?
Everybody is very communicative and supportive. I’ve been in really big companies and you tend to get lost because there are so many people. Here, I have access to our CEO and CTO at any time. The path to being heard is a lot shorter.
How do you describe synthetic biology to non-scientists?
I tell people we’re basically replicating what nature already does, using components that are synthetic. Synthetic biology allows us to work more efficiently, iterate faster, and learn more, all with readily available building blocks.
What one thing do you wish more people knew about DNA?
People get lost in the structure of DNA. If people could understand how proteins really affect our lives and our chemistry, that’s a big part of it. What does this protein do? What does it cause your body to do?
What’s something fun about working at Codex DNA?
The people: it’s amazing to see the level of experience, knowledge, and potential that our company has, and I’m looking forward to the future.
What was the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up?
Definitely an astronaut. I wanted to be a spaceman!
How do you see synthetic biology changing the world?
Having targeted, individual therapies available to everyone. With COVID-19 and how fast the world worked together to find solutions; it was great to see how we fit into the big picture.