Team member: Jared Pache, Director of Field Applications
Came aboard: August 2019
What do you do at Codex DNA?
My role is education, assisting our customers with their experimental design, providing applications support, and troubleshooting/technical support. I am involved in the customer journey from the very first introduction of our company, all the way through evaluation, training, and support — whether that is with direct customer sales, or with distributors who will represent Codex DNA through our channel distribution.
How did you get into that kind of work?
I have been in field applications now for over a decade. For me, it has been a natural progression of my role at the lab. I like to understand how assays and technologies work. I enjoy applying logic to solve problems. It is exciting to empower our customers with more efficient ways of getting more work done, while also freeing up their time, and improving quality of life and quality of data.
What brought you to Codex DNA?
Early in college, I thought I wanted to study computer science. That is when I learned of Craig Venter’s work and the Human Genome project. This was my first exposure to synthetic biology, where I became really interested in taking an engineering and coding approach to biological systems. From that point, I decided to change my major and study molecular biology, genomics, and bioinformatics. I am thrilled to be part of Codex DNA. I am excited to go to work every day and collaborate with talented scientists and engineers. Our technology really helps scientists rapidly gain insights to proteins and pathways involved in disease — and carry that forward into developing novel biotherapeutics. It is exciting to be contributing to our collective understanding and making a difference.
What’s the company vibe?
This is a company that really embraces ideas. It doesn’t matter which level of the organization you’re in: if you have an interesting idea, you’ll find that everyone around you is open to at least discussing it. There’s also a lot of innovative spirit that makes it fun to work here.
How do you describe synthetic biology to non-scientists?
Synthetic biologists take a systemic engineering approach to studying life. Like how engineers create models to study a complex system — its similar in synthetic biology. Models are created to study how the system works, breaking the system down into modules or pathway circuits. Theories on how to modify the system to alter or enhance its efficiency can then be tested using protein engineering principles. Proteins are rapidly redesigned to improve efficiency.
I often use the computer analogy: the way you boot up your operating system, and all the things that need to come together to make that happen — that’s how synthetic biologists look at cells and organisms.
What one thing do you wish more people understood about DNA?
As we increase our understanding of DNA, comparing genomes and functional genomes, it tells us so much about each other, our past, our present, and our future. Enhancing our ability to both read and write DNA is going to have a significant impact in a wide range of areas — everything from our medicine, our food, manufacturing, green energy, and even how we store data on a computer.
What’s something fun about working at Codex DNA?
At Codex DNA, we focus on building a fun culture. We regularly get surprise goodies in the breakroom. Before the pandemic, we did fun events like a ‘70s disco theme holiday party in 2019 —that was a blast. Also, a Halloween costume party. Although a majority of the company has transitioned to remote work due to the pandemic, the company continues to embrace their people and culture through lively activities like participating in a company-wide NCAA March Madness bracket, a holiday video challenge, and a Thanksgiving photo scavenger hunt, to name a few.
What was the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up?
An astronaut, because they broke barriers and challenged our limitations. They made the seemingly impossible possible.
How do you see synthetic biology changing the world?
It’s going to completely transform how we make things — everything from medicine, to food, to clothing. I hope it’s going to help us find solutions for all the challenges we have, like how to feed eight billion people on the planet, how to live more sustainably, and how to respond more rapidly to global pandemics.