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In our DNA: Yanming Gong, Director of Synthesis

January 26, 2022

We’re continuing our blog series, looking at the DNA of Codex DNA — our incredible employees and their stories.

Team member: Yanming Gong, Director of Synthesis
Came aboard: September 2021.

What do you do at Codex DNA?
I work in the engineering department developing our high-throughput in-house oligo synthesis production capability. We’re working on the upstream synthesis and downstream processing of oligo synthesis, and the final product then goes to the reagent production team and R&D.

How did you get into that kind of work?
I have a background in chemical engineering, and I’ve always had a strong interest in process development and optimization. In 2014, I began to work in the oligo synthesis field. Years later, I joined Synthetic Genomics in 2017 to help develop their oligo synthesis capabilities. I have years of experience working on oligo synthesis, and I’m excited to bring this process in-house here at Codex DNA.

How would you describe the company culture?
The company values integrity, collaboration, and teamwork. Projects are completed in a collaborative effort, and everyone involved brings their own expertise to make the project successful. The company also does a great job in rewarding employees for their contributions and recognizes each individual’s hard work.

How would you describe synthetic biology to non-scientists?
Synthetic biology can be simply explained as the way of using synthesized or non-natural molecular pieces to do things that are traditionally engineered by natural biology.

What’s something fun about working at Codex DNA?
Our People + Culture group does a fantastic job planning events that encourage employees to engage and get to know each other. It is a fun environment to work in, and I enjoy the collaboration.

What was the first thing you ever wanted to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an engineer. Inspired by my father, who was a civil engineer, I decided to become a chemical engineer. I stayed working in the field because I enjoyed the different aspects of chemical engineering, including process development and system optimization.

How do you see synthetic biology changing the world?
All people can benefit from synthetic biology. A great example of how synthetic biology is making a difference is how Codex DNA’s BioXp™ system produces faster and more reliable gene assembly to enable accelerated medical discoveries. This work has helped people impacted with diseases like cancer and COVID-19. Most recently, we released the synthetic genome for the COVID-19 Omicron variant, partnering with the scientific community to help combat the pandemic as quickly as we can.

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