Summer Entrepreneurial Experiences

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Tuesday, June 30, 2015 3:01 pm

NanoMedica is unusual in that the culture is unlike anything I have ever seen. There isn’t a hierarchy of power in the company. The president checks the lab manager, but the lab manager also checks the president. The dynamic is also very interesting adding interns, because interns are expected to check the lab manager, and the president as well. This creates an environment where there are no titles, and collaborations can be made without any limitations. Because Roger has set up his business in this manner, everything from failures to successes are shared and evaluated as a team. This makes the working environment free of stress from the other team members. And because the company is so small, individual work is almost required, but the work is still centered on the team.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015 2:49 pm

Over the past few weeks, a lot has changed. I came into this internship thinking I would be working on one project, but to my surprise, my research advisor has called an audible, and now, I am working on a completely different project! Although, I was very surprised, the skills and techniques I have learned so far, are much more suitable for this new project. One thing for which I am the most proud is running an experiment in the lab on my own. This experiment involved multiple steps, multiple hours of incubation, and hours of analysis. This experiment ultimately failed, however, I in my failure, I learned so much. Now, I am running analysis for each step to determine where there was a mistake. By the end of my experience, I hope to learn how to execute experiments to obtain concrete data that can be used to answer a predetermined question. By the way, it took me over 9 hours to complete the experiment, and although it failed, those were probably the most enjoyable 9 hours I have experienced so far.

Collaboration is the Name of the Gamed

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 2:36 pm

NanoMedica is a very interesting company. Although, NanoMedica is a fairly small company, it seems as though NanoMedica has it’s hands in so many other companies that are both large and small. The president of NanoMedica is Dr. Roger Cubicciotti. Roger is the most interesting man I may have ever met. His brain moves in so many directions at any given second that many times I have to catch myself from staring with my mouth open! In talking with Roger, I found out that NanoMedica had a humble beginning. Roger first conceived the company in his garage, where often he conducted his experiments. Roger had his formal training in Medicinal related research, and he was inspired by nanotechnology, and how he could incorporate his ever so growing ideas and plans into a business model. He has made his business into a reputable one that seeks to better medicine through nanotechnology. Roger has done amazing things with this business. He has tackled growing pains, by collaboration through mutual benefit. NanoMedica is located in Biotech Place in the Deora Lab. NanoMedica through collaboration works on specific projects for Dr. Deora, who provides NanoMedica with much needed lab space; a mutually beneficial collaboration. Roger is always collaborating and networking his business.

Great Strides

Monday, June 1, 2015 6:54 pm

Honestly, during my first week of my internship I felt like a fish out of water. The company I am working with, NanoMedica, is doing some amazing research and collaborating with the physics and chemistry departments at Wake forest, and all the while I am wondering, now where do I fit in. Every Friday, NanoMedica, and it’s collaborators have a meeting in the Physics department. I sat in the corner of the conference room, listening, yet failing to grasp the complex and quite confusing research goals, and dilemmas that NanoMedica and it’s collaborators were hoping to accomplish or face in the upcoming future. I left the meeting wondering, “What have I got myself into?” Sticking with the fish analogy, my first week with NanoMedica was like a fish getting used to it’s new environment. It wasn’t until the second week, that I really began to get acquainted with aims and and noble aspirations of NanoMedica and it’s collaborators. My first week was spent getting used to the lab. My second week, however, was much different. I ran my first experiment under the leadership of Victor Yu, who is leaving the company to pursue a Master’s degree at Duke this fall. I found out that my work will be a continuation of the work that Victor has worked on for close to 2 years, but let’s get back to the experiment. The experiment I ran was a mock trial of an analysis procedure that will be useful in later weeks. I was tasked with analyzing the binding properties of Thrombin and DNA, isolating the most promising result, and preparing the isolate for further analysis. I ran this experiment at the end of the week after two days of book research, and the experiment took approximately 2 days to complete.

By the end of the week, on top of running my first experiment, I had also learned a great deal about the company. Firstly, I am working with three other people directly at NanoMedica including the President of the company, the lab manager, and a fellow intern. Roger Cubicciotti is the President of NanoMedica and collaborates with professors in both Chemistry and Physics to find proteins that will attach to known strands of disease causing DNA that has been sequenced using an Ion Torrent. The goal is drug discovery by analyzing the binding properties between the DNA and the Proteins.My project involves DNA and Protein binding mechanism between the genes that cause Whooping Cough and the protein that makes Whooping Cough more susceptible to the immune system. My project, has a direct relationship with the overall mission of the company. My project involves understanding the Proteins and DNA associated with Whooping Cough where NanoMedica, has the technology to understand the proteins associated with hundreds of diseases. The goals and aspirations of NanoMedica are novel and the company is close understanding more than anybody ever has before.

Week 1: All Hands on Deck

Sunday, May 24, 2015 11:52 pm

What is the nature of your internship and the responsibilities you have? What are your expectations for the summer? What do you expect to learn?

My internship is at NanoMedica. NanoMedica is an LLC company that has spent multiple years developing a technology that can be used to identify irregularities in DNA sequences that potentially cause diseases such as cancer. With this technology, their goal is to find the cause of disease on a nano scale which would hopefully open doors to be able to find cures for countless diseases. Nanomedica works with multiple departments at Wake Forest including the Chemistry department and the Physics Department, as well as with Researchers at Biotech Place, where NanoMedica is currently renting research space in the Deora Lab. NanoMedica is currently trying to secure a Phase II Grant, and they are currently working on transitioning the science aspect of their company into a marketable business. The grant is actually due in three days at this point, so all hands have been on deck making sure that every requirement and criteria is met. Therefore, this week, I have taken a back seat, while NanoMedica works voraciously to secure their future. I have been assured that my role will be more defined as well as the responsibilities I will have to handle. My expectations for the summer this summer are to contribute to the research goals of NanoMedica, while working on the topic I have already formed which is to attempt the Identification of DNA Regulatory Sequences as Therapeutic Targets for the Treatment of Whooping Cough. From working with NanoMedica, I expect to learn how to work in the field of collaborative research with incredibly intelligent academic researches and entrepreneurial companies. I expect that this summer of research and entrepreneurial collaboration will be the enriching and exceed all of my expectations.


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