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Meet Stephen Geary - UCC Masters Graduate & Founder of Sothic Bioscience
Stephen Geary, a 2014 MSc graduate in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation, founded Sothic Bioscience in 2015 with a mission to build a platform for biosynthetic horseshoe crab blood production. The blue blood of these prehistoric creatures provides a crucial product used to confirm that medical devices and pharmaceutical products are contaminant-free before they are implanted or injected into humans. What’s helpful to us humans, is not to the crab –horseshoe crab populations were under severe pressure to survive.
Stephen’s company, Sothic Bioscience, aims to bring about long-needed change to develop a more efficient, sustainable and animal-friendly industry. Combining what he learned on his Masters, he has the skills in synthetic biology and the business savvy to “save the crab and the humans!”
“My Masters focussed on molecular aspects of cell biology and genetics in disease, with additional practical skills gained in specialised analytical and instrumental methods via the Biotechniques module. Woven into this bioscience tapestry were elements of business, exposure to core topics and a selection of electives. We had visits from guest lecturers, scientists with considerable expertise in their specialties. In studies of human disease, for example, the academic side was supplemented by insight into medical applications through visits from clinicians. Insight from these physician scientists into diagnostics, patient care and development and use of therapeutics puts the science into context.
The MSc in Molecular Cell Biology with Bioinnovation was fascinating; it differentiates itself through formation not just in the academic life sciences but also across the disciplines. The faculty brings together lively lectures, regular seminar series, and are thoroughly approachable for advice. Especially engaging are the regular Journal Club activities; the papers presented are always topical and frequently controversial. A lively discussion is assured!
I experienced a truly interdisciplinary programme, with the opportunity to gain a Bioscience Masters and the added value of entrepreneurial business training. This has given me the basis for which I’ve launched a new business and begun training to become a patent attorney.”