Elodie: Hello everyone, welcome to the Company Spotlight. Today we're joined by Raphael from Ochre Bio. Hi Raphael.
Raphael: Hello how's it going?
Elodie: Thanks for joining us. I wondered if you could tell us a little bit about yourself about your background and also how you've gone from academia into biotech?
Raphael: So, I did my undergrad in chemistry and biology in France (so I'm French) and then did a Masters there as well and I kind of fancied a bit of travelling after that so I decided to look for postgraduate programmes in the UK and in Ireland and found this four-year British Heart Foundation PhD programme in Scotland, in Edinburgh, so I ended up going for a PhD in cardiac repair and regeneration. So, once I finished my PhD I decided to give, you know, academia a bit of another go and found a postdoc at UCL at the Institute of Ophthalmology. It became clear that the progression was going to be very challenging and limited so I decided to, kind of, make the transition, you know, outside of academia. I knew that I definitely wanted to carry on in science, so I thought biotech was the best option for me.
Elodie: So why did you choose to go into a start-up company rather than going into a large pharma or industry?
Raphael: They both kind of have pros and cons and I went for a start-up. What I liked especially about Ochre Bio is the fact that they're really looking for people that have a dual expertise in both data analysis and also, you know, wet lab experience, so it really suited me because that's exactly my profile. They really offered to train me up on skills that, um, I was really keen on learning. The disease is related to cardiovascular disease which is my background and I feel when you make that transition to the more common ground you can find to what you were doing before, the easier it is.
Elodie: How did you find starting during lockdown?
Raphael: Actually, it has been all right. Obviously we're kind of used to it now having everything online. The team was really well prepared actually, before starting we had, like, a kind of a Christmas party. We had cocktails delivered at home, so it was great.