Skip to main content

Welcome to Back of the Napkin

A Bio-Techne Podcast with Alex Moloney

A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind, but every story behind a discovery is different. Perhaps the idea is conceived in a light bulb moment or brainstorming session or captured in scribblings on the back of a napkin. All these great game-changing discoveries seem to have one thing in common: the pioneers, the scientists and the entrepreneurs that conceive the ideas aren’t afraid to step outside the constraints of every day thinking and to propose new ideas.

In this episode, we introduce you to these scientific pioneers, taking you beyond their publications and into innovation corner to hear the untold stories behind their discoveries.

Choose a Podcast Platform to Follow

Season 1 Recap - The 4 Pillars of Innovation

Let’s reflect on the most valuable discussions from a stand-out Season 1.

In this episode, we revisit essential topics like ideation, collaboration, entrepreneurship, and the future of drug discovery.

Listen to New Episodes Now!

Doris Taylor headshot

Season 2, Episode 3

Building Heart

 

 

 

Listen Now:  

Spotify 

Apple Podcast 

 

Doris Taylor
Doris Taylor shares her inspiring journey to becoming a pioneering scientist at the forefront of organ regeneration. We explore her personal motivation and professional journey, culminating in the groundbreaking creation of the first beating bioartificial heart, with all the challenges that entailed. 

Organamet Bio
Dr. Doris Taylor's LinkedIn

Kevin Shokat headshot

Season 2, Episode 2

Drugging the "Undruggable"
KRAS

 

 

Listen Now:  

Spotify 
Apple Podcast 

 

Kevan Shokat
In this episode of Back of the Napkin, we discuss the scientific and entrepreneurial journey of Kevan Shokat. The conversation takes us from Kevan's early interest in chemistry, spurred by his childhood experiences in his parents' print shop, to the present day, where his laboratory at UCSF is pushing the boundaries of what was once deemed impossible in targeting key oncogenes.  

Shokat Lab
Follow Kevan

Laura Kiessling

Season 2, Episode 1

Chemical Biology, Carbohydrates & Women in Science

 

Listen Now:

Spotify
Apple Podcast


Laura Kiessling
Laura Kiessling is the Novartis Professor of Chemistry at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In this episode of Back of the Napkin the conversation explores her journey from a small Wisconsin town to the pinnacles of scientific research and education at MIT. It also delves into her experiences as a woman in the industry and her advocation for equal representation in science.

Kiessling Lab Website

Bio-Techne podcast episode 1 from Matt Disney on Pioneering a New Field in Drug Discovery

Season 1, Episode 1

Drugging RNA - Pioneering a New Field in Drug Discovery

 

Listen Now:

Spotify
Apple Podcast


Matt Disney
Matthew Disney is a Professor and Chair at the University of Florida Scripps Institute. In this podcast, he discusses the origins of a new field he has pioneered – Drugging RNAs with small molecules.  The conversation covers the eureka moments, RIBOTACs, and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. 

Disney Lab Website

Matt’s Twitter

Bio-Techne podcast episode 2 from Jennifer Petter on Opportunities for RNA-Targeted Therapeutics

Season 1, Episode 2

Opportunities for RNA-Targeted Therapeutics


Listen Now

Spotify

Apple Podcast


Jennifer Petter
Jennifer Petter is the founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Arrakis Therapeutics. Here she discusses the moments that led up to founding a successful biotech company that is built on an exciting new modality in drug discovery, RNA targeting small molecules. This back of the napkin conversation covers the stand out moments in Jen’s career as well as some insightful perspectives into the future of drug discovery. 

Arrakis Therapeutics Website

Bio-Techne podcast episode 3 from Alessio Ciulli on At the Forefront of Targeted Protein Degradation

Season 1, Episode 3

At the Forefront of Targeted Protein Degradation


Listen Now:

Spotify

Apple Podcast


Alessio Ciulli
Alessio Ciulli is a Professor and Chair of Chemical Structural Biology at the University of Dundee, where he is also the founder and director of the Centre for Targeted Protein Degradation (CeTPD). He is also the scientific founder of Amphista Therapeutics. This conversation covers the significant moments in Alessio’s career where he began to shape an exciting new approach in drug discovery:  targeted protein degradation. 

CeTPD page

Alessio’s group page

Alessio’s Twitter

Bio-Techne podcast episode 4 from Amy Ripka on Mitochondrial Dysfunction and New Ideas in Drug Discovery

Season 1, Episode 4

Mitochondrial Dysfunction and New Ideas in Drug Discovery


Listen Now:

Spotify

Apple Podcast


Amy Ripka
Amy Ripka is the founder and CEO of Lucy Therapeutics. This back of the napkin conversation focuses on the importance of having the freedom to explore and generate new ideas.  The approach that Amy advocates in this podcast has led her to pivotal new discoveries, including potential new therapeutics for Parkinson’s disease and Rett syndrome.  

Lucy Therapeutics

Bio-Techne podcast episode 5 from Neal Devara on Chemical Biology – Blurring the Lines Between Chemistry and Biology

Season 1, Episode 5

Chemical Biology – Blurring the Lines Between Chemistry and Biology

 

Listen Now:

Spotify

Apple Podcast


Neal Devaraj
Neal Devaraj is a Professor and Chair at the University of California San Diego. In this episode, Neal talks about the innovations he has pioneered that are advancing the field of bioorthogonal chemistry. We discuss Neal’s work synthesizing completely artificial cells, designing new tools for labeling RNA, and his contribution to “click chemistry” by developing tetrazine ligation for use in live-cell imaging.

Neal’s group page

Chemistry background

Bio-Techne podcast episode 6 from Michelle Arkin on Stabilizing Protein-Protein Interactions for Therapeutic Applications

Season 1, Episode 6

Stabilizing Protein-Protein Interactions for Therapeutic Applications

 

Listen Now:

Spotify

Apple Podcast


Michelle Arkin
Michelle Arkin is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). She is also a director of the Small Molecule Discovery Center (SMDC), a chemical biology and drug discovery center at UCSF. Michelle has extensive experience in the field of drug discovery and is working on new and complex challenges to demonstrate the 'druggability' of new target classes. Michelle is also the cofounder of Ambagon Therapeutics who are building on the concepts of modulating protein-protein interactions to find new drugs that address unmet needs in cancer, metabolic disorders, neurodegeneration, and infectious diseases.

Small Molecule Discovery Center

Arkin Lab

Subscribe and get notified about the latest Back of the Napkin episodes!