UC Science Radio: Episode 11
Prof Rudi Marquez: The business of science
A wonder gel for wound healing, birth control for possums, and beating antibiotic resistance in cattle worms – it’s all part of the job for UC chemist and entrepreneur Prof Rudi Marquez, our guest on this episode of UC Science Radio.
Prof Marquez's goal as a scientist and businessman is to come up with solutions that leave the lab and make a difference in people’s lives.
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In this episode:
02:13 We developed a molecule that’s able to increase wound healing very quickly on diabetic models. What it does is increases the speed of (wound) closure. This is very important for people with diabetes, for example.
04:30 If the solution is so expensive that no one can afford it, you know, or it is so expensive that only wealthy people can afford it, I think that is not a good solution.
05:18 Every step gets you closer to the market, and it's not necessarily about trying to commercialize and trying to make money, it's actually about coming up with something that leaves the lab and does get into people's lives.
06:03 We developed a way that we can revert that antibiotic resistance. So the antibiotics we have before, we can actually use them again because we can revert the resistance and make the worms susceptible to them.
08:15 If everything works once, right, the first time, you learn a little bit. But if you fail, and you understand why you failed, that allows you to troubleshoot all the issues and it turns into a much bigger success later on.
08:51 We have found a way to sterilize possums without killing them. It's a humane way and it's environmentally friendly and selective.
10:24 You need to make sure that there's a need (for your product idea) and make sure that you have a good solution.
12:22 Not all scientists wear lab coats.
12:48 I think we were all scientists as kids, you were always curious, you always wanted to learn why these things happen. As a scientist you never stop asking that.
Read a transcript of the interview.
Meet our speakers
Professor Rudi Marquez is an entrepreneur, experienced higher education leader, and Head of UC’s School of Physical and Chemical Sciences.
He is also a co-founder and co-director of Tissue Repair Technologies (TRT) – a company aimed at developing new technologies to enhance wound healing. Rudi’s research interests are at the interface between synthetic organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and molecular and cell biology; with an emphasis on diabetes, parasitology and water quality.
Molly Magid is an MSc student at UC. A recent graduate of Brown University, Molly is working on research in conservation genomics with Associate Professor Tammy Steeves from the School of Biological Sciences. Molly is passionate about finding ways to communicate science to the public in a clear, novel, and engaging ways. Most recently, Molly worked as the lead student producer on the podcast Possibly, which answers listener's questions about sustainability using relevant science research.