Scientist-in-Residence: Sabine Sykora, PhD

In early 2020 we started our “scientist-in-residence” program. During this program we invited passionate life science enthusiasts to run their ‘signature’ applications with DNA oligos synthesized with Kilobaser DNA Synthesizer.

The goal was to develop some applications and share them with you as application notes. Turns out we didn’t just win some applications from the program…

We are excited to introduce you to Sabine Sykora, PhD, our second Scientist-in-Residence and since september 2020 Application Scientist & Business Developer at Kilobaser:

Sabine Sykora, PhD, working for Kilobaser GmbH. Kilobaser is a benchtop DNA Synthesizer machine for in-house DNA Synthesis
Sabine working in our DNA synthesis lab in Graz.

In the following text Sabine will give you more insights about her unique background, what fascinates her in science and why she was motivated to be Scientist-in-Residence at Kilobaser:

What I studied?

I have three favorite topics that I have intensively studied:

  • Assay Development
  • Enzymology and
  • Innovation Management

Assay development and Enzymology have been a part of all my studies in Graz. My first study in biomedical diagnostics (at the „Akademie für den medizinisch-technischen Laboratoriumsdienst“) awaked my interest in developing my own detection assay. Therefore, I studied chemistry and molecular biology at the University of Graz in addition to understand the different possible assays as well as the properties of biomolecules including proteins, DNA, viruses and bacteria. Based on this, I developed a novel detection assay from the scratch within the scope of my doctoral program in biochemistry at the University of Basel.

Why I decided to go beyond pure academic work?

During my work there, I had the possibility to work with a Start-up and witnessed thereby their struggles to find the right clients for their product including my developed assay. This observation encouraged me to enhance my skills in product management as well as business development by studying innovation management at Campus02 in Graz and to go beyond pure academic work.

What I like about science?

For me personally, the most exciting aspect on science is the fact that we scientists are gradually understanding the mechanism how nature works and can apply the same mechanisms for new applications.

This is especially true for enzymes, one of the best tools nature offers. The chemical modifications that enzymes can perform surpass the one via organic chemistry in term of simplicity, specificity as well as sustainability. During my studies I have encountered many research groups handling with enzymes, providing me with different views - from the evaluation of the reaction mechanism to the improvement of stability for application in biotechnology. Even in my doctoral thesis I integrated enzymes in my assay to generate an easy detectable signal.

I would like to see more principles of nature being adapted to the industry enhancing the development of new technologies and innovative solutions.

Why Scientist-in-Residence at Kilobaser?

What motivates me to work at Kilobaser as Scientist in Residence is to give an impact on the development of their innovative product as well as of their business.

Working with a small company such as Kilobaser is extremely exciting for me as I can feel the innovative spirit of the team. Everyone in the team, gives his best to improve their work. As an enzymologist, I particularly like our discussions about integrating enzymes to overcome some of the struggles associated with chemical synthesis of DNA and RNA.

Advantages of a benchtop DNA synthesizer?

In my opinion, their benchtop DNA synthesizer, can be helpful for many possible applications, but above all, it provides significant advantages for the research in molecular biology. The greatest benefit of using a Kilobaser is the fact that I can make different oligos, I need for my experiment at any time. Although the device synthesizes (only) standard custom primers, it is just a matter of time that different variants of oligos are feasible.

When I am not in the lab…

…I study what makes a company or technology successful and collect ideas how to improve a company in terms of marketing and business development. Based on that, I am working on a platform, in which especially Start-ups in life science and biotechnology can find useful help for their business development.”

Share this article: