Inside Inscripta: Alia Clark-ElSayed, Applications Development

As our company grows, we get to bring fresh talent on our team. Today our spotlight is on Alia Clark-ElSayed, Research Associate on the Applications Development (AD) team. Alia is from Virginia, but she lived in Australia before moving back to our favorite state – Colorado. Here, she got her bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado Boulder.

What brought you to the company?

I started going to Inscripta’s website and reading more about the technology, watching the webinars – and it completely blew my mind that this sort of genome engineering was happening. I applied because it seemed like an awesome place to work. And it is.

How did you get into the genome editing field?

I studied Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology as an undergraduate and did my thesis work in the lab of Shelley Copley. My undergraduate research project was related to genome editing. We were studying the evolution of new metabolic networks in Pseudomas putida. A lot of it was new to me, and it was awesome to learn.

What’s the most exciting thing about moving from genome reading to genome writing?

I would say probably the limitless possibilities for what you can do with genome editing. Being able to read the genome, there’s a lot of valuable information there. But transforming that into making edits, I think, there there’s just so many different ways that you can go about trying to solve problems with a new technology like that. I personally find the applications related to human health really interesting, like personalized medicine and pharmaceutical applications like protein production.

If you could use genome engineering to address any challenge, what would you choose and why?

Probably something related to human health, like finding new treatments for diseases.

What did you do as a kid that you wish you could do more as an adult?

When I was a child, I enjoyed having free time after school that was unstructured. Now, I have a lot more things that I have to get done after work.

What’s your favorite vacation? My favorite vacation would probably be going up to the mountains and staying in a cabin and going skiing. I love skiing. I probably go 15 to 20 times a season. Not every weekend, although I wish I could. My go-to place is A-Basin – it feels more like a locals’ mountain, it’s not as touristy. I love being outside and getting to hang out with my family and friends when I go skiing.