Inside Inscripta: Bryan Leland, Applications

As we continue profiling our valuable team members, today we get to know Bryan Leland, Manager of Applications. He holds a BA in biochemistry from Grinnell College and earned his PhD in cell biology at Yale University.

What’s your role at Inscripta?

The applications team members are the first internal users of the technology. Our job is to think about the ways that customers will use the Onyx™ platform and test the technology, both to generate cool data and also to put it through its paces to make sure it will meet customer needs. We get to collaborate with external partners in academia and industry, and we also work very closely with the product and software development teams.

What brought you to Inscripta?

The technology was fascinating to me. It can do in one experiment what I did in most of my PhD work. It’s a really cool application of CRISPR and will be important for bioindustry, synthetic biology, and the bioeconomy. I also really liked how the company was set up with many different teams with very diverse expertise — bench scientists, data scientists and bioinformaticians, software developers, and engineers. Joining Inscripta allowed me to continue doing the bench science that I love while learning about all those different areas.

How did you get into the genome editing field?

I had been doing conventional genome engineering in yeast with non-CRISPR techniques.

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

I am excited about using it to understand how biology works. There’s so much about how cells work that we still don’t understand. New tools always unlock a new understanding in biology. The coolest part is that this opens a whole new set of experiments that you couldn’t do before to figure out how the genome works.

What’s the best career advice you have?

What’s helped me a lot at Inscripta is reaching out and getting to know people, so my advice is to be curious about what other people are working on and doing. I’ve gotten to know so much more through talking with our customers and people internally.

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

I had a lot more time to exercise when I was younger! I have two small kids now so there’s not a lot of time to do stuff like that.

What’s your favorite vacation?

I like a vacation where you don’t have a very defined plan, you just go to an area and explore. My favorite trip was to Peru before starting grad school. My now-wife and I were there four or five weeks and we went all over, most of it fairly unplanned in advance. One of the highlights was a cool trip into a jungle near Iquitos.