The Inscripta Blog

July 13, 2021

Inside Inscripta: Maria Simbirsky, Computational Sciences and Engineering

We hope you’re enjoying getting to know the Inscripta team. Today we’ll meet Maria Simbirsky, Senior Scientist II. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in math and biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and her master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Boston University.

What’s your role at Inscripta?

I’m a senior bioinformatics scientist in the computational sciences and engineering group. My main role is handling infrastructure: I manage a lot of our cloud deployment and make sure our pipelines run smoothly.

What brought you to Inscripta?

I was really excited about Inscripta’s mission. I had been looking for a workplace where I could have a significant impact on climate change. The company’s mission to deliver high-throughput genome edits and accelerate the development of genome editing fits really well with efforts to create biodegradable plastics, meat alternatives, and other products that will help address climate change.

How did you get into the genome editing field?

I was exposed to bioengineering in my master’s program. I worked in a synthetic biology lab, where I worked on an open-source bioreactor to make bacterial growth more efficient.

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

If I could wave a magic wand and replace all plastic in the world today with genome-engineered bioplastic that would biodegrade in the next two or three years, that’s what I would do.

What’s the best career advice you have?

I’ve been fortunate enough to always be surrounded by people who are far smarter than I am and to learn a lot from them. My advice is to look for a workplace where you are not only surrounded by smart people, but also by kind ones. It is far more rewarding to celebrate scientific breakthroughs with people you like.

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

Going to the beach. I grew up in Tel Aviv so we could just walk to the beach every day. In northern California, it can get too cold for that.

What’s your favorite vacation?

I’m a big foodie traveler. My partner and I will travel to a random city and just enjoy the food scene. One of my favorite vacations was wandering the streets of Barcelona in search of the best tapas and vermouth.