Successful marketing for a science company requires a special combination of skills. You need to possess a technical foundation to understand the products you’re promoting combined with a high degree of empathy to create messaging that speaks to customers’ goals and pain points. At Inscripta, Michael is applying his unique combination of skills to help tell the story of how technological breakthroughs like the Onyx can translate into making our customers even more successful. This Texas native and long-time Californian received his PhD in Cell Biology from Texas A&M.
1. What is your role at Inscripta? I am Vice President of Marketing.
2. What lead you to this type of role? Throughout my career, I have gravitated towards roles that focused on the use of novel technologies to better understand the world around us and hopefully, make a positive impact. From a marketing perspective, I think, more than ever, it is critically important that we articulate these technologies in a way that makes them accessible to both scientists and the broader public as a whole.
3. Why did you decide to join Inscripta? Inscripta simply aligned perfectly with my scientific background and intellectual interests. It’s both a science and a tech company, which makes it especially appealing to me. The technology at Inscripta has the potential to be transformative across all major industries and there aren’t many products or solutions you can say that about. And while the opportunity to market something as cool as the Onyx is very attractive, what really excites me is being part of something that can help create a more sustainable future by mitigating some of the industrial impacts that have happened over the past century. And that’s just the beginning, Inscripta’s technology also has clear potential to impact everything from human health to feeding the world.
4. How did you end up in the genome engineering field? Scientifically my background is in large-scale genetics and computational biology. I began my scientific career working on the human genome project and have been involved in cutting-edge genomics throughout my profession. CRISPR and gene editing are state-of-the-art today and a game-changing technology, so when I had the opportunity to be involved with CRISPR at a commercial level I jumped at it.
5. If you could use genome engineering to address any challenge, what would you choose? I would say addressing the development of more sustainable and nutritious food for the world. Obviously, food is fundamental for sustaining life, but also healthier and more nutritious foods can be generated using these techniques which will also have a clear positive impact on human health as well. It’s a win-win.
6. What’s the best career advice you have to share? Follow your passion. While it can be challenging and may be frustrating at times, if you can work on something that you believe in, you will find the determination to move past the roadblocks. This also gives you the greatest chance for success.
7. What did you do as a kid that you wish you could do more as an adult? I would say riding my bike, I still do a fair amount of cycling, but I would do it every day if I could.
8. What’s your favorite vacation? Anything that involves warm weather and cold drinks.
9. If you could choose anyone as a mentor who would it be and why? I would say, Nelson Mandela, I think he was amazing. His unparalleled level of empathy enabled him to move beyond his own anger and ultimately bring about changes most people couldn’t even imagine. On a professional level, I think empathy is the foundation for how great products and companies are created. It shapes how you speak to others about your products and company because you understand the motivations of your customers.
10. What is a hobby you enjoy in your free time? Aside from riding my bike, pretty much anything that lets me be outside. And that includes just sitting with a cold drink on a hot day :)
11. What was your first job? I started working pretty young, I think I was 14, I was a summer camp food delivery person in San Antonio. I had to get up at the crack of dawn to pack a bunch of lunches into coolers. I’m sure I learned something good from that experience, but there are not too many things less enjoyable to a teenage kid than getting up at 4 am all summer.