Jeff Kim | Slingshot Biosciences | Part 1

About the Episode

Part 1 of 3.

My guest for this week’s episode is Jeff Kim, co-founder and CEO of Slingshot Biosciences. Slingshot designs and manufactures synthetic cells for R&D, clinical diagnostics, and engineered cell therapies, aiming to overcome supply chain and cost barriers that restrict access to advanced diagnostics and therapeutics.

Jeff is a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded and run multiple successful companies, including Radiant Genomics, which was eventually acquired by Zymergen, and Pattern Ag, a company mapping soil microbes to help farmers grow their bottom line. Before Radiant, Jeff was a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and was the project lead for jet fuel development at Amyris Biotechnologies. 

Join us as we sit down with Jeff as he discusses his upbringing as the child of Korean immigrants, and how their hands-off approach fostered his curiosity and self-teaching mentality that led to his current path. Jeff talks about how he pivoted from pre-med, instead choosing to attend Rockefeller University where he had great opportunities and experiences as an undergrad. He also discusses his involvement in the thriving artist community in New York City while at university, and the role that music and art played in balancing his research pursuits.

Please enjoy my conversation with Jeff Kim.

Resources, Links, & Mentions

Topics Mentioned:

An Equipment Leasing Program for Scientists & Researchers https://www.excedr.com/leasing

Common Lab Equipment https://www.excedr.com/blog/common-lab-equipment

Types of Equipment Leases https://www.excedr.com/blog/types-of-equipment-leases

Purchasing Used Lab Equipment https://www.excedr.com/blog/used-lab-equipment-equipnet

How to Apply for an Equipment Lease https://www.excedr.com/blog/how-to-apply-for-an-equipment-lease

How to Start a Lab in 2024 https://www.excedr.com/blog/how-to-start-a-lab

Biotech Startup Support https://www.excedr.com/resources-category/biotech-startup-support

Guide to Reducing Startup Costs & Expenses https://www.excedr.com/blog/startup-costs-and-expenses

Delivery Methods to Maximize Genome https://www.excedr.com/resources/crispr-delivery-methods

Overview of Recombinase https://www.excedr.com/resources/recombinase-overview

What Is DNA Methylation? https://www.excedr.com/resources/what-is-dna-methylation

DNA Modification: Processes, Significance, & Implications https://www.excedr.com/resources/dna-modification-explained

People Mentioned:

Tarun Kapoor https://www.rockefeller.edu/our-scientists/heads-of-laboratories/1187-tarun-kapoor/

Alison Gammie https://www.linkedin.com/in/alison-gammie-45072811/

George McLendon https://www.linkedin.com/in/george-mclendon-899a81150/

Brian Shoichet https://www.linkedin.com/in/brian-shoichet-0024061/ 

Andrej Sali https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrej-sali-113470273/

Sean Brady https://www.linkedin.com/in/sean-brady-4b365823a/ 

Blog / Transcript

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Intro - 00:00:01: Welcome to The Biotech Startups Podcast by Excedr. Join us as we speak with first-time founders, serial entrepreneurs, and experienced investors about the challenges and triumphs of running a biotech startup from pre-seed to IPO with your host, Jon Chee.

Jon - 00:00:23: My guest today is Jeff Kim, co-founder and CEO of Slingshot Biosciences. Slingshot designs and manufactures synthetic cells for R&D, clinical diagnostics, and engineered cell therapies, aiming to overcome supply chain and cost barriers that restrict access to advanced diagnostics and therapeutics. Jeff is a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded and run multiple successful companies, including Radiant Genomics, which was eventually acquired by Zymergen, and Pattern Ag, a company mapping soil microbes to help farmers grow their bottom line. Before Radiant, Jeff was a scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and was the project lead for jet fuel development at Amaris. Over the next three episodes, we cover a wide range of topics, including Jeff's childhood, how he balances his research with being a musician, his experience founding Radiant Genomics, navigating an acquisition by Zymergen, and growing Slingshot Biosciences on the global stage with multinational distribution. Today, we'll chat about Jeff's upbringing, his time at Rockefeller University, his involvement in the thriving artist community in New York City, and the role that music and art play in balancing his research pursuits. Without further ado, let's dive into this episode of The Biotech Startups Podcast. Jeff, so good to see you again. Thank you for coming on the podcast. 

Jeff - 00:01:35: Thanks for having me. Good to see you again as well.

Jon - 00:01:37: So we wanted to go all the way back and hear how the early days and what your upbringing was like and how has that influenced your leadership style and business philosophy.

Jeff - 00:01:47: Absolutely. Happy to take it all the way back, I guess. I think one of the most important lessons and influences I had from a very young age. Was trying to do things myself in order to learn how a process worked. And that was largely instilled by my parents. They immigrated from Korea, and a lot of the things and activities we did as a kid were largely designed with being frugal in mind. But the secondary impact of that was that we did a lot of stuff ourselves, ranging from plumbing, electrical work, anything. It's all over the place. And that exposed me to this love of learning things that are very different from what I would do day-to-day. And I found as I got older that a lot of the principles are translatable, that you learn no matter what you're doing, if it's a trade or a skill, they translate to other fields very well. And the process was actually really important, learning something by being hands-on. And then identifying problems and fixing those problems and scaling them. So, I think going all the way back in time, that is definitely the very first thing that I recall about my upbringing that it probably influenced how I operate today and what principles I apply today in my startups and in my day-to-day life. The other thing I think was important was curiosity. My parents exposed me to a lot of different things growing up. Never really applied any pressure to focus on one particular field. Which is very atypical. I have a lot of friends with a similar upbringing where parents are like, you need to be a lawyer or a doctor and that's it. Otherwise you don't exist to me. My parents never pushed me in that direction and exposed me to as much as they possibly could. So when I think about just the breadth of stuff that I was exposed to as a kid, it's overwhelming. As a parent myself now, I can't imagine how they possibly had the time to do all of that, but I'm very thankful for it now. And I think that also exposed me to the curiosity to learn new things. And it reinforced this principle that there's so many things that are applicable across domains and across field that you would never, ever expect. And I guess the more recent manifestation of that is as I got older, I've always been very passionate about music, whether it's composition or performance. And I was trained from a very young age on a variety of instruments, piano, trombone, guitar, cello, all sorts of types and makes of instruments. As I got older, I realized that it was very helpful to go and study an instrument or a musical instrument in depth. Again, because of those principles, I found it translated really easily into science. And that sounds like a disparate connection, but when I started in my scientific career, when you're young, my first understanding of science was just a hardcore rote memorization. As you're a kid in grade school and middle school, you're learning principles, fundamentals, definitions. And it's just a huge volume of things you have to memorize. In high school, that can kind of still apply sometimes. But in college, I think was the first time I was exposed to something that was a bit different. I started out as kind of pre-med potentially, but potentially music. Just kind of highlight those two interests. And pre-med was largely because I was curious about medicine. My father was a trained physician. And I knew it had some scientific requirements that would overlap because I also had an interest in biology. And the requirements are very similar. But in undergrad was the first time I was exposed to actual research. We are not learning from a textbook where you're actually writing the textbook and pushing the boundaries of what is known. And what I found was really, really powerful. There was the need to apply creativity to your process because you're not following a textbook or a set of rules. You're trying to push the boundaries of what the entire field knows and trying to find answers to questions. And part of music is leaning on that part of your brain as well. You can play something very mechanically, but you're also adding your own flavor or emotion or expressiveness to performing a piece. And that part of the brain I thought was really critical for actually finding creative solutions to scientific problems. So that kind of explains the dichotomy of studying both music and science. And in reality, I think it's actually very complementary. That first exposure was really transformative for me. I always, I wouldn't say recoiled from science, but I don't like memorizing things because I'm really terrible at it. And I always thought that, okay, if I'm going to be a scientist, I need to memorize this enormous volume of facts. And I'm just not interested in doing that. Interestingly, as I went in the pre-med track, I realized that there's also a lot of members.

Jon - 00:05:59: Yeah, I was going to say I had the same exact experience. I was like, when is this going to end? Like, when can I start doing the fun things? Because right now it's like, just like whiteboarding and whiteboarding, like, all right, crab cycle, crab cycle, crab cycle.

Jeff - 00:06:13: Yes. Just cramming information. Exactly, exactly. And I always had, I would say this rebellious streak to me, but I always questioned why I was doing things. So the one class going back in time again, I would consistently fail or get four grades in was handwriting when I was in kindergarten, you know, first grade, second grade. And I just never understood the point necessarily because I learned how to type from a very young age. So I would always be like, why am I bothering with having super precise handwriting? As long as people can read my handwriting, it's okay. And by the way, I can type 10 times faster than I can write. So I just focused on that. Parents weren't too happy about the grades then, but that was always my thesis. And then in science as well, that's what I originally thought. So if it's just memorization, why don't we just use Google? But I realized after actually diving into research, it's completely not like that. Not referencing coming up with new solutions. So that was a formative experience. And then as I got out of my undergrad, decided actually not to go to med school and take some time. Working and I got a job offer in New York. To work in a laboratory as a research associate. And at the same time, I was also pursuing music. So I had a... A couple of random music-related jobs at this DJ-ing residency downtown to make some money, and then playing various instruments for recording projects that producer friends of mine were doing. And to make money, ironically, I was a research associate in an academic lab, which was not the best thing I should have done. I should have done banking or something. But that experience was by far probably one of the most formative of my life, I would say. That's when that creativity element had to be taken up like 10 notches. As an undergrad, you're doing some research, but you're largely training tools. When I was in Rockefeller, I had an advisor. Or PI, or technically my boss, I was in a grad student plan. Named Tarun Kapoor, and he studied largely about physics around solid division, and sort of remained. And see at a high level around that. An absolutely incredible mentor. Very, very passionate. Pushing what was known in the field and extremely disciplined about his approach in doing that, but also creative. So he pulled on a lot of different collaborations. And if there are any fields or areas where the lab had a blind spot, he would always start a collaboration, learn the work himself, hire grad students to fit that in strategically. But in that role, I originally expected to clock in, clock out. I would get my job done, which was general lab support and be on my way. He gave me complete autonomy actually to pursue independent research, to publish, to do whatever I wanted, as long as I took care of other responsibilities. And I never really had that experience, especially in an academic setting where someone had placed that much kind of faith in my ability to come up with creative solutions. And to drive progress. And he was very, very transformative. To this day, I credit him a lot. My entrepreneurial drive and spirit and ability to kind of do what I do. But in that experience, I realized that, hey, I really like the creative side of these technical pursuits. I probably will not like medical school for that reason. I had a lot of friends who were there. It was pre-med times 10 in terms of the volume of memorization. I'm absolutely horrible at memorization, just to reiterate that fact.

Jon - 00:09:25: Yeah. Yeah. I'm the exact same way, by the way. It's why I ended up being in the lab. It was the exact same experience. I was like, I can't do this anymore. I really can't. I'm at my wits end. And I stumbled into my undergraduate trying to get away from that, shirking away from it. My close friend, Yuki Iizuka was like, hey, I'm in a talks lab. We used to study together. And he's like, you don't like this, but I think you might like the lab. So come on in. And I was like, whoa, this is way different. Why don't they talk about this more? This actually exists. How do you get that undergrad lab experience? To begin with, was it kind of structured? And they're like, hey, undergrads get a lab experience? Or was it something where you kind of just like found your way in? 

Jeff - 00:10:08: Yeah, yeah. It was actually both of that. There's a structured and unstructured laboratory component. The structured laboratory component is very just practical. It's like there's a really defined set of things to expose you to basic experimentation and kind of seminal experiments like PCR, understanding concepts. And that was led by a really phenomenal professor at the time, Allison Gammy. And she had come up in a wet lab in the molecular biology field. And it sort of started. And she had this initiative on her own. Really incredible. It just exposed everybody by curriculum and by force to what happens in a laboratory. And that was step one. I was like, okay, it's not all memorization. There's actually some physical processes and engineering and some art to it, right? Not every experiment works, actually. Most of them fail, as you know. And you can do the same thing again, and all of a sudden it works. So there's a little bit of that probability or Brownian noise associated with everything. And that was interesting to me. I was like, why is this? And it becomes more like painting versus building a Lego set. That was one. But then there's also a less structured laboratory component. And I was like, okay, I'm going to do this. I'm going to do this. And then there's a less structured component where As a member of the molecular biology department, your junior year, they actually forced you to stay during the summer. Not forced, it was an opportunity. The whole department would stay after junior year, the summer, and we would work independently in the lab of our selection on research. And it was just pure research. And then we would formulate that body of work into a written thesis, and we would defend the thesis at the end of senior year. So it was very similar to a Graduate , but obviously much more condensed. But it was a really incredible experience as well, because again, it was largely completely unstructured. It was up to us to define what we wanted to do, what we found curious. The graduate students are all aware of this requirement, so they are super helpful, really hands-on. And everyone up and down the chain became kind of informal mentors that summer. All of the people that I interacted with. And I worked in a chemistry lab by George McLendon, who was there at the time. And that was just a fantastic preview to what research was actually about. And it was pulling from every corner of the sciences to solve a question that you were trying to answer and constantly having to learn new things. So I was learning organic synthesis to solve a question of biology. I was learning computer science to solve that question. Also electrical engineering and building new measurement devices. So it was really fantastic and gave me a preview of what grad student life would be like. When I went to New York for that RA job, I kind of already knew that it was very appealing to me. And it was more of an exposure to see like how much.

Jon - 00:12:29: When you went to New York and you went to Rockefeller for the RA job, was that just like a cold email? Like, hey, do you have a spot? 

Jeff - 00:12:36: Yeah, largely. There was not really a structured application process there. You know, I had some of the background training and I talked to Tarun, obviously by phone. I think I met him once before that. We talked a little bit about, you know, my scientific path, my interests and so forth. And I think to Tarun's credit, he's had a really good track record of identifying RAs. And I fit kind of a template that he was looking for. You know, I had a certain amount of scientific training and exposure and certain kind of university. And then not sure if I wanted to go to med school, grad school, willing to dive in and just work really hard. The other thing I wanted to bring up was I had a lot of orthogonal exposure to the scientific community when I was at Princeton, and it was not structured in any way. When I started to look at the computational requirements of my thesis, and I was modeling a series of semi-synthetic peptides to basically interfere or perturb a caste-based interaction, it required some pretty hardcore computer science at the time and some really cutting-edge stuff. So I would just send random messages out to really well-respected professors in the field. And they had no clue who I was. There's some random undergrad. And every single one of them wrote back, which was shocking. Now I find it shocking. But when I was like 19 years old or whatever, 20, I didn't know. So I'd send email out to Brian Shoichet, Andrej Sali, all these big names in computational biology at UCSF and other places, and Rockefeller as well. And every single one of them wrote back. And they were thrilled to spend a lot of time actually pointing me in the right direction and helping me figure out what they were doing, how it could potentially help with my thesis research. And looking back on that, I was just absolutely mind-blowing. These are extremely busy people. I think the world has changed since then. It's actually really hard to get in touch with people now. But back then, it was really transformative and a really fantastic experience. 

Jon - 00:14:25: That's incredible. And I'd like to hope that we don't fully desert that kind of mentorship and pay it forward. Because I reflect on the chances that I was given in the past that I probably did not deserve at all. Those are those major inflections points that changed the trajectory. I remember basically DMing one of my PIs. I was like, thank you so much for letting me in. Because I truly was a liability. I was like, I know you want me in here to pipette. But even just pipetting, I'm probably doing things wrong. But thank you for willing to go out on a limb. And I really hope we don't lose that. I think the scientific community, broadly speaking, like generalizations here, is more communal than most communities. So I am surprised, but also not so surprised. But it's a very cool experience. And so you now have an RA job at Rockefeller. And it sounds like you're doing a bunch of fun work. I'm going to guess that was kind of the natural progression to actually doing grad work and getting your PhD.

Jeff - 00:15:26: Yes. Yes. So I was still, at the time, interested in a variety of things, potentially med school, potentially some other stuff, and then potentially grad school. And then actually going out to interviews for med school and visiting was kind of what solidified that. Probably. Probably. It's just done. I'm not going to go down this route. It took me a long time. I went through all the pain, you know, AMCs, MCAT, like all of the pain. I probably should have realized this sooner. I had a conversation with my father, too, actually. I mentioned he was a physician. And I was going through all of this. And the whole time, he's like, hey, you know, it sounds great. It sounds great. But when I was on med school interviews, I came back and I shared some of my thoughts. He's like, I never thought you were going to really like doing this. 

Jon - 00:16:05: So you should have told me earlier. Why didn't you give me a heads up? You saw this the whole time.

Jeff - 00:16:10: We joke about this. But again, my parents have been incredibly hands off and just generally supportive. To the degree, I'll share a funny anecdote at graduation from Princeton, and sorry, I'm going back in time and sort of leaping back and forth. But at graduation in Princeton, I remember there are two separate graduations. There's a general class graduation, whichever it goes to, and then there's the departmental one. And I was walking with my parents to the molecular biology building at the time. And then we went into the molecular biology building and sat down for the ceremony there. My dad was like, why are we here? I was like, I had to explain, you know, major in biology and like that. It was pretty funny because he was very hands off. He knew I was happy. He knew I was enjoying school and he didn't want to influence like what I did. And it was just very comical.  

Jon - 00:16:54: By the way, like it's funny your experience because I have a very similar experience. My parents were also immigrants from Malaysia and Indonesia. And my parents were like, do whatever you want. Just don't go to jail. Like work hard. Don't break any laws, please. But we're like fully supportive of you kind of exploring whatever may interest you. And it was kind of weird. I don't know why the lack of micromanagement by my parents. I still have this like fierce intensity sometimes just go really deep and focus. Even though I was kind of just like milling around trying to figure out what's fun to me. I don't know why. I don't mean to turn this into a psychiatrist appointment. He was like, tell me why I'm doing this. But that is something I found on my side where I'm like, sometimes I can just like go down a wormhole and go super deep despite the breadth of. Just like experience. But so you figured out don't want med school. You're now at Rockefeller in your RA position. And so as you're like basically having a blast in Rockefeller, was there a time when you're like, yeah, grad school is what I want to do? Was there like a point or was it just kind of like glided into it?

Jeff - 00:18:03: It was all kind of neck and neck. I went for med school interviews. Like they're definitely not going to function in this environment. I flew back. I remember very distinctly. I was at UChicago. And this is not a knock. In UChicago, the interview was fantastic. The people were fantastic. But I realized that, you know, this is going to be four plus more years of just crammed down memorization. And I'm going to wither. So I flew back from there and immediately went and signed up to take the GRE. And I took them, I think, like 24 hours later. For some reason, they allowed me to sign up for a last-minute slot. And I just walked into the electronic testing center and took them literally the next day, crossing my fingers, hoping I did fine, went well, and then just crammed in an application. Technically even a little late for Rockefeller and some other schools, but they accepted them. And that's when it came down to touching point again on my previous story about some of the comp bio professors. I actually applied to UCSF and got into the comp bio program here. And that was a really fun experience too, because I met a lot of the professors who would kindly help me 10 years earlier. And we made that connection there because during part of the interview, I was talking to them and I was like, do you remember this kid that emailed you 10 years ago? And then we made the connection and I was thanking them for that process. But that was a really hard decision. UCSF is obviously a fantastic institution. It was probably my number one choice for a number of reasons. And then a couple of life events happened at the same time. And I thought it would be better to be close to my family on the East Coast. And it was definitely the right decision. So I decided to go with Rockefeller. But it all came together last minute, literally second.

Jon - 00:19:39: Wild. That's also very cool that you got to finally put a face to the name in real life. That's like really surreal. And so you made the decision to go do your grad studies at Rockefeller. And was that in the same lab where you were RAing?

Jeff - 00:19:53: Initially, I did a rotation. Rockefeller tries to discourage staying in the same lab. There's a lot of arguments against it in some way. You want to expand the diversity of science you're exposed to. They want to make sure that you're not treated like an RA still as your grad student, stuff like that. But that was never a concern of mine, to be honest. Tarun had always given me complete autonomy to pursue the research topics. To your point, perhaps even too much. Like I was doing stuff that I had no business doing and kind of teaching myself on the fly, even as an RA. So he treated me like a grad student. Then. In any case, did a rotation there and then. Did a couple more rotations and decided to join a lab that was very new. I was one of the first grad students in Sean Brady's lab. I had a really interesting line of research, basically studying environmental metagenomes, so collections of organisms from environmental samples, and identifying, discovering, and understanding the gene clusters of systems. Most of the small molecule pharma molecules we have today are inspired by or derived from natural products, so antibiotics, etc. But they're usually derived from cultured organisms, so bugs that we grow in a lab setting from the 70s and 80s but what was the recent insight was that the majority of organisms out in our environment can't be grown very easily and have never been grown so instead of doing that we would extract the dna study their dna expressing different hosts that we can manipulate And it was a much more applied PhD, I would say, versus the kind of first principles, fundamental research that was happening in Tarun's lab. It was very enjoyable to do that because we could make a lot of progress and find bioactive molecules. See you in the private sessions. Grad experience was very intense for various reasons. You know, when you join a new lab, there's a lot of just inherent intensity and kind of finding your footing as a new PI from a management perspective. So that can happen sometimes. And I think it was, there were challenges from that perspective, but overall, I think the research experience was great. I got exposed to what I wanted to be exposed to. And again, part of the value of going to grad school is learning like a ton of stuff you weren't doing before. And I got exposed to a lot of genomics and how to develop. A lot of new methodology around that, new methods around genome engineering. So a very large piece of recombinant DNA technology and assembly, which is involved in synthetic genomes and so forth. So all of that stuff that I was able to sort of pilot and drive when I was a grad student. So Sean did give me a lot of autonomy from that perspective. And that informed a lot. Subsequent the technology exposure in grad school was pretty wide-reaching and included microphysics like MEMS, chemistry, computer science, machine learning, large-scale genomics, all kinds of stuff. So it was really, again, a formative experience despite that challenging environment at some point.

Jon - 00:22:35: It almost sounded, it's like a startup lab. Like we're building this from the scratch. I mean, being the first grad student is, that's no joke. Like you got to put the legs up.

Jeff - 00:22:43: Yeah, yeah. The crew that we had there, it was a really interesting time, right? And again, starting from scratch and also bringing the stuff that I had been exposed to. So I was actually exposed to a lot of automation and genomics before joining that lab, but the lab was just sort of getting up to speed on a lot of that stuff. So I remember at a certain point, you know, I was actually buying and sourcing equipment myself off of eBay because I knew that there are faster and better ways of doing certain things and letting my classmates use it just to avoid RSI. So just kind of bringing like next-gen automation systems and best practices to the lab was really fun. But it was a startup. It was even down to that level of like sourcing used equipment and just helping things move faster. It's a good experience. It can be intense, though. So just as a piece of advice for people joining a new lab, yeah, it can be intense.

Jon - 00:23:27: Yeah, I had a similar lab experience in that. Did also rotations, first in like a more well-funded lab where sourcing equipment, that wasn't a thing. It's like, whatever you want, get it. And you're like, oh, this is nice. This is like comfortable. And then ended up where I ended up doing the bulk of my research was in a more of like a startup lab. I was like, hey, we need some equipment. They're like, nope, not in this year's budget. And I was like, what is the budget? And I looked at it, I'm like, oh. First things first, he's like, go down the hall. Can we borrow? I promise I will repay you. That experience, I empathize with a lot because it was very formative for me. It's kind of like, not every lab is super well-funded. The ones that are in the headlines clearly are. And then everyone makes an assumption that like every lab at this university, well-funded, but like not the case. So very, very parallel experience on my end too. And so as you're doing your grad research, I know you are also still, playing music and you were at the, after the space in Long Island City. Can you talk a little bit about that? And one, how did you balance that? So like, that was like, you know, that's a lot. 

Jeff - 00:24:37: Yeah, no, it was a really important part of me kind of staying sane, I would say during grad school. But music and art have always been an important part. As I mentioned, I grew up doing it. To it and I find it's absolutely critical for me that use that part of my brain and it always helps the technical side of whatever I'm trying to solve, especially in research because it requires creativity. So it was almost like, you know, my version of going to the gym is I found a community of artists in New York that were extremely talented, welcoming, and built this ecosystem that was largely run as a non-profit. So there are a lot of large property owners in New York at the time. That had a ton of real estate square footage, but no plans to develop or do anything with it. So they would actually donate it to local artists as a tax write-off. But the benefit was that there's this thriving community of really strong artists that could live and work in warehouses at the time. And several of them happen to be right across the East River from Rockefeller and  I came to meet a lot of them through a roommate, I had, but I met him through there. He introduced me to the space. And that's sort of where I met that thriving community in New York artist and it was a great time to be there at the time like dumbbell sections in Brooklyn. On the city were largely completely undeveloped, mostly warehouses, industrial. So there's just a large square footage to house. Have. Fantastic. It was pretty much my routine, like I said, almost like my gym. I would go there any in-between experiment time that I had, after hours, early in the morning. I ended up living there for a while, actually, in Long Island City when I was an RA. And actually committing to Rockefeller in that direction over the bridge. But I don't think I would have survived without that group of people. You know, they were extremely supportive in many, many ways. And the person in charge of the space, this artist named Christy Shopper, again, still really close with her today. But she really was the backbone of that community and tied into a lot of the other artists and collectives throughout the city. It was a really magical time. And I don't know if it's going to. Be easy to recreate. All of those areas now have, you know, enormous glass and steel high rises that are completely unaffordable as the city develops. But at the time, I feel really fortunate. I guess I did grad school with as much sanity if it didn't exist.

Jon - 00:26:55: I'm jealous. It sounds like you found something that, you know, unfortunately now is developed in skyscrapers, but I'm jealous of that experience.

Outro - 00:27:05: That's all for this episode of The Biotech Startups Podcast. We hope you enjoyed our discussion with Jeff Kim. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe, leave us a review and share it with your friends. Thanks for listening. And we look forward to having you join us again for part two of our conversation with Jeff. The Biotech Startups Podcast is produced by Excedr. Don't want to miss an episode? Search for The Biotech Startups Podcast wherever you get your podcasts and click subscribe. Excedr provides research labs with equipment leases on founder-friendly terms to support paths to exceptional outcomes. To learn more, visit our website, www.excedr.com. On behalf of the team here at Excedr, thanks for listening. The Biotech Startups Podcast provides general insights into the life science sector through the experiences of its guests. The use of information on this podcast or materials linked from the podcast is at the user's own risk. The views expressed by the participants are their own and are not the views of Excedr or sponsors. No reference to any product, service or company in the podcast is an endorsement by Excedr or its guests.

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