30 September 2022
THIS YEAR, WE HAD OUR VERY FIRST INTERN IN THE COMPOUND DISCOVERY TEAM
Jack Hassard is a PhD student at Imperial College London. His research focuses on respiratory viruses and their mechanism of entry into cells. As part of his studies, Jack spent 3 months at Bactobio determining the antibiotic resistance profiles of bacterial clinical isolates.
We hope he enjoyed his brief time with us at Bactobio and are excited to see what he will accomplish.
We spoke to Jack about his experience and thoughts on the internship:
Bactobio immediately appealed to me as a chance to learn new lab skills and experience working in the dynamic setting of a start-up. Throughout my studies, I have been drawn to infectious diseases, and Bactobio’s mission to discover new antibiotics and antifungals to combat antimicrobial resistance stood out as something I would like to be a part of.
What have you been working on during your time here?
Since starting at the company, I have been involved in determining the antibiotic resistance profiles of bacterial clinical isolates i.e. determining whether bacterial strains isolated from patients are resistant to the current antibiotics being used for treatment. This will allow screening of novel compounds against resistant bacteria to assess the potential of these compounds for use as antibiotics in the future.
Broth microdilution MIC plate for antimicrobial susceptibility testing
What have you enjoyed most about the experience?
Interning here has been a great opportunity to meet new people, and everyone at Bactobio has been extremely welcoming. I have enjoyed the atmosphere of working at a startup - things progress at a quick pace
and there is always something new to focus on. Additionally, most of my scientific career to date has focused on viruses and mammalian cells, so it has been nice to take a step back and learn more about the potential within bacteria!
The current Bactobio team out on the office balcony
And what has been the biggest challenge?
My project involved working with a range of teams. Because of this, there was significant planning and troubleshooting prior to getting quality results. The collaboration was definitely worth it though and it was great to interact with such a diverse group of scientists.
What are your biggest takeaways from the experience?
Interning here has expanded my idea of what a scientific career can look like after a PhD, and it has been helpful for me to see the opportunities available after I graduate. It has also allowed me to experience the differences between academia and industry first-hand, and I will definitely be applying certain aspects of my work here in the final few months of my PhD.
What would be your advice to future Bactobio team members?
Take advantage of the fact that the company is still expanding and familiarise yourself with each team’s role and how they contribute to the bigger picture. Interning at Bactobio has allowed me to experience all the things involved in making a successful company – from business development and getting funding to the work that goes into achieving their goal of combating antimicrobial resistance.