As our team grows, we would like to take the time to introduce some of the newest Perlara scientists. Or, more accurately, we would like them to introduce themselves in their own words like our first scientific team did. Instead of an academic and professional bio (you can read those on our team page), we asked them to tell us how they came to work at Perlara, what they are currently working on, and what Perlara’s vision and mission means to them. Read what motivated these young scientists to join the world of startups, rare diseases, and science blogging. 

New Perlara scientists—

 

Aras Rezvanian

What led you to Perlara, and what are you working on?  

I was led to Perlara because of their unique work with model organisms. The approach of testing thousands of compounds in a short time on organisms that mimic the human genome is so unique that it can be found nowhere else. My largest project is running a screen on MLIV using cell cultures related to our work on MLIV Drosophila (fly) and C. elegans (worm). Isolated fibroblasts from MLIV patients are cultured and phenotyped, then run on the microsource library to see if any revert to a non-diseased state. 

Why do you like going to work? 

For someone who came from academia, being in such an open environment where everyone is working towards a final goal is refreshing. I am not just working on my own project that is vital only to me, but instead working on a piece of a project with everyone around me to solve a larger problem. 

What do Perlara’s vision, mission and core values mean to you? 

Perlara’s vision of targeting rare diseases and using their unique disease model means an opportunity for me to work on cutting edge research that is not available to someone working in a more conventional laboratory. Transparency between teams and an emphasis on collaboration allows me to work on my projects while constantly being in the loop on what all the other teams are doing. This open view on research leads me to see what paths others are taking to the same goals, and to incorporate their ideas with my own, bettering everyone. 

 

Madeleine Prangley

What led you to Perlara?

With a background in Paleontology and Evolutionary biology, I really wanted to expand my perspective by gaining experience in genetics, and Perlara was the perfect fit for that. I was able to use some of my background knowledge of data analysis and population genetics to contribute a different perspective to the conversation here. 

Why do you like going to work?

Through my position at Perlara, I am able to come in every day knowing that I am helping to get one step closer to treating patients with rare genetic diseases. I am also able to gain valuable experience working such a small and tight knit company by being exposed to all aspects of developing start-ups. I am learning so much about all of the models that Perlara works with by collaborating continuously with other teams. 

What are you working on?

                                                        Currently I am a member of both the Drosophila and Yeast teams. We are beginning screens on our NGLY1 Drosophila model and PMM2 yeast model.

 

Zach Parton 

What led you to Perlara?

I was recommended to Perlara by my former and current (again) co-worker, Aras. The company caught my eye because of their scientific methodology. The idea of using data-driven assays with a wide spread seems to me to be the only way to find treatments that would slip through the cracks of normal drug-development pipeline. It also holds the potential to accelerate that process to the point that we can see meaningful development in a time-frame that is meaningful for patients.

What are you working on?

I am working primarily on assay development for our C. elegans Gaucher disease models, and screening a chemical library against our PMM2-CDG model worms. I am also experimenting with means of automating work flows and data analysis to allow for trends across experiments and organisms to be easier to detect with high confidence.

 Why do you like going to work?

So far I have found a company with great people, where I feel like I am making a difference. The teams are tight-knit and caring, as much for the patients we hope to help as to each other. The scientific development and conversation with my colleagues is invigorating. In my short time here, I have already learned an incredible amount about working with living organisms and, specifically, one of the most ideal model organisms, C. elegans.

What do Perlara’s vision, mission and core values mean to you?

With a careful eye towards the public benefit, and equally careful large-scope science, I think that Perlara will emerge as a gold-standard as we move into a new era of drug development.

We’ll be introducing more Perlara team members as the company continues to grow. Keep your eyes open for their new work discovering cures for rare diseases.

 

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