In today’s episode, Chad sits down with guest scientist Dr. Binodh DeSilva Lead, Discovery and Optimization at Bristol Myers Squibb. She has 25 years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry and has spent a significant amount of time at pharma giants, Amgen and BMS. Binodh has been highly involved in the pharmaceutical industry and more specifically in bioanalysis for much of her career. Binodh and Chad discuss her career, how she made the leap from her home country of Sri Lanka to Kansas, and to a career on both coasts. They also talk about her industry leadership and the hobbies she has used to help fill her time during the quarantine.

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Molecular Moments Episode 3: Dr. Binodh DeSilva talks kitchen focus group, therapeutics and missing the trails! transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

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Announcer:
Welcome to the Molecular Moments podcast.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
In today's episode, we sat down with guest scientist Dr Bonneau de Silva, vice president of Leads Discovery and Optimization at Bristol-Myers Squibb. Binet as more than twenty five years of experience within the pharmaceutical industry, having spent a significant amount of time at pharma giants Amgen and BM's, she's been highly involved in the pharmaceutical industry and more specifically in bio analysis for much of her career. She and I had a great discussion about her career, how she made the leap from her home country of Sri Lanka to Kansas and to a career on both coasts. Also, we talked about her industry leadership and the hobbies that she has used to help fill her time during the quarantine. So without further ado, here is the third episode of Molecular Moments.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
The node really was excited to have you on as a guest today. We have a ton of topics that I want to cover with you. One of the first things that I always like to open with in my discussions is to talk a little bit about your career path kind of starting probably what led you into the scientific field, what got you interested in science. And one story that you related to me that I'd love it if you would share with the audience is how you made it from Sri Lanka to Kansas. Right. The Rock Chalk Jayhawk. So if you could just kind of give us a little bit of background, that'd be great. I'd appreciate that.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
Thank you, Chad. Thank you for this opportunity. And I'm hoping that this will stimulate discussions between our bio analytical community and others who is listening to really get into the sciences. So because it's it's such a fantastic area to be part of. So I grew up in Sri Lanka. I was born to parents who also science teachers. My mother was a chemistry teacher and my father was a physics teacher. However, I have to say that we were never, ever forced to go into science. So for those of you who do not know Sri Lanka, it is a tiny island in the southern coast of India. It is very famous for its Ceylon tea and blue sapphires. So when I got admission to come to the United States, I got admission to come to the University of Kansas. Now, for a Sri Lankan who looks at the United States, we don't know anything about United States except for New York and Los Angeles. Right. So that all the United States is for someone from a tiny island in Asia. And so when I said I was going to Kansas, people were like, well, where what is Kansas? So you had to take a map out and really show that it's the heart of the United States. That's that's where we're coming. But it was an experience explaining to people where Kansas was.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I recall you also telling me that there was some sort of university recruiting mission or you were identified. I have this vision of a number of suited up professors showing up and finding the really smart students and pointing out the note in the classroom.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
So it was a very, very thoughtful and organized effort. There were 13 universities represented from the United States and some professors took turns to come to visit the different universities in Sri Lanka. They went to India, Bangladesh and other countries as well. What they did was they came to our universities. So Sri Lanka at that time had five major universities that worked in the science areas. And so what they did was they came they interviewed us about faculty from our universities, gave the names to the professors, and then they interviewed us. So this was a very good experience for all of us to understand what happens in the United States and also be part of a community that really looked into the talent in the Asia Pacific countries to bring to the United States. Now, it was not a guarantee that just because they interviewed us that we got a position in these universities, we had to apply once we applied. That was sort of also a recommendation for us to say, OK, we can be considered for these universities. So that's how it worked out. So we applied. And then the other opportunity that we also had was we also got to review the research of the different professors of these universities. And that was a tremendous help to all of us to just at least get to know these professors. And so that's how I got accepted to the University of Kansas. And actually, I wanted to work with Dr Wilson, who was in Arizona before. But when I joined the group, he had moved to Kansas with a distinguished Higuchi professorship at University of Kansas.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And your academic training was as a chemist, right? Not as a biologist or biochemist.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
I got my undergraduate in chemistry, analytical chemistry. So they followed the British system of education. So when we go to universities, we take full subjects. So I did chemistry, zoology, botany and physics. So that's how you get to the university. Once you get to the university, we take on three subjects. And I did chemistry, biology, zoology for two years. And then you have to do exams and you get selected within whichever one you want to do. And I got selected. To do all three, so I have an interesting story that I'll tell you, it was interesting because I got selected to all three and the way they advertise this is they put it in a bulletin board. They list all the people who got selected to what they call the special degrees. So I got selected to all three and I looked in my chemistry list and I was the only one. All the rest of my colleagues, there were 12 of us. All the rest were boys, the guys, young men. So I said, no, I'm not going to deal with these guys. So I decided I was going to do botany because I loved to work in the National Forest. So I said, OK, I'll go sign up for botany. And I went and signed up for the botany special and I just said, now I'm not going to do chemistry special at that time. I have a dean of the faculty was a chemistry professor, Dr. Pereira, and I got a call from her to come and see her in her office. And then you call to the dean's office. Yeah, not sure why are you being called for. So I went and she sat me down and she gave me this long lecture of why I didn't choose chemistry. So I had to listen to her. I was honest. I told her the only reason I didn't go into chemistry was because I was not going to deal with these 11 boys. So I was just like, I don't want to deal with these guys. And she kind of read me the riot act. And last thing I know is I'm in chemistry.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I think as we continue to tell your story here, it'll be clear that I'm glad and that it's great for the bio analytical and the pharmaceutical industry that you ended up in chemistry and as a chemist myself, who's recently moved into more of a large molecule world amino acids and Flessa cometrue and all that. You know, I like to see another chemist who made that switch. You made it obviously much earlier in your career than I did. But you had some great timing, right? You were a pioneer. I think clearly coming from Sri Lanka to Kansas, you started out in the center of the United States. You jumped the left coast. And a little while we'll get to the right coast. Right. Tell me about your experience at Imjin. You had great timing. That's going to be a theme that I'm going to pick up on in another space. We had great timing. I think going to Imjin when it was exploding is one of the first and most successful biotech companies ever.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
Yes. So that was incredible opportunity. I am so glad I got that opportunity. So I started my career at Procter and Gamble Pharmaceuticals. I can't forget that. I mean, that's where I got my industry foundation. And then I got the privilege of working with Dr. Tony DeStefano, who was amazing supervisor. And then I also got to work with one of the most inspiring supervisors I ever had, Miss Mike Beaufort's. She was very, very good in letting us grow in every which way that she could think of possible. So then when I got the opportunity to go to Amgen, it was like night and day from Proctor and Gamble. Procter Gamble was this company, one hundred plus years old and a very traditional company. And then I go to the West Coast to Amgen, which is the biotech hub and really entrepreneurial, flexible, I mean, highly, highly scientific organization that I had the privilege of working. I learned so much. They're not just being in a biotech how to make decisions quickly, how to move projects quickly. That was the entrepreneurial nature. I mean, if they didn't do what they did at that time, it would have been just impossible to be where they are today. I mean, there is always the debate, right, between whether it's Amgen or Genentech. But I think both companies are great companies. But Amgen, I have the experience with Amgen. They gave us so much in the forefront of getting things done. You could do anything cutting edge. And you were not told not you can't do it. I mean, you just had to do it and prove to them that you couldn't do this as you sit around and think about it.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
That's where I first came to know you. And a lot of that was in the meetings talking about regulatory development. And when I talk about the history of bio analytical people, I think of that somewhere in that two thousand to two thousand eight period is like the renaissance for the regulations. Right? We were we were blessed with new regulations. And a big part that you played was in helping the like in binding regulations to catch up with the small molecule Lithium's regulations in a smart way. That's what I recall, is that you would bring a lot of common sense, along with Geely and in many others with. Time, who are who are pioneers, so what motivated you to to get involved in that aspect? Because that's just extra that's that's extra work that you had to do that doesn't really move forward in your day to day. And at Amgen

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
You know, once again, it's got started also in the early days of Proctor and Gamble. I was doing small molecule assays, but with elegant binding. I my first project was resident. It it was a bisphosphonate. It stuck to everything. Glass stainless is everything. Right. So my essay development work started with a legally binding essay for Resident eight. So that's where we got started. And then as we were working on that, we quickly realized that there were no guidance. There was no we were really trying to fit our essay data to the chromatography acceptance criteria, which was impossible to do. I was not alone. So I have to give a lot of credit to the behemoth's of unbinding essays. Rhona Bausch, John Finley, Jean Lee. I mean, I was not alone. I had the tremendous support from all of those people to get going. And then when I got to Engin, it was also that, OK, now we had I was working on Epogen and I couldn't match my criteria to any of the small molecule acceptance criteria. My total errors were in the 30 percent unheard of. Right. I mean, if you tell that to a chromatograph, like, what are you doing? So we had all these issues but said the thing is they were practical issues, right? There was a huge matrix effect. There's so much endogenous Epel. And I'm trying to you measure Epogen as a recombinant protein. So it's not just finding regulations are finding acceptance criteria for the sake of doing it. It is also because we had a huge need. We didn't know how to do of assays and we couldn't fit any of this into these criteria because we had so many technical problems. So you had to overcome those on top of trying to fit some number? Right.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
At the end of the day, it's a number that we are trying to fit, but we are. The steps that you have to take to get to that is really a lot of work. So that's how I got started. And then when we were talking and then the guidance came out in nineteen ninety nine for small molecules, right. The chop it up and the guidance and then we were like Nobel. So that was a little bit of regimen in assay work. Right. That ran and all of those people have done so. Then we got together in Ron's kitchen in Indianapolis to talk about what do we do. Right. So that's how it got started. And he made us dinner or snacks or whatever that was. That's how unbinding as a focus group started at Ron's kitchen table in Indiana. And from there, we started talking about all the issues we had. Then we felt like we had a community that was struggling with all these things. Right. And also that was that, you know, timing is everything. You know, that's what you say. And this the time that we were getting these biologics as therapeutics. Right. So it was there before I started at Amgen, but this was picking up to be a therapeutic. Biologics were becoming therapeutics as well as small molecules. So there was a need. And then we felt like we had a community to really sit around and gripe about all our problems. That's what it led to. Then we got together as a group that has been a Mary and Kelly. I mean, all of us got together and we were really trying to solve the problems that we actually had in the lab. That is what led to all the conversations and the community.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I love that story. And it brings me to something that I was going to mention to you or ask you about. But first, I want to say you are one of the behemoths of large molecule by analysis as well. I mean, there's there's no doubt about it. I recall not too long ago I visited you at BMW. And when I came back, I told one of the scientists in the lab that we had sat down and talked for a while and she said, oh, my gosh, you know, the Silverado, it's funny about analysis. I don't know, because this is the industry. I know. But but certainly there's sort of this you look at the previous generation or that the generations are shorter, right? They're not the generations we think of normally, but maybe they're five to ten year space. But what are the stories? I also recall hearing from I'll say a guy I'll say is in my generation, right, with Chris Beever that we both know? Well, he told me. Once he had gone out to Imjin and had had dinner at your house. So now I'm hearing about dinner with Ron Bauscher house and dinner at your house. Is this a like combined by anything? We didn't do this in the small molecule space.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
No, you guys didn't. So, yes, we we used to I mean, like, it's a family, right? We were small. We were a small car, and we knew about each other's birthdays, the anniversaries. And so Mary and Kelly, she used to, like, cook for us and me because, you know, the three paper when we had to write the paper and there was a time that I used to fly from California because both American and Russ were in in the East Coast. So I would fly out here to start writing the paper and Mary Ann would cook for us. So we had dinner there. So it was it was a family. Yeah. So it was nice.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
That's amazing. So let's step forward. I think it was around twenty ten that you landed at BMX and I was thinking, wow, you landed at BMW right around when I recall BMW was shifting their product portfolio from being a small molecule company to being a large molecule company and then shortly thereafter up DVO Devault was acquired and then in then that, you know, a few years later was approved. So, you know, somehow seeing the future here for these opportunities or how did you how did you end up in another great opportunity like that? BMS.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
Blame it on us. Wina us. We know. Oh, my gosh, I love him. So Russ was so Russ and I known each other for a long time. Right. So and then Russ was going to leave BM's and go to Mark. He had got a great opportunity to go work on personalized medicine at Merck. So he called me up and said, why don't you come and check this opportunity out at BM's? I'm like, no, Russ, I can move the whole family coast to coast. And he said, What's your problem? Just come on over. And so I said, no. And then then he left to go to Merck. I had forgotten about the whole thing, but he kept insisting I come and check it out Monday. I came and I checked it out. They had just bought Medarex in two thousand nine. I think about September time frame is when they had bought Medarex and they had this portfolio of monoclonal antibody therapeutics that was going to be persecuted for development. I didn't know at that time, but at the interview they told me that and they said that it was important that we have a bio analytical group that also focused on monoclonal antibody therapeutics as well as biologics. So that's how I got the position that BMS since I joined. So the very first molecule we did work on was Yervoy, you know, the antisatellite for molecule and then came along Octavo and Nivolumab and so forth, and a lot of other products that came off to that.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Can you tell us a little bit about what a checkpoint inhibitor is? Because not everybody does know what a checkpoint inhibitor is and DVO and why that was so revolutionary in the industry for biologics.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
Ok, so if you look at our immune system. Right, it's there to protect us, right? I mean, so that is our main main defense system. So the way the immune system works is in two parts. So we are born with a system in us that we have the immediate ability to really fence off any organisms, anything for him just to protect us, you know, and this and our skin is like probably the the most important one. So then he also has something called adaptive immune system, where it learns how to protect us. So in that there is something called a humoral immune system, which is mediated by antibodies. And then there is a cell mediated immune system which is using some of immune cells to protect us. So both of these systems come into play when there's a foreign thing that come in to attack us. So what happens is the immune system can also sometimes attack on yourself that because auto immunity and that's not a good thing. Right. So you should have the immune system doesn't attack our own cells. So the purpose of our cancer targeting immune therapy is to really modify our own immune system, to realize that the cancer cell is a foreign thing and then we can attack. So you're really using. Our own immune system to showcase that the cancer cell is a foreign body and then to so that's how in some ways these immune therapies work. And then there is another group of white blood cells that we call immune checkpoints. Now, they can also tell the immune system to ignore. So the checkpoint inhibitors are basically what they're saying. It's like they are the checkpoint inhibitors are the ones that prevent, in some ways, the immune system from attack. So that's what we use for PD one and PDL one. That is of devil. That is the molecule, a break that prevents the immune system from attacking its own cells. And then another type is the CTLA for the cytotoxic sensitises, and that is Yervoy that that is the mechanism of Yervoy.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
When you started looking at these large molecules of the BMW, how do you come into an organization, obviously with Ross before he laid some groundwork, but coming into an organization and transforming it from a small molecule to a large molecule organization, that's not a small undertaking and I think it's certainly a big part in that. So can you tell me and maybe even broader, just your experience with overhauling an organization in ways that maybe we can learn a little bit from you?

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
So it's all about people. I mean, I will no matter who says what, it's all about the scientists who work on this, and that's who brings the organization to life, really. So when I came and we didn't have a lot of people who knew large molecule work, however, we had a tremendous organization in the small molecules under the leadership of Marcano. We had the scientifics breath in the small molecule and this is not in the large molecules. So what we had to do was we literally sat around a table and looked at who do we have, what are the strengths that we bring to the table? And we laid out a list of people that expertise and we went about and said, who don't we have? And we actually complemented our strengths with the strengths that we didn't have. So like we didn't have a hard core immunologist and then we didn't have some biochemistry expertise. So we really had to put everybody together and say, this is what we are going to do and this is who we're going to hire. And the other big challenge I had with BMS was now I'm coming from Amgen, you know. Right. The goldmine of resources that can handle large molecules. And yeah, I come and we don't have reagents. So everybody in the large molecule area knows that without a reagent, you're dead in water. Forget the assay. Right. We had Medarex, a fantastic group of scientists and biologists who can give us therapeutic antibodies that could bind to anything. Right. But I on the other hand, I get these molecules from San Francisco, Redwood City.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
I don't have a way of analyzing these molecules because I didn't have reagents. So I had to partner with the group in Redwood City who was developing the therapeutic antibodies to also say, as in parallel, can you generate reagents? Funny, that was a little bit of an undertaking, but that's kind of what how we got started. So, Chad, really, I mean, what we had to do to transform the organization is to showcase what we had to do, gaps in what we didn't have, both in personnel as well as in the instruments and the reagents, and then formulate a story to tell to the senior management. I mean, I still remember, you know, my first couple of years here, every quarter I had this PowerPoint, one slide that I would present to my senior vice president, say here are the strengths that we have, just like a SWOT analysis, but not necessarily that here are the strengths. Here are the gaps and here are the results I needed. So I really constantly was updating him and keeping him abreast, know. So I mean, I would say we had probably when I started, we had probably about twenty nine molecules, therapeutic antibodies in the pipeline. We didn't have a way to go back and say, no, we can't support it because we had to support these molecules going forward. So that is one thing that I think was a hugely influential in getting these people together who had a common mission, as well as complementing one another with the strengths we had and with the strengths that we had to bring in.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And I can tell you, knowing many people in, you know, in the best large molecule organization, you focus not just on bringing in. Brilliant people who are well respected, but also you focused a lot on bringing the right people, the right personalities to really make a team, and that's something that that you can see with your people and the respect they have for each other, the respect they have for you. So certainly that's an important piece as well, I guess.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
Yeah, I think it's it's one of the things, you know, as as long as you can articulate a common vision and they rally behind you because you're doing something also for something bigger than yourself. Right. I mean, the cumulative effect of everything, what we do is for the patients. I mean, that's something BMS is really, really I'm really proud of BMS for the way they handle that, not stabbing the patients.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Yeah. There's no doubt when you visit your facilities that the patients are first and foremost. And that's exciting. And it's something that I certainly try to keep at the front of my mind as well. We were just talking about that today internally at biogenetics, thinking about the samples. Right. That's every sample comes from a patient and often especially the large molecules that sample maybe even critical to their treatment, right?

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
Absolutely. Look to look at biomarkers, right. I mean, that same patient sample they may be using for multiple aspects and so precious, every sample is precious.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And maybe you can talk about that as well, because that's certainly an area being a large molecule focused career, having a large molecule focused careers. You have biomarkers maybe in some ways I'll say they lagged behind therapeutics as far as the analysis and getting into the bio analytical labs and the regulation. So maybe you can just talk a little bit about the importance of biomarkers and how they played into some of these therapeutics you you worked on.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
So I think, you know, it's a good testament even to this day, right, that we have to have both together to really the diagnostic is so important for the treatment purpose. Right. So in the bio analytical area, we are always thinking about the pharmacokinetics, you know, what is happening to the drug. But it's so also important to see what effect that drug had. And that's where the biomarkers come in. And I think, you know, if you look at the biomarkers as like the blood pressure, I mean, I know a lot of people it's easier to understand the blood pressure. That's a measurement that'll tell you about how your heart condition is in some ways, right, in a similar manner. Just because you don't see a biomarker that's in a tube, in a test tube that need to be analyzed. It's as important as that blood pressure measurement. Yeah, without a doubt. I think also some people hyped up so much that it has to go hand in hand with the picture says, yes, it does. But at the same time, you have to give it as important as a PKC measurement or even better, because that is your diagnostic. The doctor goes and say a doctor prescribes that diagnostic and that accuracy and the precision of that value is so important because then it depends on how the doctor will treat you, without a doubt.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I mean, the clearest biomarker that I have is every morning when I buckle my pants, I say, man, I've been sitting at my desk snacking too much during covid, right? Yeah. Tighter and tighter every day. So know. But weight is an important biomarker of, you know, for a lot of different diseases and treatments.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
Yeah. That's the other piece. Right. For some of the biomarkers that you and I deal with. It's so in such low concentrations, so it's so important to measure it, but it's difficult to get accurate measurements. And sometimes, you know, you know, we argue about is it the accuracy of that measurement or the precision?

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
Because we probably don't have a gold standard for that measurement that, you know, a few years ago at the there was the the so-called Crystal City meeting where for biomarkers. Right. And I think one of the talks that really sunk in for me was I was talking about the precision that you need for biomarkers, maybe not nearly as good, but sometimes you might need much higher precision. And it's all about what you're looking at for that biological effect. And I think we talk about that a lot now in that biomarker space. And I think just to reference the last guest on Episode two, I had Marianne Furedi, who, you know, is one of the experts in biomarkers in the world. That's right.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So I'll just reference back to that episode and say if people want to learn more about biomarkers, listen to Marianne, because we talked quite extensively about biomarkers.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I wanted to move to you to talk about AAPS a little bit and your involvement in apeace and just understand, why have you put so much into that particular organization?

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
That was one of the organisations I joined as a graduate to. And I've said this story many, many times, you know, once again, you don't have to do a lot. I mean, I asked the students today, don't go for big things. The little things are so mad. I mean, I started in Napes as a graduate student at the request of Dr. Susan Nante to screen abstracts. That's what it was, Saiva screening abstracts. And I got into the organization. I learned a lot from this screening abstracts and then went through the ranks. Why is it important? Also, was that community there was even I mean, I started as a graduate student and did I was in the AP Q section when I started out. And the way they nurtured you, the way they supported you was huge. The Solantic, Reglan T, Tony DeStefano, all of those people really took an interest in our careers as a person and that really resonates with me. And that's what I kept going to because I felt like someone held their hand to me to rise to wherever I was at whatever time it could be. Right. You know, I'm always I always tell Ron, Ron, you were there for me as a young. So I knew Ron from graduate school because he helped he helped us with some antibody generation activities.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
OK, so I knew Ron from there because we had to make our own antibodies in a farm in Kansas, you know, used to go play the Goats Stars. So I mean, that was part of my graduate education, which is fun, you know, and we had rabbits. And so I knew Ron. He was at Lily. I knew Ron because he he knew how to make monoclonal antibodies and learn from that. So, Ron, you know, from that day onwards, you know, he's been such a big mentor for me and IPPs provided that opportunity for me to kind of get to know people. And they helped me. And I really want to that that's why I stick with some of these organizations to really bayed forward. You know, I'm a first generation immigrant. I didn't know anything about how to be in the United States. Right. So how I mean, someone gave me an opportunity and that's what I hope that I do to other people. And that's kind of what interests me. Napes, you know, yes, I was able to drive science. I was able to participate in FDA involvement through apps. I would consider those as HP-UX in some ways for me. But that got me going. And I owe a lot to the pharmaceutical industry and to a place to give back to.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
So that's why I kind of really enjoy working with pharmaceutical apps. So all of those communities they give back.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I couldn't agree more of a.. One of the things that I really enjoy tremendously is you're talking about. Right. Who's sort of the next who can I help? Who can I give a hand up? And there's probably nothing more gratifying than seeing people that you've worked with and mentored to bring them up. And it's almost like you intentionally gave me a Segway to one of my favorite topics. And that was something I always cover in these podcast, which is the mentoring topic. And everyone, having listened to you now for four thirty five forty minutes would say, wow, she must be a fantastic mentor. One hundred percent. Right. Thank you. So I just want to tell you one other thing. So a couple of years ago I did a job interview and they asked who who's your bio analytical superhero? And I'm going to tell you, you know, I don't know if it rings hollow now because I didn't say you. That's OK. I can't say a customer. I wanted to say Bonneau de Silva, but you were a customer of mine. And I said that. Would you be right to say that? And I said, Jingly. Oh, wow. Yes. I think another great fit, but you're definitely one of my mentors, a bio analytical superhero. Tell me you won an award for International Mentor of the Year award, which is amazing. Well deserved. Tell me about that. Tell me about a little more about your mentoring. You pointed around Bauscher, so maybe that's the answer. But I want to hear a little more about mentors, people that were your mentors.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
That a few people who I've been able to lean on. So one is big time. Ron Boucher, Tony de Stefano, you know, Jean Lee early in my careers and there are many, many, many more people who have guided me and brought me to where I am today. And I continue to be in touch with these folks because they have something always good to tell me. However, I also have people like Renuka Johannah, I think. Do you know Johannah very well. You know, there's another person at BM's. Jerry Colliders, these are my mentors, too, so I don't consider I consider everybody who really guide me, help me as a mentor. I you know, I learn my lifelong dreams is to be a lifelong learn. And everybody that comes across the mentor me, coach me. So I regard the mentorship as a much more informal as well than formal mentors. I've had formal mentors as well. Bruce Carr comes to mind as a form of mentor at BM's that I had when I first started. He really guided me through a lot of the opportunities at BMS. There's another lady here at BM's Loess, who I lean on heavily. So I do have some form of mentoring, mentoring going on for me as well. I tried to reach out to students mostly and the junior scientist in in BM's from entering a mentor through the SBA, the Health Care Business Women's Association. And I participated in the Radka STEM initiatives here. Now, I've had some mentors at Rutgers and so many, many more students in the APS, a mentoring as well as Bristol.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I really like the comment about, you know, it's not always that somebody older or more experienced is mentoring down, that you're talking about people that you hired like like Joanne, like like Renuka, that they can mentor you and you can learn so much from them because it does come from all directions. And probably. Yeah, one of the things that I've missed in covid being home is not having that. You know, we do the discussions like this, which was one of the reasons I was so looking forward to having the chance to talk to you, because we just don't get to have these real conversations.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Right. So I have really, really enjoyed this. I wanted to ask you about a couple of other things. I always like to get to know people a little more personally, learn something new about them. I've learned a lot of new things about you, but how about some of your hobbies? I know you're into hiking. Tell me about some of your hobbies and how those fit into your passions for everything you do.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
I love hiking and I haven't had a chance to do that in a long time. I would say that I know mountains, not a lot of mountains in New Jersey.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
So I just do the small hikes here around that I sound. But not that not like we had in California. So that was that was lovely. I like to get out anywhere I can know outside. That's kind of my big thing, because I told you before I wanted to be a botanist, so I wanted to be in the rainforest with that professor, except, you know, I went into chemistry. So that was that was one of the things I like a good book, you know, curl up on a couch and read a book. That's that's one of the good things to your bed stand right now that somebody might want to pick up the culture called the Great Influenza. Two books that I have right now. I got into audio books, too. I had a long commute. I mean, long. Forty five minutes commute at one point because when I was in work in New Brunswick, I had a long commute. So I got into the audio book. So I kind of I really like to listen to the audio books now. I took me a little bit to get used to, right?

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I agree. And I listen to a different type of audio book from the books that I read. And I don't know if it's everybody but the you know, the lower, lower brow, less intellectual novels are the ones I listen to my audio books, write a spy novel or something like that. Michael read books, things like that.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
That's so I mean, I actually downloaded the gene from that book.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
I haven't listened to it. Did I downloaded that? Well, let's see how far I go with that on an audio book versus reading it, so.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Binodh I had a list. There's so much more I could have unpacked with you, so much more we could talk about maybe in season three or four this I'll I'll bring it back and we'll cover a few more topics because there's your your other career changes, the acquisitions, other other accomplishments you have. There's there's so much more to talk about. I could not thank you enough for joining me. I really, really enjoyed it. Thanks for helping me get this journey of podcasting started. You're my third guest overall in my first non coworker guest. So I did a couple of trial runs with Jim McNally and Marianne, Florida. So thanks again. And notice if you have any closing words or want to say hi to anybody.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
Yeah. Hi to all the colleagues of bio analytical. Right. You know, so that's kind of where I started my career and I've moved around a little bit, but I can't say enough about the experiences I've got.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
One day we should talk about, you know, about the career choices because I was in political and political groups and then. In the early discovery, there is a target and I don't even know what'll happen going forward to get it into drag, it's been a fantastic journey for me. So I really hope, if anything, out of this podcast, anybody listening, if anything they can take away is a dream big, dream big and start small.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I love it. Another quote to write down. Binodh, thank you so much. And we're going to close it out there.

Dr. Binodh Desilva:
All right. Thank you so very much. And look forward to many more opportunities to chat with all of you.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Well, that's all for Episode three, if you enjoyed today's episode. Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcast Spotify or your favorite podcast app. So you never miss a conversation if you'd like to hang out with us outside of the podcast. We have a ton of webinars and other presentations. Visit Bioagilytix.com To see what's coming up and how you can stay in touch? Don't forget to keep an eye out for Episode four, a conversation with Sarah Pioneer and health care financier Mike Mortimer. We'll be talking about biotech financing, Brexit and much more.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Molecular moments would not be possible without the support of our sponsor, BioAgilytix Labs BioAgilytix is a global contract research organization specializing in large molecule bio analysis based in Durham, North Carolina, with labs in Hamburg, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts. Biogenetics provides high quality bio analytical services to leading pharma and biotech companies around the world. They offer assay development, validation and sample analysis under non GLP, JLP and GCP, as well as GMP quality control testing. If you are looking to work with a team of highly experienced scientific and kuai professionals through all phases of clinical development, look no further than biogenetics. For more information or to speak with their scientists today, visit their website at Biogenetics Dotcom.

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