In today’s episode, Chad sits down with guest scientist, Dr. Tina Morris the executive director of the AAPS.

Tina has a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry including senior leadership roles at US Pharmacopia, Parenteral Drug Association, and the AAPS.

She helps us understand the importance of these industry organizations and how we can make a difference by getting involved. She brings real credibility as a scientist in her leadership roles as we hear about her experiences as a senior-level scientist at Ciphergen and Human Genome Sciences.

They also talk about highlights of science from 2020 and beyond…talking science as scientists do.

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Molecular Moments Episode 5 | Dr. Tina Morris Talks Photography, Bioanalytics, and Leadership.mp4 transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Molecular Moments Episode 5 | Dr. Tina Morris Talks Photography, Bioanalytics, and Leadership.mp4 was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2021. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Announcer:
Welcome to the Molecular Moments podcast.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
In today's episode, we sat down with our guest, Dr Tina Morris, executive director at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists. Tina has a distinguished career in the pharmaceutical industry, including senior leadership roles at U.S. Pharmacopeia, Parental Drug Association and most recently, the Apes. She helped us understand the importance of these industry organizations and how we can make a difference by getting involved. She brings real credibility as a scientist in your leadership roles, as we heard about her experience as a senior level scientist, as in at Human Genome Sciences. To top it off, we also enjoyed hitting some highlights of science from 20, 20 and beyond, talking science as scientists do so without further ado, here's the fifth episode of Molecular Moments. Welcome to the podcast, Tina, I'm delighted that you've joined me today. You start by just giving us a few highlights of your career.

Dr. Tina Morris:
Thank you, Chad. It's a pleasure to be here this morning. Thank you for inviting me. I've been with the apes since April as executive director, but I would say my involvement with the organization goes almost my entire career in the United States.

Dr. Tina Morris:
I'm a virologist by training, which is shockingly popular this year for obvious reasons. But I would say I've spent most of my career working on proteins. So I have a PhD in molecular virology. I did a postdoc and Tony FoW Cheese Institute at NIH, the NIAID. I worked on hepatitis there. Then I went into industry. You mentioned Saifuddin, that was my first industry job, very small startup company at the time, and then went to Human Genome Sciences, I would say, during the heyday of the genomics era, and then worked at the USPI for a very long time, for over 15 years and a number of different roles. But I would say for the longest time as their head of global biologics and then most recently as the head of compendiums science, before I went to the Parenteral Drug Association as the head of scientific and regulatory affairs for almost two years. And this April, I joined APS during a very interesting year.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I hadn't realized until I was doing a little background research that you were German, actually even had several conversations. You managed to lose a bit of your accent. But I'm curious about maybe growing up in Germany and the German education system and how you kind of move into this into being a scientist coming out of Germany.

Dr. Tina Morris:
I grew up in northern Germany. I'm from Lubeck, which is one of the original Hanseatic League cities. And most people in the world know Lubeck because of one product. That is marzipan for sure. So everybody who knows me pumps me for it. My mom sends it over for Christmas. So it's a very popular item.

Dr. Tina Morris:
But yeah, I went to school there and in Germany, I would say one of the biggest differences is in terms of education, that you have to make up your mind about your direction of study when you go to college much, much earlier.

Dr. Tina Morris:
So I would say pretty much in high school you have to at the end of high school, you have to decide, am I going to be life sciences person? Am I going to go into medicine, life sciences, or am I going to choose liberal arts history or something like that? And so that's a little bit different. I think in America, the first couple of years of college, I think there is a much, much wider or more broader, different type of education. So I think I had to pretty much decide when I started college that I was going to go into the life sciences. And so I went to the University of Arkansas, got my bachelor's and master's are in biology. Over those years, I decided I wanted to really go into molecular biology.

Dr. Tina Morris:
It was an interesting time. I think when I was in my last year in Altenberg, PCR hit the big time and we know that PCR changed everything right. So by the time I got into graduate school, it was the tool. It was very, very important. PCR having PCR cloning sequencing available as tools was a huge game changer. I would say both my undergrad and my graduate experience were different because I did my graduate school training at a medical university. So I switched from a biology background that was very broad at a university that was more focused on, I would say, marine biology, ecological studies, very early focus there on environmental things. That's a very important topic. And Germany has been for a long time then switching over into a sort of molecular biology and really changing focus to forever then into sort of more public health and pharmaceutical focus.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
When I was thinking about your involvement in USPI and PDA and apps that sort of like a civil service of the pharmaceutical industry, in a way, we'll come back to those those topics in some depth. Was it unusual at that time for women to be going into science in Germany?

Dr. Tina Morris:
I would say yes and no. I was very lucky. I would say that I had good mentors and I was always surrounded by people, including my family, who were very. Unbelievers and who lived sort of that equality, I also had some great mentors over my graduate advisor and Dubek visiting gospel. She's a very well-known virologist, a real force of nature. I have to say, she wouldn't mind me saying that it's true. Everybody who knows her knows that.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And that made a big difference. And I think it was also that's sort of where I was encouraged to go out into the world. And I think I would say my generation of scientists who were educated at that time and in Germany, but in general in Europe were strongly encouraged and still are to do postdoc work abroad. And as soon as I entered graduate school, it was like, you got to go do something else. You've got to go into another country. You've got to expand your horizons.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And I would say Varina was instrumental in that. I think she was pretty much a trailblazer in her own right.

Dr. Tina Morris:
I think in a career and I think if you work with people like that, if you have people like that as as your mentors, it's very important because they give you that confidence that you can go out and do things. And she always pushed us out the door. Go do a poster here, go travel to this outside money where you can get a fellowship or something. So that was important. That was very important.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
One of the things I've noticed in these conversations since I've been doing the podcast now is that the many very accomplished people I've had have had impeccable timing for their career choices and the fields of study and and things like that. And I noticed I think you have as well in some of the directions that you've gone. And I'm interested in your landing at, say, Fajon, which I don't think it was bought by someone at some point, but it was really a proteomics focus, I believe. And then and then Human Genome Sciences, which is, of course, famous as a Craig Venter organization at the you know, just when it was at the height of the of the DNA revolution and the sequencing and all that.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So I'd like to hear more about why you picked those companies and what you know, what you're able to do and learn and pick up in those in those positions.

Dr. Tina Morris:
I guess I was really lucky. I I was at the end of my postdoc at NIH and I was really even though it was in virology, I was really doing protein science.

Dr. Tina Morris:
So I got more and more interested in protein characterisation tools. At the same time, I was trying to find another job because tenure or tenure track positions at NIH were very, very hard to come by.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And so I pretty much I can't even remember how many applications I wrote. Then I got a call from Sy Fajon and it was a very small company. They got bought later on Affinity Mass Spectrometry platform. Very interesting. The inventor of the technology, Bill Hutchins' and Bill Rich, were the heads of the company at the time, which is of Dianetics fame.

Dr. Tina Morris:
So he was not new to new technical ventures, drove out on a dark January morning to be interviewed at BWI Airport by those two guys.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And it was a thirty two person company with a brand new technology. And that was my first job and it was very interesting. I was a field scientist, basically repaired mass specs, figured out protein applications, worked with a lot of pharmaceutical companies. And as it happened, we did a project at the Institute for Genomic Research that was Craig Venter Institute at the time, met some very interesting people there who are, you know, have all moved on in the world now and then also did a project at HHS.

Dr. Tina Morris:
So HHS and Tiger were linked at the time, but then became separate, totally separate entities where FGS was the the commercial drug development company. And then Craig continued on his way down to the nonprofit route of which is now the J. Craig Venter Institute, HGS. Because of the FDA, of course, we're at the peak of the genome sequencing, gene patenting, you know, discovery phase. We're starting to build up the protein efforts because we realized after sequencing, once we identify targets, we have to have we have to have the proteomics tools.

Dr. Tina Morris:
So Bill Heseltine became very interested in the side for gene technology because he was hoping that it would be sort of a the proteomics complement to what they were doing. And gene sequencing. You know, Bill is a visionary guy. I think somebody like.

Dr. Tina Morris:
Remember which reporter he'll he'll tell you called him a Renaissance man when they did a profile on him in the 90s and he still is, if you listen to my conversation with him on covid is an incredible, incredible person. He wanted to buy into. The technology was very interesting. That gave me the opportunity to work there. I started working at G.S. on that project. And then when they bought into the technology, somehow I got bored with it. So I became a ship's employee at the time to do discovery work with the affinity mass spectrometry platform. And that was that was incredibly fun. I would say that was one of the most fun times of my career. We got a great publication out of it. It was a very interesting time because so much was happening in drug discovery and so many new tools became available. It was just exploding. And there was a lot of money in the business, too. I mean, the late 90s were a fantastic time for biotech. It was incredibly innovative.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Yeah, without a doubt. That was super interesting. I'd love learning these these stories from from guys. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Actually, I was affinity mass spectrometry so I can really, really hear what you're saying. And I work for MDs in the late 90s and early with the MDS proteomics group, and they were one of the groups that invested. I think they bought something like thirty, thirty bucks to take that brute force proteomics approach and that didn't really pan out so much. Why do you think that it worked for genomics and not as much for proteomics?

Dr. Tina Morris:
You know, that's a very interesting question, Chad. I actually spend a lot of time thinking about these things later in my career when I was at USPI because of the standardization aspects. And I believe that some technologies or scientific approaches become wildly successful and dominating because there is an early agreement on key items. We did an analysis at the USPI when I was there about sort of what are the most important analytical chapters that we have in the USPI. And not surprisingly, HPLC was the most important chapter. Now, HPLC to me is in the same bag as as sequencing from the point of view that everybody agrees how it's done and how you get the right answer. And the key elements are standardized. The way the technology works and the way it can be applied was also at key moments in time, widely shared within the scientific area.

Dr. Tina Morris:
Once we got into, I would say, the later days of the genomics game, as you know, once the gene expression profiling started and a lot of these things were done, there was a lot of IP in that game and a lot of things were not widely standardized. So aside from people and I say that flippantly, right. Aside from people counting red and green dots and gene expression studies, there was no standardization. And there was at the same time on a lot of the results, there was a lot of IP. It was not widely shared. And so the field, I would say, was never as impactful because the results didn't have broad comparability.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And you know what I found out later in my career when I worked actually worked on just drug standardization, I found how incredibly hard it is and how how much time and how much energy you have to spend on the reagents, the the analytical approaches, the statistics and everything like that.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And at a critical time of opportunity that was never done before proteomics. And I believe that really, really held it back and it held back the validity of the field. Right. I think I think it's a huge loss, honestly. And I think, you know, who knows where it could have gone if there had been more more sharing, more and more data normalization, more and more standards early on. I think that's my my personal observation, my brain spinning here.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And I think at that time it was sort of the instruments and computing power. It was powerful but felt powerful then. Now it doesn't seem like it was powerful. But so now instead of that that parallel by 30 mass specs, we can buy one aspect that has the power of one hundred back then and with the computing power. And so we're making progress now. I think proteomics is is certainly more important and maybe making a bit of a revolution with the extremely powerful instruments we have. So it'll be interesting and as you mentioned, so important to the future. So great Segway. You mentioned standardization and whether that was a challenge. And you ended up then at USPI, where USPI is all about standardization. So talk to us a little bit about the mission of USPI and what what excited you to stay there for 15 years and things like that?

Dr. Tina Morris:
Usp is is the is the US Pharmacopeia. It's the official you know, the standard setting body for medicines that are marketed in the United States.

Dr. Tina Morris:
Interestingly, though, is I think the US is one of the very few countries in the world where the the Pharmacopeia is a private organization. It's not part of the government, I think everywhere else in the world. I think one South American country, I can't remember which one now it's the same.

Dr. Tina Morris:
But everywhere else, the pharmacopeia is part of the regulator. So USPI was was unique that way and still is. The mission is obviously to support medicines quality. One of the most fascinating things to me, which I would say kept me there all these years, was the incredible variety of analytical and scientific challenges that you have to solve.

Dr. Tina Morris:
I mean, when you look at and I don't know the number for the current edition of the USPI, but there's over. Way over 4000 monographs in that book, plus chapters, there's I think they have a catalog of far over 4000 reference materials and each individual drawing anybody who's ever worked in drug development knows you can spend your entire career just figuring out one particular drug. Right. And they basically hold the quality keys for thousands of them. And the more you learn, the more you know what you don't know. It's an incredibly challenging but very, very interesting line of work, because if something happens, you know, and it may not even be in your particular specialty area, you have to come up to speed with it very, very quickly. And I was at USPI when the heparin crisis happened. And I would say in my at least, again, very subjective recollection, it feels like from two thousand Sakar, two thousand eight until twenty twelve, twenty thirteen we worked on was heparin and it becomes all absorbing and you you have to just learn everything just to fix a problem, you know. One hundred eighty one patients died. It became a huge global crisis, a supply chain crisis. It became all absorbing. But you also learned how important it is right. To you to have the standards and to make sure that, you know, the raw materials can be tested at the border, that dialysis patients who get that material get on fractionated heparin, get safe drug. It's an incredible responsibility.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
As a private organization. We put so much trust in that. I don't think people realize it. It's a private organization and we just sort of trust it because we do. How is that sort of maintained with USPI? This is something I've never thought about.

Dr. Tina Morris:
Well, part of it is it has an incredibly strong governance mechanism and the standards themselves are set by scientific, independent, scientific volunteers who are elected. And the standards are also public reviewed. There's a public notice and comment period. The reference materials are tested in collaborative studies. They really, I think, haven't been around for two hundred years now. I think their processes and the governance is very, very strong. Also, I think the way they work and collaborate with the regulator is very well established. So I think there are the checks and balances really are there to make sure that the standards that are that go out are scientifically valid and really stand the test of time, which is very, very important.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So the Parenteral Drug Association with them for a few years in a senior leadership role as well.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So let's explore that organizational. But tell me about it and then we'll then we'll hit your current passion and with so organization that I'm deeply involved in as well.

Dr. Tina Morris:
Sure. So I would say the common thread between sort of my last three jobs is working with scientific volunteers. And I think what I learned that USP is how important it is to have to bring independent scientists together to advance a particular topic independently. And that's true at the USPI. That's true at P.D.A and at P.D.A. I was the head of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs P.D.A, of course, is all about parental roles. They're very well known for their technical documents, the tech reports.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And so basically did a lot of the same things that I did at USPI and leading volunteer teams and developing scientific guidance, commenting on regulatory proposals, doing a bit of policy work there. And I think as you get older and see more of the pharmaceutical sciences, business and regulatory landscape, I think a lot of it, a lot of work becomes also a lot of my interest also went into sort of policies and how are things done globally? I had done a lot of international harmonization work when I was at USPI, working with the World Health Organization, working with other standard setting institutes. And so I have a great interest in that. How how does that work globally? And it's always interesting to work at organizations that do have a global reach. What was incredibly fun for me at P.D.A, which I really I learned a lot about manufacturing and that organization because I had always supported manufacturing and CMC, I would. Say, from the regulatory from the analytical side, but there's such an incredible expertise in manufacturing at that organization, so I learned a ton about sterile manufacturing when I was there, which was great. And it was sort of open another window in my career to learn something. And I think I'm always happy when I get to learn something.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
If there's one thing I've learned about you since the spring when you joined us and I came to start to know you, is that you are you are always asking questions and wanting to learn your leadership. And APS is clearly both the leader of the organization, but also as a member.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I haven't seen that as much in the past, so I can't stress enough how much APS has done for my career over since since early two thousands when I probably first got involved. Just tremendously valuable experience. And I feel like the experience has gotten better the last few years as I've gotten more involved and well, you wouldn't think too many ways.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I'm probably on the edge of being being at capacity, but I love it. And I'd like you to talk feel free to be an advertisement for apes and why you joined and what you want to do.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And because I'd love to see the more people we can get involved in this member driven organization, the better it's going to be for all the rest of us.

Dr. Tina Morris:
So I've been involved with apes for a very, very long time. I think I became a member ninety eight, which is when I joined. Guess one of the greatest benefits to me has always been that I was able to network and learn about other areas of pharmaceutical science and biotech that I didn't know about. And as we talked a little bit about my career, I kind of stumbled into drug development and in a nontraditional way because I worked for genomics company. And as soon as we had a drug in phase one that I was supposed to support from an analytical development point of view, I realized I have absolutely no clue about drug development. You know, I'm supposed to do assay development. I really don't know what I'm doing, you know? And so I think at every stage of my career, and especially as as my career focus has changed, AAPS has been there where I could just go. I used to go to the national biotech conference, which we're bringing back next year, which I'm super excited about.

Dr. Tina Morris:
Me, too. That was just such a tremendous resource for me because I thought the field was evolving very quickly. The demands within our organization were evolving very rapidly. As soon as you have something in the clinic and you start talking to the regulator, it's like, well, you know, how do I validate a biopsy or how do I do these things? And it has always been such a tremendous resource for me to go to the annual meeting now Farm three sixty to go to the NBC, but also to network with other people in those spaces and really build the network of other scientists that I can talk to. Because if you work in a particular field and I had worked in protein characterization Masback for a while and you know, there's Chad, you know the state, you know the people in that trench. And then all of a sudden it's like, no, you've got to do Glikson analysis or biopsy. And I don't know anybody in that space. I don't know anything about it. I need to I need to find these people. I need to learn so I don't have to start from scratch. And one of the huge, powerful things about our organization is that we have people across the drug development spectrum. We have people and apes that work on every kind of modality that you can think of.

Dr. Tina Morris:
You know, they're there to talk to.

Dr. Tina Morris:
I have to say, once I got to USPI, I got to USPI at a very interesting time when we got heavily involved and biologics. But also Roger Williams, who was our CEO at the time, is who is an APS fellow. He and Chas and all of these other guys. We're working on bioequivalence approaches. And it was a very, very big topic. I learned so much about the expertise that was there and in these areas that I was completely unfamiliar with. And it was very, very powerful because, you know, all of a sudden you have this entire, you know, world of expertise available to you and especially getting a foothold. And that part of my career, I had to learn very, very quickly about modalities and impurity problems and things that I'm from. Biotech were totally unfamiliar to me because as my role expanded, I got. More and more into small molecule chemistry and CMC, which which was not my area at all, and again, you know, APS deep, deep, deep expertise in that space, lots of people passionate in these different areas. So it's always been a fantastic resource to me.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And now even more, I think now that we have those communities online where any day you can just go on and and read what people are discussing about. And it's you can kind of get a pulse, get on the pulse of what's going on in these different areas and drug development, which I think is fantastic.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Just this week, actually, I did two things. I joined another community because exactly for the reason that you mention it, that this is an area I need to, well, build my community, learn, but also it's really hard to learn on your own.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And then covid times the the communities, I think, are more important than ever. So that so that was cool. And I volunteered to to do something else. So yeah. So it's just another week. And so as I said before, APS is a member driven organization that really is something for everyone. I think sometimes people are maybe intimidated or they think it's hard to get involved or they don't know where to start. I'll start by saying if somebody wants to get involved in apps and doesn't know where to go, especially if you're in bio analytical, look me up and LinkedIn or send me an email or or whatever to get in touch and I'll I'll help you find a place to get involved with the apps. But can you talk about what may be the normal channel would be to get involved with the apps?

Dr. Tina Morris:
It's that easy, Chad. I mean, some people, even I think people who are not members can read it. I write I write a column every every Friday in the apps community, which is an open community where you don't even have to be in a member. You can contact me there. It's the same thing. As you said, you can contact me on LinkedIn. Often people find us because of our conferences or our any type of e-learning or educational opportunities that we put on. A lot of people also hear about us because we have very, very strong career development programming and offerings. I think that's always been traditionally also something people are very interested in. Again, sort of the career transitions, you know, graduate students, postdocs, people who are at the sort of decision making stages of their careers. You know, should I go into industry, should I stay in academia?

Dr. Tina Morris:
I think we are also unique in that we have really such a great mix of backgrounds. We have we have obviously a lot of industry folks, but we have a very strong academic representation and regulators growing presence internationally.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And one thing I have always experienced, people are very helpful and friendly at all. Our members are there. People should not feel intimidated. And members and staff. Welcome. Welcome.

Dr. Tina Morris:
You know, anybody you sent an email to at APS, including myself, would be happy to talk to you about any opportunities we have for member engagement. It's something that we really take very seriously with with every individual member. We realize that this is very different in the way people interact and the way people that work and the way they do their work has been affected by covid. But I think particularly in that time, the electronic touch points are super important. So, you know, just reaching out and asking the question and telling us what you're interested in, we want to hear about that, too, because we know from the conversations with our members that people over the course of their career see different things from apps. And it's important for us to understand what those things are and what we can provide so so that we really have value to our members.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
That's a great point, because I can say in my career I've looked for different things in apps and being at a S.R.O. biogenetics and others in the past, I you know, at one point we're we're a vendor who's doing advertising, if you will, there and looking for new business. And then we're also scientists attending and involved in the organization. So all sorts of different hats. He also made me think about the academic involvement, which I appreciate and I think is a is an active member of the bio analytical community. We need to get more. Maybe this is my pitch to get more academics involved in that particular community, because it is largely a largely community driven by industry, which but there's a lot of really important cutting edge bio analytical work going on in the industry. So can you talk to me a little more about what you're looking at for twenty, twenty one with apps, with the virtual meetings and whatnot and how?

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
How do you even begin to sort out 20, 20 was hard, twenty twenty one is he maybe is even harder in this respect?

Dr. Tina Morris:
It's a moving target. What is important to us is to really have a full calendar of interesting offerings.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And I'm happy to say that I think we are pretty well planned with great content all the way through August, the Land O'Lakes conferences. But even beyond that, I mean, farm size three, 60 just wrapped up. But just this past week, we've ceded all the scientific programming committees for next year. And thank you for leading the bio analytical analytics, by the way, Chad.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
You're welcome. I'm excited. It's going to be a great program this year.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And what we've really spent a lot of time on during this year is to think a little bit more systematically about our our year and our programming during the year. We obviously we want to keep open spots available so that we we have the ability to to respond to what might be going on. Know you've seen us this year do some very quick turnaround current programming on covid. But we like to sort of especially for sort of our cornerstone conferences, make sure that speakers talk to each other, that they sort of have a common game plan and understand what's happening at these different conferences so that our members really have the experience of an ongoing conversation and that there's different complementary stuff going on each quarter. We're starting in January with another covid program on immunogenicity, which I'm very excited about. We've got some great speakers. There's great support from the FDA. We have a stability workshop planned for March and then, of course, the National Biotech Conference. I am super excited. We've got Menas Subramanian and any degrowth as the chair and vice chair. And those ladies are just fantastic. They have very ambitious plans for that meeting. We got a really great slate of programming submissions. I'm really excited about that. And yeah, we're planning to pretty much right now be virtual through Land O'Lakes.

Dr. Tina Morris:
We are watching obviously very, very careful. How does the vaccine situations evolving? We are at the same time, of course, already thinking about farm size three sixty in the fall. I think the expectation is that in the fall we can have a face to face component again. So hopefully that will come out to be true. I think we know that digital will not go away. I think we know that this year has shifted people's expectations, how they learn how how they can get access to content. So I think we're putting a very, very strong emphasis on strengthening our capabilities and that space, beefing up our learning tools and just being able to offer more to our members and making a very, very strong content slate available for next year as well.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I'm excited I submitted two workshop proposals for the NBC meeting, so I hope they both get accepted. If they do, I'm going to have to enlist some help because pulling off to be a big would be a heavy lift.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
But there's never like I said, there's never any shortage of help to find people if you want to recruit them and to help out. So I'm hoping that those that those come through. So I told you we'd talk a little bit about twenty, twenty kind of some highlights of twenty twenty. I started doing research on like the top science accomplishments of twenty twenty and the first thing that came up was raining lizards in Florida and flying tree snakes.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And then I got an email from you a little smarter but but actually on the lizards it was interesting because I said that it actually is giving they actually are studying those lizards because they froze and then fell out of the trees right in the in the winter in Florida. And they said actually they're now using it to study how climate change may or may not affect the reptile population. So it was actually a legit research. It was pretty interesting. They said they're much more durable than they than they thought they would be because some of these things froze, froze solid and fell off the trees. And then when they thought they ran away and the snakes that they it was more about like the aerodynamics of the snakes and things, that it was actually pretty interesting.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
But I think you were more on the right direction when you when you emailed me.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And I can't think of twenty twenty insights and not think about the Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier with CRISPR.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
That was super exciting. And I just talked with Bino de Silva, fantastically accomplished woman in science and.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I'm speaking with you have had a fantastic career in science, and these two ladies did so much. So I mean, what what did that mean to you as a as a woman or just as a scientist? Right. Reacting to that Nobel Prize, as you said, super exciting.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And I'll put out a teaser here that we were, of course, super lucky and fortunate that we had already booked Jennifer down as our plenary speaker for Farmstay 360. And she graciously also agreed to do an interview with us for the AP's newsmagazines. So Gopi Shankar, a board member, and myself got to interview her afterwards, which was honestly super inspiring. And so that was definitely one of the highlights of my year. And you can look forward to reading some of her insights and the news magazine, I think, in January.

Dr. Tina Morris:
But what I was excited about and we talked to her a little bit about that is that they did not wait for, you know, decades basically to award the Nobel for this discovery for CRISPR, which I found very interesting, because when you look back on some of the others that were given for sort of molecular biology milestones like PCR, it took much, much longer. It's going to be very interesting to follow what that does to the field and how can it accelerate the development in that area.

Dr. Tina Morris:
And I think that's terrific. And I think she's just a really inspiring person. What was really interesting to learn from her also, and that was, you know, touches back on what we talked a little bit about earlier, is she has one foot in academia and one foot in industry. Right. Because she co-founded several companies. She's very involved in the industry on the drug development side. But at the same time, she's still pursuing her academic career. And she's also involved in the in the ethics considerations of of gene editing, which, of course, also very, very important. This is this is something I think that'll keep people discussing for quite some time. So I think this was very, very important. That was probably the important thing this year scientifically. I'm very excited about it. If you ask Joy, by the way, Joy Davis, I'll give a shout out to her, our managing director, if she thought this was going to be the year of the murderer Hornets, by the way. And that didn't play out. So no, but I think we got almost everything else this year, but not the murder hornets.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So, you know what really stuck out to me. So I had the good fortune. And thank you for the invitation to participate in the small group discussion with Jennifer and I.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I can't say enough to agree enough to how inspiring she was. And the other thing that stuck out was she commented the you know, one of the things she wants to do with her prize money is to really put it towards underrepresented groups in the sciences, which is something that I feel strongly about as well. And I thought, goodness, this is one of those people who seems to have thirty or thirty five hours in her day while the rest of us only have twenty four. I don't know how she can accomplish and do everything that she does. So I without a doubt that was one of the one of the highlights. So maybe we'll touch on one or two other highlights of twenty twenty scientific highlights. Is there something else that jumps out to you that was really exciting from twenty twenty?

Dr. Tina Morris:
You know, I think obviously everybody has sort of has there I would say interest window or you know, things they follow. I just feel like there's been so much. Maybe it's because I'm coming to APS and I had the privilege of working on a lot of different topics this year. But it's we spend a lot of time working on nucleic acid based therapies. This is something beyond CRISPR and gene editing. That's an area that's up incredibly.

Dr. Tina Morris:
Part of that, I think, is just the incredible formulation science that's going on, again, not just the covid vaccines, but the slippered nanoparticles, the packaging for these materials to the molecular science that goes into that, the the new lipids that are being discovered. Incredible. I found that very interesting. We did a custom workshop on all of your nucleotides, which kind of immersed me into sort of the entire history of that drug class and really understanding how now just over the last few years, these enabling technologies make that drug class to have huge potential.

Dr. Tina Morris:
What they had to overcome to get there, and that's been fascinating to me, and I look forward to an entire track on that at the NBC. Now, from my work at USPI, I continue to be very interested in impurities and drug quality and supply chain. And, of course, sort of one of the add on effects of the whole covid situation, of course, is that it's disrupted the entire global pharmaceutical supply chain in a massive way. Right. I I've worked a lot with generics, side of things. And, you know, global supply chains have been challenged and we've had new impurity challenges, the Nitro Zameen issue, many other things. Those are without a global pandemic going on. These are complicated things to tackle. But I would say, particularly in a year like this, it's been very interesting to see how the industry has adapted to this situation and what's been necessary to tackle some of these challenges, because we've seen drug shortages pop up and for drugs that haven't had shortages in years. Right. And so it's been very interesting following that. And to see how the industry adapts to to deal with this public health challenge.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And of course, when you talk about nucleic acid therapeutics and when we talk about CRISPR, which the CRISPR technology has led to tremendous advances in delivery mechanisms with viral capsid and whatnot, which is really enabled the two vaccines that we now have super, super exciting and how all those different fields interrelate.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Well, it takes a village in science as well. So I want to touch on one last thing that just a little bit of fun before we wrap up. So, you know, I've been asking all my guests this year what sorts of hobbies and things have you.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Is there anything new you've taken on in the midst of covid to to keep you busy?

Dr. Tina Morris:
I would say I've taken on something new, but I've probably done more of what I've already like to do. I'm a knitter I craft, so I enjoy knitting. My other hobby is photography. Obviously, my photography has been much more local than it has been in the past. I've been blessed over the course of my long career that I've traveled extensively. So I've done a lot of travel photography over the years and it's been a lot more, a lot more time spent on post-production of photos and things that have been created and years before. We've also both my husband and I enjoy cooking. We always set a goal to try a certain number of new recipes. And because we've been at home, we've exceeded that goal by quite a few new recipes. So that's been fun.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Yeah, that's fantastic. If you could see my office behind me, but if you can see the rest of my office, you'd see that actually. Well, it's my office.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
It's also my wife's yarn storage room and it's sort of wall to wall yarn. This is something I've learned as she well, she's been an editor for twenty five years or so. But something I've learned is knitters collect a lot of yarn and they never get rid of the old scraps. So, yes. So someday, hopefully you can meet her, I'll bring her to the apes meeting or something and would be fantastic. So the other thing I we were joking about before is you and I both have hoodies.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And as you said, this is definitely a hoodie year. So it's been fantastic talking to you. Every time I do these discussions, I feel like we unpack so many things. I could spend two or three hours doing these interviews. They could be like a Joe Rogan two or three hour interview. But I do want to thank you again for joining us. I'm so excited about what you're doing today, apps, and it's so great to get to know you better. Looking forward to sharing a glass of wine with you sometime this year. It will happen. I'm confident of that. I'll be great. You have any other closing comments or thoughts for us as we as we close out?

Dr. Tina Morris:
Now, I just want to thank you very much for inviting me chat. It's been a pleasure. You know, I'm a people person, so having come to APS and, you know, obviously I already knew a lot of people when I came. But it's just it's been a great pleasure getting to meet so many of our members and collaborating across the scientific spectrum. And that's really something I tremendously enjoy. And I just want to encourage everybody who's who might be listening to check us out. We're a friendly bunch. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you will be volunteered for some. That is going to be fun, so, yeah, it's been a great pleasure being on and chatting with you, so thank you for inviting me. I hope that our listeners get interested in checking us out.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Tina, thanks so much. So that is all for Episode five. 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 many webinars and other presentations available for your enjoyment and education. Visit Biogenetics Dotcom to see what's coming up and how you can stay in touch. And since we talked a lot about apps today, I'll add Visit Apps Dog and you'll find a lot of material there as well. So don't forget to keep an eye out for season two, which is going to roll out in early. Twenty, twenty one. We're looking forward to some great guests will have world renowned experts talking about gene therapy, diversity in the pharmaceutical industry, new and exciting technologies coming, and a conversation with a patient who has benefited from some of the recent tremendous developments in our industry.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Molecular moments would not be possible without the support of our sponsor, Biogenetics Labs Biogenetics 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 bilad clinical services to leading pharma and biotech companies around the world. They offer assay development, validation and sample analysis under Nanji, 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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