About

Our Mission

We believe that innovations in biology should be accessible, affordable, and open to everyone.
We’re building a community biology lab for amateurs, inventors, entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to
experiment with friends.

What We Are

  • a complete working laboratory and technical library for entrepreneurs to cheaply access equipment, materials, and co-working space
  • a training center for biotechniques, with an emphasis on safety
  • a meeting place for citizen scientists, hobbyists, activists, and students

Who We Are

joe1_2Joe Bamberg, Ph.D. – Board Member learned to make gunpowder from an encyclopedia reference at the age of 10.  This started a search for recipes that ended with discovering he was good at organic chemistry. Joe then picked up a second degree in economics as it felt like science in the 1700’s. He worked at Zoecon and helped develop weed and insect control by studying plant and insect hormones. He worked at Roche developing drugs for chronic and viral diseases. His experience at Burning man revealed the importance of have communities surrounding Maker Spaces.  Retiring has given him time to explore chocolate, go to film festivals and help out at BioCurious on chemistry related issues. Joe has been a board member since 2017.

MariaHeadshotEditMaria Chavez – Executive Director, Treasurer & Director of Community Engagement is a biohacker and project manager. A new Board Member at BioCurious, in the past 6 years she has organized our events, classes and community projects. She is also a Board Member of Real Vegan Cheese, an open source project to create a synthetic cheese from genetically modified yeast. She is an adviser to the Latin American Network of BioHacker Spaces. She has been a leader on two iGEM teams, in 2014 and 2015, and is a member of multiple community lab science projects. Most recently she joined the Open Insulin project to create an open source form of insulin. Her ambition is to continue to push open source science and to aid in the creation of more biohacking spaces, democratizing science globally. Maria has a BS in Information Technology and an MBA focused in Global Management.

eric headshotEric Espinosa, Ph.D. – Board Member is an experienced scientist and entrepreneur. He is the founding scientist at three biotech companies and holds more than a dozen patents in next generation sequencing technologies and protein engineering. Dr. Espinosa has been published in top-tier journals such as Cell, Science, and Journal of Cell Biology. He was a scientist at Clontech Laboratories and TakaraBio, consults for early-stage life science companies, and leads the immortalized cuttlefish cell line project at BioCurious. Eric received his B.S. in Chemistry at Indiana University (2004) where he studied RNA structure and function. He then went to Stanford University where he earned his PhD in the Biochemistry Department (2011). He worked with Suzanne Pfeffer to understand the molecular mechanisms of vesicle trafficking. Eric has been a BioCurious board member since 2017.

Eri-02Eri Gentry – Cofounder, Chairman of the Board of BioCurious works toward the democratization and human-centricity of biology and medicine. Eri is also a science and technology researcher at the Institute for the Future, a Palo Alto-based futures research organization, where she helps organizations navigate the zones between technology disruption and user adoption. Eri sits on the board of Summer.org, a STEM education organization. She has been named a Champion for Change in Citizen Science by the White House, a Hometown Hero by Popular Mechanics, a Techonomy Top Ten (edging out additive manufacturing). She was previously cofounder and CEO of Livly, a biotech startup on a mission to cure major human diseases.

Jay Hanson – Board Member spent three decades in the consumer software industry at various companies before retiring from Apple and getting interested in molecular biology. He is a cofounder at Berkeley BioLabs and has been a BioCurious board member since 2017.

EricEric Harness – President, Secretary & Director of Lab Operations and Safety reason for getting into biotech was his grandmother. She was diagnosed with a rare prion disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, when he was 9, which sparked his interest in genetics and infectious disease. Growing up in the rural part of Illinois, Eric was drawn to the DIY spirit by building dams and forts, which progressed into electronics, engines and tech. His father really forced him from a young age to DIY fix everything first by holding the flashlight for him, which progressed to Eric turning the wrench himself. He hopes that just as the personal computer sparked revolutions in tech when it entered the hands of the public, we can achieve the same in biotech and STEM education by bringing the lab closer to the people.

Innokenti Toulokhonov, Ph.D. – Board Member joined the BioCurious Board in 2017.

History

BioCurious was co-founded by 6 entrepreneurs in 2010: Eri Gentry, Kristina Hathaway, Josh Perfetto, Raymond McCauley, Joseph Jackson, and Tito Jankowski. Countless other people helped BioCurious get off the ground in those early days, including 239 backers on Kickstarter, where we raised our original $35,319. See the BioCurious launch page on Kickstarter.