January 18, 2019
Thursday, February 7th 2019
5:00 – 6:00pm in Health Sciences Building T-Wing, Room T-747
Benjamin Jester, Ph.D.
Scientist, Lumen Bioscience
Ben Jester’s scientific interests have been driven by a desire to work at the forefront of new and emerging technologies. After completing a bachelors in biochemistry, he spent three years as a technician at the Broad Institute working with high-throughput Sanger sequencing robots. Facing limited prospects, he left Boston and returned to academia at the University of Arizona. While earning a PhD in chemistry, his research focused on methods to exploit split reporter proteins to measure a variety of biological interactions in vitro. Some of this work formed the basis for a biotech startup, Luceome Biotechnologies. Life then brought him to Seattle and he resumed his training as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Washington, working in the field of synthetic biology. While considering his next step, he was recruited to join the research and development team at the edible algae startup Lumen Bioscience. Ben was drawn to Lumen by the possibility of working to unleash the nascent potential of spirulina as a major biological workhorse. He is currently employed at Lumen as a scientist developing oral protein-based therapeutics and vaccines.