Local biotech company Plexxikon hosted eleven Berkeley students on May 5 for a full tour, lecture on drug development, and visits with company executives. The students are all participants in the Berkeley Summer Bioengineering Research Program or the QB3 Undergraduate Research Biotech Internship Program.
Plexxikon already has deep ties to UC Berkeley through company co-founder, Professor of Chemistry Sung-Hou Kim, and Scientific Advisory Board members Clayton Heathcock, Dean and Gilbert Newton Lewis Professor of the College of Chemistry and Chief Scientist of QB3-UC Berkeley, and John Kuriyan, Chancellor’s Professor, Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and Chemistry and Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Several staff members are also Berkeley alumni.
The company will host undergraduate interns through the QB3 program this summer. By opening their doors to undergraduate researchers for tours and internships, Plexxikon is forging relationships with the next generation of biotechnologists.
Students enjoyed detailed discussions on drug discovery and the biotech business, a 3-D video look at the molecular model of a drug candidate, and tours of Plexxikon’s advanced automated laboratories, as well as conversations with CEO K. Peter Hirth, President and CFO Kathleen Sereda Glaub, and Vice Presidents Rick Artis and Gideon Bollag.
The tour was an early kickoff event for both summer research programs, which will begin in earnest after the end of the school year.