Hi, I’m Jan and I’m new around here. In fact, I’m new science altogether, but I am definitely learning new things every day and enjoying being a part of such a dynamic community. I wanted to learn a bit more about the history of DC Biosciences, how it became so pioneering in the field of specialised proteomics, and where we are headed, so I sat down with our lovely lab manager, Cristina for a quick Q and A session. I thought I’d share what I learned with you.
[JAN] Who formed the company and when?
[CRISTINA] The company was co-founded by world-leading biochemist specialising in quantitative proteomics Professor Angus Lamond and post-doctoral researcher Dr. Paul Ajuh in 2006. It was a spin-out company from the University of Dundee. Originally, it was operating as Dundee Cell Products Ltd. and was rebranded as DC Biosciences in 2016.
[JAN] What was the original purpose of the company?
[CRISTINA] The original purpose of the company was offering a diverse portfolio of products and services to the scientific community to help them with their research, focussing on areas like molecular biology, cell biology, or proteomics. We also offered specific products like antibodies, peptide synthesis, and cell products. The main aim of the company was supporting research for academics and a different range of biotechnology companies, offering high quality and cost-effective services.
[JAN] How has the company developed since the beginning?
[CRISTINA] We work to set the standard for specialised and reliable solutions for researchers with the help of our experts to ensure the best workflow options for them. We achieved this with the help of different organisations over the years. Collaborations with academia and government were important for the development of the company. DCB was involved in R&D projects like SMART (SMART: SCOTLAND grant, funded by Scottish Enterprise) and KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, funded by Innovate UK) that contributed to improving competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology, and skills. Some projects even generated intellectual property owned by the business. It was also important for DCB’s evolution to participate in several projects with top pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Genentech.
The original plan of having a wide portfolio of products and services to offer had to be reconsidered because it is difficult to be competitive in certain areas. So, in 2016 the board of directors decided to focus mainly on Proteomics. Since then we use mass spectrometry to do the analysis (identification/quantification) of proteomes or targeted proteins. The employees of DC Biosciences are very accomplished in the field and they have the expertise to help researchers to successfully complete their projects by designing, performing, and documenting experiments that meet their requirements.
[JAN] Who has been most influential or inspirational within the business?
[CRISTINA] I find the investors have been very inspirational because they always had faith in our company. Their passion and perseverance for this business is remarkable. Starting and building a biotechnology company is very hard work that is marked by steep ups and downs. It requires people who are willing to take risks and have the endurance for the many years it takes to develop a company like DCB. They always had clear that the best way to be successful is to build the right teams, motivating and empowering employees, trusting them, and finding their greatest potential.
[JAN] What makes the company unique and exciting?
[CRISTINA] For me, the fact that a small but highly specialised team can help researchers globally do their science is really exciting and rewarding. There are very few companies in the Biotechnology sector in which customer service is as good as ours. We meet our clients and discuss extensively the best possible approach for their experiments, we offer well-documented analysis and reports, providing support to ensure understanding of the results they get.
We are a company with a likable approach and a friendly team that goes above and beyond in our quest for customer satisfaction.
[JAN] How would you like to see the company develop in the future?
[CRISTINA] I hope DCB will still be steadily helping researchers to do their science. I think it would be exciting to see more collaborations with big pharmaceutical companies or research institutes. In this way, DCB could be involved in very interesting projects and use our expertise to help the development of new drugs to treat a wide range of medical conditions.