I am a Ph.D. candidate in the laboratory of Professor Christina Smolke in the Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University. My research interests involve the use of machine learning to automate the design of biological systems.

In addition, I worked as an analyst at 5 Prime Ventures, an early-stage life science technology venture firm, and have experience as an ambassador for Breakout Labs, a funding source for innovative scientific technologies. I believe that new biological technologies will have a huge impact on fields ranging from healthcare to chemical production to agriculture. I'm looking to connect with entrepreneurs and investors in these fields to learn and provide expertise.

Available for consulting on the scientific and commercial feasibility of potential investments in this space. Contact me for more information.

Education

  • Master of Science - Bioengineering; Stanford University
  • Bachelor of Science - Biochemistry and Cell Biology; Rice University

Experience

  • Ph.D. Candidate - Dr. Christina Smolke's Laboratory; Stanford University
    • June 2014 - Present
    • Thesis project: Improving the rational design of ribozyme switches, enabling the de novo design of RNA-based genetic devices.
    • Developed software that can accurately predict activity of ribozyme switches using machine learning.
    • Member of the 2016 - 2017 Accel Innovation Scholars program, learning about technology commercialization.
  • Analyst Intern - 5 Prime Ventures; San Francisco
    • January 2015 - Present
    • Contributing to deal-flow and diligence activities by identifying promising opportunities, analyzing sector landscapes, conducting expert interviews, and assessing specific technologies, companies, and markets. 
  • Student Ambassador - Breakout Labs; San Francisco
    • October 2015 - October 2017
    • Identifying promising early-stage technology-based startups and assisting them in applying for Breakout Labs funding.
  • Research Assistant - Dr. Matthew Bennett's Lab; Rice University
    • December 2010 - June 2014
    • Developed a genetic circuit that allows for multiple plasmids to be maintained under only one selection marker, which simplifies working with large genetic networks.
  • Technology Commercialization Intern - Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship; Rice University
    • January 2013 - May 2014
    • Evaluated technologies from Rice and Houston-area labs on their commercial potential.
  • Amgen Scholar - Dr. James Golden's Laboratory; UC San Diego
    • June 2013 - August 2013
    • Characterized theophylline-activated riboswitches in several cyanobacterial species to increase the number of tools researchers can use for biofuel production.
  • Biotech Equity Research Intern - Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Inc.; New York
    • June 2012 - August 2012
    • Completed an initiation of coverage report for Infinity Pharmaceuticals, which included researching drug candidates and developing a financial model of the company through 2019.

Publications

  1. Ma AT, Schmidt CM, Golden JW. Regulation of Gene Expression in Diverse Cyanobacterial Species Using Theophylline-Responsive Riboswitches. Applied Environmental Microbiology. November 2014; 80(21): 6704-6713.

  2. Schmidt CM, Shis DL, Nguyen-Huu TD, Bennett MR. Stable maintenance of multiple plasmids in E. coli using a single selective marker. ACS Synthetic Biology. October 2012; 1(10): 445-450.

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