A Day in the Life of a Sixfold Chemist
Updated: Feb 12, 2020
Hi, could you introduce yourself?
My name’s James, and I’m the synthetic organic chemist at Sixfold. My background is in Chemistry - I did my PhD at Imperial College in polymeric drug delivery, and at Sixfold I’ve applied those skills to our technology.
What does a typical day for you look like?
The days are quite varied, but usually when I come in, I look at reaction status – I’ve put reactions on the previous day, and I come and check whether they’ve worked. Then I work them up, purify them, plan more experiments and reactions, and put them on in the afternoon. In the meantime, I do some analytical work or more experimental planning. But, every day is different.
Is the work more individual, or team-based?
There’s an individual aspect in the experiments that I run, but we work very closely with the Biology team, and I work very closely with my colleague Cathy, who’s our RNA chemist - so we have a lot of back and forth of what’s going to work in our systems and what’s not. Cathy and I then have a lot of discussion with the Biology team, so it’s a good mix of both.
Why did you join Sixfold?
I wanted to be part of a fast-growing start-up, and I wanted to work in a team environment. I think when joining big pharma (like a CRO), there’s a chance of getting lost, and just doing what other people tell you to do, but here, you really get to be part of the creative process.
What’s your favourite thing about working here?
I’d say that’s probably my favourite part - the creativity - and the fact that your ideas have such a large impact on the company. I’ve come up with a couple of ideas which we’re implementing into our technology, and we’re writing patents on, and that’s really exciting – you’re not just being told what to do, but coming up with your own ideas and implementing them yourself.
Is there anything you were concerned about before joining?
I was a bit apprehensive about joining a start-up rather than an established company because you’re not really sure about job stability, and being in such a small team, you’re not sure if you’re going to get on/ However, upon joining, I’ve never had any issue with that; everyone gets on really well, and it’s a great place to work!