Jeff Ubersax: Demetrix, Yeast & Rare Cannabinoids | Good Chemistry #14 | Supported by Demetrix

Nick talks to Jeff Ubserax, PhD, CEO of the biotechnology company Demetrix (who supported this episode). Jeff discussed the science behind how Demetrix is engineering baker’s yeast to produce cannabinoids at an industrial scale, with a focus on making rare cannabinoids other than THC and CBD.

Jeff also discussed how he transitioned from academic science to running his own company, and offered advice for academic scientists in training who might be thinking about moving into biotechnology.

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About Nick Jikomes:

Nick is a neuroscientist and podcast host. He is currently Director of Science & Innovation at Leafly, the world’s largest cannabis information resource. He received a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University and a B.S. in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

0:00:00​ Intro
0:06:10 Engineering Yeast Metabolism
0:15:20 Cannabinoid Production in Yeast
0:24:31 Scale of Cannabinoid Production
0:32:52 How Long Does This Process Take?
0:38:02 Economics of This Production Method
0:49:44 Jeff’s Transition From Academic to Industry
0:56:26 Advice for Grad Students & Postdocs
0:59:42 Origins of Demetrix
1:05:52 Next Steps For Industrial Cannabinoid Production
1:09:35 How Many Employees Are Scientists?
1:13:59 Final Thoughts


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