Hope everyone is doing well and is safe and healthy. We hope you enjoyed viewing the webcast last week. Our goal was to provide you some insights into the company on a range of topics, from talking about the company’s early beginnings to what our plans for the future are. Special thanks to Cameron for putting these webcasts together. It always amazes me how our social medias and these webcasts are able to reach out to different parts of our audience. It’s nice to be able to show different sides of the company. While I have a face made for radio, I am appreciative of the positive feedback that we’ve received since its posting. I am sure that there was information that even our team members did not know. It is fun being able to give you this sneak peek. Since posting of our last blog, we have already shot our second webcast in the series that will be released in February. This next webcast will focus on how an email from a researcher led us to develop a product to help him with his research. Next week, we will begin to plan the next webcast so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. As you are well aware, we have a lot going on in the company so we are never short on topics.
One area that we’ve been working on, which is not easy to do because it is very time-consuming, is to begin writing up our research results for publication or presentation (virtually of course). We have a ton of data that we can submit for publication to various journals. We recently received word that Patrick Hayden’s abstract entitled “Development of high-throughput in vitro human alveolar tissue models utilizing novel electrospun scaffolds” was accepted for presentation at the 2021 Society of Toxicology Meeting coming up in March. Congratulations to Pat and the team! It is always exciting to talk about our work. For those not familiar with this process, you submit your abstract to a specific meeting. A group of people who are experts in the field then review your abstract. This is called a peer-review process. If/when your abstract is accepted, it is a nice honor because these experts think your work should be shared with other people in your area of research. We have one more abstract awaiting review and are underway with a couple of manuscripts. There just never seems to be enough time in a day to get these done. No sooner than when we have a few minutes to get working on these areas, we then begin to get busy in other areas that take away time from this important area.
The title of this week’s blog really has been our theme over the past few weeks (actually over the past several months). We have been working on securing different research programs with several different companies. Some of these discussions have gone on for more than 10 months. As a scientist, I get excited about opportunities but frustrated as to how long it takes to get these programs finalized so that we can begin the science. Landing these types of
agreements will also require us to make changes throughout the business, from hiring new team members and expanding our footprint to establishing our manufacturing capabilities. The dilemma is that we need to execute these agreements prior to doing any of the aforementioned areas. As we begin to execute these agreements, it would be ideal to have these areas in place to expedite progress on these programs. The other problem/fear is that most of these programs will start all around the same time. See the dilemma? While it is rewarding working with some major players in their respective spaces, these companies tend to work at their own pace. If we could only get them to work at a small business pace, that would make our lives a lot easier. Such are the trials and tribulations of being a small business.
There is some light starting to show at the end of the tunnel in terms of the pandemic. After a huge spike in cases and deaths due to the holidays, we are starting to see some drop in the numbers. The vaccines are also starting to make their way (happy to say our nurse has been vaccinated). That being said, this does not mean we are done yet. We still need to be vigilant in terms of continuing to wear masks, social distance and wash hands to keep driving the number of cases down. Masks, if used correctly by everyone, do make a difference. I cannot believe I still read posts of fools/idiots (cannot sugar coat my feelings on this) who think masks don’t work. I would suggest that if they need to go in for surgery, tell their surgeon that he/she does not need to wear a mask. That nice infection that they will likely get will remind them that masks are worn for a reason and not for decoration. We won’t need them forever. Hopefully, by later in the year, they will not be needed. We will all be happy when that occurs. They are still the best option we have until everyone is vaccinated.
Please also keep supporting your local businesses as they continue to work through these challenging times. Many other businesses are nowhere near out of the woods yet and won’t be for a long time. More businesses are beginning to rely on curbside take-out. If you can, grab some take-out. Don’t forget to take care of the employees too. Please also consider donating to your local food pantry or to other nonprofit groups that are helping people who need it. So many people are hurting. Even something small does make a difference!