Michal Pyc, co-first author of “LDIP Cooperates with SEIPIN and LDAP to Facilitate Lipid Droplet Biogenesis in Arabidopsis”
Current Position: Research Scientist at Willow Biosciences (Burnaby, Canada)
Education: B.Sc., M.Sc. in Biology at Queen’s University (Canada); Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Guelph (Canada)
Non-scientific Interests: hiking, snowboarding, history, philosophy
Brief bio: My interest in plant biology began during my time as an undergraduate student at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. After taking a specialized plant biology course, I became fascinated with how plants adapted to a variety of stressors at the cellular level. While completing my M.Sc. with Dr. Sharon Regan, I had taken a strong liking to plant cell microscopy and decided to pursue this interest further by joining Dr. Robert Mullen’s lab at the University of Guelph (Guelph, Ontario). At this time, Dr. Mullen had recently initiated a research program on plant lipid droplets (LDs) in non-seed tissues. Over the course of the next four years and along with our collaborators, we identified and characterized key proteins involved in LD biogenesis as well as uncovering the roles of LDs in neutral lipid homeostasis. I then joined Dr. Lacey Samuels’ lab at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (Canada) as a Mitacs Elevate post-doctoral fellow, researching cannabinoid export mechanisms in Cannabis sativa trichomes. This led me to my current position with Willow Biosciences, a biotechnology company, with a focus of producing a variety of biosynthesized compounds via yeast metabolic engineering for health and wellness applications.