Dr. Elizabeth Corbin, Founder and CEO of PurCell Bio
Dr. Elizabeth “Tess” Corbin founded PurCell Bio as a result of her mission to improve methods for stem cell-based therapies. While completing an undergraduate degree in chemistry with an emphasis on organic chemistry, Tess discovered that her son had a genetic enzyme disorder for which there was no effective treatment. In response, she turned her attention to the study of metabolism and metabolic pathways, and then to the culture of stem cells, and her doctoral candidacy genetics. MSU’s department of chemistry and biochemistry supported her doctoral candidacy, and Tess was awarded a PhD in in 2019 for her work developing of a line of chemically defined supplements for cell culture. These supplements were quickly recognized as the solution to several major issues in cell culture, cell-based research, drug testing, cell-based therapies, bioproduction and stem cell technologies. This catalyzed the creation of PurCell Bio.
Bozeman Montana is Tess Corbin’s hometown. After many years as an entrepreneur and musician, she returned to raise her two boys here while completing her undergraduate and graduate programs, supported by numerous awards and scholarships including two Hach Scientific Foundation scholarships, a Harlan Byker research scholarship, a Paul and Marie Davidson scholarship, and a National Academies of Sciences and Engineering Ford Foundation Fellowship. During the course of her graduate program, she was able to complete two hands on courses at the National Institutes of Health, and worked under the renowned Dr Renee Reijo-Pera during her tenure as MSU’s Vice President of Research and Economic Development.
As PurCell Bio begins marketing its first supplements, Tess still has one boy at home, finishing high school. During the course of her studies, she developed a nutrient regimen that completely eliminated the effects of the enzyme disorder suffered by her eldest, and he is currently living in Denver. She has been greatly blessed with supportive colleagues and talented friends who believe in the work, and enjoys breeding and raising pugs in her spare time. The success of PurCell Bio will, she hopes, support further research into stem cell technologies, and perhaps produce therapies and cures for many.
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Cynthia Ekberg Tsai, the CEO of Healthquest, a company known as a prominent global biotechnology and medical technologies advisory firm, is adept in providing insights to such rising entrepreneurs. According to her, only a great setting can support the best business ideas, effective strategies, and relationships with the potential to ensure lasting bonds. She delves deep into her clients’ challenges and finds opportunities.
Cynthia spent 13 years on Wall St. and t hen brought that experience to collaborations with some of the brilliant minds from MIT. Some of those companies are still in the market, after almost two and a half decades.
Cynthia’s collaborations now cover different technologies including AI, biotechnology, therapeutic, and medtech spaces. Such a diverse range proves her capability to penetrate sectors well and understand their requirements. Her association with PurCell Bio has been pivotal and her ongoing input has been game changing as we move forward.
Click here to read more about Cynthia Tsai
Prior to joining PurCell Bio, Ramon Parmenter enjoyed international acclaim as a sculptor and artist rendering highly collectible bronze sculptures and oil paintings. During the market crash of 2008, Ray felt called into the healing arts, becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant, and providing care for his elderly father for his final two years. The medical field held him, and he became a dialysis technician in 2012.
Ray came to Bozeman at the request of a friend and former art student who owns a bronze gallery in the area. While assisting in the business, and producing sculptures and paintings, Ray met Dr Elizabeth Corbin and was intrigued by her work. They discovered a strong spiritual bond, and he decided to bring his lab tech skills, as well as his creative mind and gift to the PurCell project.
Currently Ray resides in Bozeman, and has assisted in the creation of PurCell Bio in many diverse ways, from painting the clean room to running experiments. He continues to produce great art in his spare time, and enjoys music, organic gardening and study of the Bible as well as science.
Clayton Stirling hails from Casper Wyoming, and came to Bozeman to study Cell Biology and Neuroscience in preparation for medical school. Clay began work on the project as a requirement for graduation, and stayed on two years after his credits were gained, initially for the experience, and then as a paid assistant. Clay earned his degree in Cell Biology and Neuroscience with highest marks, and decided to change course and apply for a masters in Innovation Management, joining the new PurCell Bio team in its infancy.
Clay is an accomplished Cell Culture Scientist, a terrific organizer, and an integral part of the science team, as well as the management team. He has used the PurCell Bio journey in his graduate studies, and continues to apply his skills, both in the lab and in the office, to benefit the company. Clay brings an intimate understanding of the work, and huge enthusiasm and energy to the project.
Clay is currently active in ministry in the Bozeman area, enhanced by his minor in Hispanic studies. He enjoys the outdoor beauty of Bozeman and his many friends, as well as pushing the envelope of science in the lab.
Mahlet is a recent graduate in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Montana State University. After completing her research credits on the PurCell Bio project at MSU, she is excited to continue working on the development of PurCell Bio’s company structure, systems, and the science of chemically defined nutrition for cell culture. She really enjoys logistics and organizational tasks, both of which have been refined by five years as a receptionist in a medical practice. Outside of work, she is an accomplished pianist, an avid adventurer, and a wonderful wife. Her penchant for order, and passion for the work make Mahlet a key asset to the PurCell team.