It was our pleasure to host Jim Shih at a recent Light Scattering University session. Jim, who has been a user of Wyatt instruments at Eli Lilly in San Diego for over two decades, is a dedicated protein chemist with a penchant for developing analytical methods. SEC-MALS and HT-DLS fit right in with his interests and responsibilities, and we are happy to hear that he is putting them to such good use. Jim was kind enough to discuss with us his career path and adoption of light scattering.
Please tell us about your background: where you grew up, studied and the field you chose.
I grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles, and received both my BS & MA degree in biology at University of California, Riverside.
What led you to choose that field? What are the challenges that excite you?
My graduate research was in enzyme kinetics, and I always was interested in method development and biochemical/biophysical analysis. The idea of being able to successfully develop methods to accurately analyze something was exciting to me.
What does your current position entail? How does it tie into your previous experience, and where is it going?
My current position entails developing biochemical and biophysical methods to help assess the druggability of various biopharmaceutical candidates my colleagues develop. Since my career paths have swung wildly from protein purification to small molecule analytical method development to immunodiagnostics, this fits right in the middle. It’s been very interesting and rewarding.
In what context did you first learn about light scattering and Wyatt instruments?
In my first weeks of starting at my current company while rummaging through the drawers I found an old miniDAWN® and I was trying to make it work; that led to our first SEC-MALS system being installed in a neighboring lab. A few years later we purchased our first generation DynaPro® DLS plate reader in which I used to perform high-throughput kD (diffusion interaction parameter) determination in combination with automated liquid handlers. Now we have both a 3rd generation and a 1st generation DynaPro Plate Readers.
How have MALS and DLS contributed to your research and development studies?
Both the SEC-MALS and especially the DynaPro have allowed us to quickly screen multiple molecule variants in multiple buffer matrices to assess their biophysical & biochemical behavior. Some of this data is being fed into a database to help with computational modeling and perhaps predictive analytics.
Any final thoughts for the readers?
I have just recently attended the LSU in Santa Barbara, and I highly recommend all users of Wyatt instruments to attend the appropriate courses. It was a great experience. The Wyatts were most gracious hosts.
“The DynaPro Plate Reader III, with the updated DYNAMICS® software, has allowed me to generate valuable data quickly; the ability to acquire both A2 and kD data as well as to perform thermal ramping experiments are essential for our characterization studies.”