We’re delighted to introduce you to our new Production Scientist, Andy Shepherd. Joining Cypex in July, Andy brings 27 years of experience in protein production and screening to our small but specialist team. We’ve caught up with Andy to find out more about his experiences and what his role at Cypex entails.
When did your interest in the sciences begin?
“I’ve always been fascinated by science. Looking back, my curiosity peaked when I was in secondary school. I had a fantastic teacher; you know the type – their passion shines through in every lesson, and they make ordinary learning an extraordinary experience. Before long, I was hooked, and my intrigue led me down the biology path. It’s a route I’m glad I embarked on, and my life has been consumed by science ever since.”
How did you put your curiosity for biology into practice?
“After school, the obvious next step was to venture into further education in the field of my choice. I studied Applied Biology at Nottingham Trent University. Like every great Romcom, this is also where I met my wife. It’s a funny story really, I was late to my first lecture, and the only spare seat was next to a nice girl who shared my enthusiasm for biology… As they say, the rest is history! Together, we embarked on a similar career path. After moving to Dartford, I enjoyed my first post-graduate job as a Senior Tissue Culture Technician. I feel very grateful that my first job in industry gave me that essential foundation and continued passion for science from a fantastic group of scientists. It seems that every day is a school day, so the learning didn’t stop there. My future supervisors always encouraged me; to push me out of that comfort zone; to better myself. The next ten years would see my big move to Scotland as my wife pursued a position at the University of Dundee. Since moving to the city of discovery, I’ve worked as a Research Scientist and a Protein Purification Technician. In early 2021, I found myself in the market for a new role, and that is where my journey at Cypex began.”
What intrigued you about the role at Cypex?
“I’ve always been interested in protein production, and it’s what I’ve spent the vast majority of my career exploring. Experimentation and curiosity are in my DNA, and it just so happens Cypex designs DNA expression constructs! I initially reached out to Cypex through a spec letter. At the time of sending, there were no positions available. Three months later, the planets aligned, and I’m now proudly placed as a Production Scientist with the Cypex team.”
What does your day-to-day role as a Production Scientist look like?
“I largely support with the production of the recombinant xenobiotic metabolising enzymes that Cypex is known for. “Each day varies but often consists of growing E. coli and insect cells as our choice of protein expression systems, ensuring we successfully see production through to create the enzymes our customers require. While I’m still new into my role at Cypex, the team have been incredibly welcoming, and I’m enthusiastic about my future with the organisation.”
Outside of science, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
“When I’m not donning a lab coat, I thoroughly enjoy learning new languages. I can speak some Spanish, and I’m currently learning Polish; I find language fascynujący. My intrigue for language is fused with my love for travel, having ventured to the Galapagos Islands, Amazon rainforest, French and Italian vineyards, the odd local distillery and of course, beautiful Kraków in Poland. I’m also a keen gardener and enjoy watching the greenery change throughout the seasons. My appetite for learning will always be my number one passion, and I’m excited to be working alongside fountains of knowledge at Cypex.”