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Join us for a casual “learn and connect” BioME Virtual Coffee Hour on November 4th  from 10-11am.

Hear from Maine-based investment group, international trade organization, aging research laboratory, and Rock Row innovation strategist to learn about some of the impressive work that’s being done in Maine.

November’s Coffee Hour will feature Zeynep Turk (Maine International Trade Center & StudyMaine), Jarod Rollins, PhD (MDI Biological Laboratory), Oliver Olsson (Waterstone Properties Group), and Bobbie Lamont (Maine Angels). Presentations will be followed by Q&A and the audience will have a chance to connect with the speakers and each other.

The goal of this series is to virtually connect Maine’s life science community and educate attendees about what companies and individuals are doing to advance the life sciences industry in Maine.



Zeynep Turk, Senior Trade Specialist, Maine International Trade Center and Director, StudyMaine

Zeynep currently works with the life sciences industry which includes biotechnology, medical devices, laboratory equipment, veterinary sciences, and diagnostics industries. She leads the StudyMaine initiative, assisting Maine educational institutions in recruiting international students. She has also worked with Maine’s wood products and pulp and paper industries and continues to assist companies in these sectors. Prior to solely focusing on industry sectors, Zeynep also assisted with development and sponsorship relations at MITC.

For the past 16 years, Zeynep led the “Best of New England” collaborative partnership to MEDICA, the World’s largest medical trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany. She has helped Maine companies participate in trade shows in Germany, UK, UAE, Vietnam, and China. Zeynep has traveled extensively in Africa, Asia, Europe,and the Middle East.

A native of Istanbul, Turkey, Zeynep earned a BS in Business Administration and Behavioral Science from the University of Maine at Machias and an MBA from the University of Maine, Orono. Prior to joining MITC in 2005, Zeynep worked in the banking industry, specifically in commercial lending and small business lending areas, and for the United Way of Greater Portland as a fundraiser.

Zeynep serves as the President of the Bioscience Association of Maine Board, President of Eastern Trade Council, Treasurer for NAFSA (Association of International Educators) , and the Advisory Board for UMaine Orono International Programs. Formerly she served on the Board of Directors of the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland and the Board of Directors for the English as a Second Language Scholarship Fund.

Jarod Rollins, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Rollins Lab, MDI Biological Laboratory

Dr. Rollins is a Maine native who has worked and lived abroad. After graduating with Bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology at the University of Maine of Orono, he went on to work at the Jackson Laboratory as a research assistant in the field of heart disease. Jarod left Maine to study abroad in Germany where he first earned a Masters in Molecular Bioengineering and then a Ph.D. in Genetics studying drought resistance in Barley. After returning to Maine, Jarod worked for several years at the MDI Biological Laboratory as a Post-doc. He is now an Assistant Professor leading his lab in studying the biology of aging with a focus on the ribosome.

How does our diet impact the rate at which we age? Can we enjoy the benefits of dietary restriction without having to experience any of the side effects? Understanding the cellular pathways dietary restriction invokes to reverse aging is pivotal in developing anti-aging therapies. Working with international collaborators, the Rollins lab helped identify synergistic pathways that respond to diet which amplify lifespan fivefold when manipulated in C. elegans.

When such therapies become a reality in humans, they are expected to revitalize our tissues and delay the onset of age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer. Central to how cells respond to diet is expression of their genes. Using the model organism C. elegans, the Rollins lab discovered that several genes necessary for lifespan extension in response to diet are regulated by their recruitment to the ribosome. This important step in gene regulation provides additional drug targets in the search for anti-aging therapies. To this end, the Rollins lab is defining how the ribosome changes in response to diet, stress, and age using proteomic, transcriptomic, and bioinformatic methods. The impact of these changes on health and longevity are then rapidly assayed in C. elegans in a discovery pipeline that takes advantage of the similarity between nematodes and humans on the cellular level.

Bobbie Lamont, Membership Chair, Maine Angels

Bobbie Lamont is Membership Chair of Maine Angels and has participated in dozens of diligence teams. Previously a science editor and educator, she is a place-based investor focused on innovation, sustainability and equity. Bobbie believes that engaged angel investors strengthen the startup ecosystem and she is happy to talk to founders at any stage.

Oliver Olsson, Partnerships, Waterstone Properties Group

Oliver leads Waterstone’s strategic partnerships and is focused on supporting Maine’s innovation strategy through the state’s largest commercial development at Rock Row. With Life Sciences and Maine’s heritage industries as sectors of focus of Rock Row’s innovation district strategy, Oliver is actively working to bring key infrastructure and programming to support these industries. . In collaboration with Live and Work in Maine and 25+ organizations across the state, Oliver also recently help launch a marketing campaign and platform to help highlight Maine’s innovation economy. Prior to joining Waterstone, Oliver led Zipcar’s strategic partnerships and their global corporate social responsibility strategy.


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