UC Davis Today

Three students intent on a drawing on a table as a person shown by only the top of her head draws
Man looking into a microscope

Molecular Matrix Inc. founder and CEO Charles Lee in his Davis lab. (Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis photo)

From kitchen to startup

Davis-based biotechnology company Molecular Matrix Inc. started with what founder Charles Lee calls a simple observation he made in his kitchen at home.

What if he could improve on human cell growth in the laboratory by using a sugar-based substance?

Lee, a stem cell biologist who previously held core director positions at research centers at UC Davis, knew that existing 3-D cell culture systems have not yet reached full market potential for a variety of reasons including high prices and insufficient cell attachments and growth.

Most researchers still grow cells in two dimensions, a method developed in 1885, even though it does not accurately represent our complex organ systems.

Biotech interns gain real-world experience

By Jocelyn Anderson

When Samantha Wheeler applied for an internship in marketing and sales with a local biotechnology startup, the fourth-year student played up her only relevant experience — working at the Davis Farmers Market.

“I figured if I can sell strawberries, I can sell stem-cell technology,” jokes the community and regional development major from McKinleyville, California.

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