Student Corner: Christian Marin-Muller
Aug. 1, 2011
- 5th year Ph.D. student
As a graduate student at Case Western Reserve University, Christian was selected as one of the "Top 10 Entrepreneurs Under Age 30 in Ohio" by Inside Business Magazine.
He earned the recognition after developing a business plan for launching a biotechnology startup company that raised several rounds of angel investment funding, obtained exclusive licensing agreements for propriety technologies from several institutions and developed distribution agreements with suppliers and manufacturers in half a dozen countries.
Within three years his company had more than 600 customers and distributed 750,000 products, including manufacturing its own product line of laboratory supplies.
But Christian, who earned his bachelors of science degree in molecular biology from Florida Institute of Technology, found that he missed science. So after completing the Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) at Case Western, where he obtained his masters of science degree in biotechnology entrepreneurship and also took MBA courses at the Weatherhead School of Management, he decided to pursue his Ph.D. at BCM.
His current research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of pancreatic cancer progression, in particular through the involvement of microRNA regulation.
His focus is on the development of an RNA interface-based therapeutic treatment for reversing the effects of mesothelin, a protein over-expressed in pancreatic cancer, which causes increased tumor growth and metastasis. He and his colleagues are currently in the process of filing a provisional patent for the technology.
After graduation, Christian hopes to apply what he's learned to the business realm of biotechnology, helping to commercialize and develop innovative technologies for the treatment of cancer and other diseases.
Christian has received several awards for his work, including the International Center for Professional Development Scholar, Scientist Mentoring and Diversity Program (2011); the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center Symposium Award, first place winner for poster presentation (2010); the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) Fellowship (2010-2011); Molecular Surgeon Young Investigator Award, first place winner for research presentations (2009); and Molecular Surgeon Young Investigator Award (2008).