What is your role at Primordial Genetics, and how long have you been on the team?
I am a Senior Scientist and have been with the team since March of 2018. Currently I am focused on enzyme discovery and improvement efforts for enzymatic DNA synthesis. In addition, I lead Primordial Genetics efforts to develop genetic solutions for improving the nutritional profile of yeast co-products of commercial yeast strains used in ethanol fermentations which are then used in animal feed.

What industries are you most excited about that will benefit from this technology?
We are currently working on enzymatic DNA synthesis technologies which are really exciting. Current chemical DNA synthesis methods are limited and new DNA synthesis methods are needed to meet the growing demand for synthetic oligonucleotides and genes. Improved DNA synthesis would in turn have a massive impact on a host of industries and technologies.

When you aren’t in the lab, what do you like to do?
I like to spend time outside, especially in or around the ocean. Mostly riding waves or just hanging out at the beach these days, but there are lots of ocean-based activities I enjoy. Hoping this science thing pays off so I can pursue some of the more expensive ocean activities in the near future.

What are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?
Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins. It is the story of his life so far. Starts with his crazy nightmare of a childhood, goes through his time in the U.S. armed forces and his current pursuits as an endurance athlete. It highlights the major highs and lows of his life and some intense struggles he has overcome. He is the only member of the U.S. Armed Forces to complete SEAL training, U.S. Army Ranger School, and Air Force Tactical Air Controller training. He holds multiple records in various endurance sports and has completed numerous ultra-marathons, triathlons, and ultra-triathlons. The dude is a beast of a human.

What is one place in the world you would like to visit and why?
I would like to visit the Scandinavian countries. My last name is Olson, so I feel it’s my duty to visit. And I like Vikings.