Philip A. Barish, Ph.D.

Images from the 40 Gators Under 40 on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Emerson Alumni Hall at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL. Photo by Matt Goldman/Matt Pendleton Photography for UF Alumni Association

Philip A. Barish (MS ’08, Ph.D. ’11 Biomedical Engineering)

Philip Barish, Senior Vice President of Operations and R&D for AbSci has over 17 years of experience in bioengineering research, with expertise in bioprocessing, molecular and cellular biology, biochemistry, protein expression and gene therapy. At AbSci, Barish is responsible for managing research and development activities as well as overseeing business development and strategic partnerships.

His own days as a UF engineering student were filled with exciting opportunities. Barish recounts, “During the first year of graduate school I worked on a group project utilizing an EEG that allowed people to control a video game with their minds. Through combining an EEG and basic signal processing algorithms, our team created a program that allowed us to navigate a beginner level of a first person shooter game. It was a fascinating engineering project that combined elements of neuroscience and software development to provide a window into brain-machine interfacing.”

Things he learned at UF helped Barish take the lead in innovating for success. He said, “AbSci collaborates with leading pharmaceutical companies to enable step-changes in productivity to their bio-pharmaceutical R&D and manufacturing. One of the exciting things about working in startups is that you’re often called onto projects where you lack specific expertise. As our company grew, we had a need to develop a fermentation process for protein production, but we had no one with those credentials in-house. Optimizing fermentation is primarily an exercise in process development, precisely the things you are taught as an engineer, so I volunteered to take on the task. I was able to build out and lead an entire team dedicated to fermentation, which ultimately led me to my current position.”