The scientific discipline of electrophysiology is fascinating and complex with a colorful history. A small group of pioneering labs formed the discipline’s foundation and still links a tight-knit community of scientists and innovators. Electrophysiology has played an outsized role in the successes of the modern pharmaceutical industry by providing rich information in the areas of drug safety & toxicology, drug discovery & development and pathway discovery and analysis. Today, we host a conversation with one electrophysiology pioneer, James Costantin, who has been involved with some of the most innovative approaches to electrophysiology, including automated, high throughput ion channel analysis systems. Jim’s career has followed the electrophysiology innovation arc from Patch to Plates, culminating in his current position at Nanion Technologies, a leader in the automated electrophysiology market. For 17 year,s Nanion Technologies has developed cutting edge instrumentation for Biopharmaceutical and academic customers. We will hear Jim’s story and the fascinating world of electrophysiology in conversation with Triple Ring’s Ryan McGuinness.
Ryan McGuinness was trained in genetics and cell biology at the University of California at Davis. Since 1988 he has worked in several biotechnology companies and as an independent biotech consultant focused on adding value to early stage therapeutic and technology efforts.
Early in his career Ryan worked in teams that applied cutting edge genetic engineering technologies to advance the development of gene therapy and cellular therapeutics. In 2002 Ryan transitioned to research and product development for biopharmaceutical instrumentation, where he held customer-facing positions related to the introduction of novel technologies. In this role, Ryan grew to be a recognized expert in label-free biosensors, presented at numerous international scientific conferences, and was invited to chair several scientific symposia.
Ryan is co-inventor of five US patents, has published multiple scientific communications, developed many applications for the drug discovery market, and lead collaborations worldwide with well-known pharmaceutical research teams from companies like Merck, Amgen, J&J, Novartis and AstraZeneca.
Jim Costantin received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center studying the kinase regulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. He continued working with ion channels as a postdoc at UCLA studying the structure and function of Ca2+ channels and their regulation by accessory subunits.
Jim joined Molecular Devices in 2002 as an Application Scientist working with the IonWorks Automated Patch Clamp System. IonWorks was the first commercially available platform to study ion channels in a 384-well format. He became Product Manager for IonWorks instrumentation in 2007 and was the Marketing Lead on the development of the IonWorks Barracuda platform commercially launched in 2010.
Jim moved to Nanion Technologies in 2015, where he is Director of Customer Relations, to work with the SyncroPatch 384/768 system for Automated Patch Clamp. Nanion builds products exclusively for electrophysiological assays, from planar patch systems to impedance/field potential based systems for studying stem cells.
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