A mobile app developer for biomedical lab scientists wants to compile a collection of free, up-to-date lab protocols across biomedical sciences, chemistry, medicine and other disciplines it believes will revolutionize how laboratory scientists function, doing for protocols what epicurious.com did for recipes.
The Kensington, California company, launched earlier this year, is also developing a line of apps to meet scientists’ research needs and wants to cultivate a social network for laboratory scientists. It’s currently raising $325,000, according to a Form D filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
There have been many attempts at creating a protocol repository over the past 12-15 years. All have failed because of the impossible task of reaching out to laboratories and manually entering one protocol at a time. ZappyLab will succeed because it will leverage user-generated entry via a mobile protocol application.
The protocol repository will revolutionize scientific laboratory practice. It will lead to more efficient research and will become an integral part of the daily work of an experimental scientist. Importantly, it will create a new venue for researchers to share new method findings and will establish a new structure to assign credit to scientists who improve and modify existing protocols.
Asked about how the company got started, Teytelman said in an email:
“On Jan. 7, Alexei [Stoliartchouk, the CEO] asked me if I have any ideas for apps for biologists. I first teased him that the phone is useless in the lab, but soon after the conversation, thought of something that I would love — a protocol checklist app. This was the germ that started ZappyLab.”
The company has two apps. The Lab Counter app is described as a tallying tool to track different categories, scoring dead/live/sick phenotypes, blue/green, benign/malignant morphology, or any categories scientists define. It provides lab notebook recording and export of the results. Its Tetrad app is designed for geneticists and offers a utility for scoring yeast tetrad dissections, recording live/dead phenotypes for each plate condition and can export a master sheet, according to its website.
Its mobile application and the repository content will be freely available, according to the statement. The thousands of protocol pages it hopes to compile will include reagent, service and job advertisements from the biomedical industry it values at $160 billion. It will also provide subscription-based market research data to biomedical companies.
Stoliartchouk is a co-founder of the company and a computer software developer and engineer who as previously worked for thismoment, which develops social content management software for brands, ARA Capital and Yahoo!. Teytelman is also a postdoctoral researcher at MIT in the lab of Alexander van Oudenaarden, collaborating with the lab of Fred Winston at the Harvard Medical School, and has a Ph.D. in molecular biology from the University of California at Berkeley. Irina Makkaveeva, a co-founder, has previously worked as a financial analyst for Pacific Gas and Electric. She has an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management and has a master’s degree in computer science.
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