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Erin Stephens, PhD

VP of Tissue Engineering and Antibody Discovery

Dr. Stephens joined Prellis Biologics in September 2019, with the mission of advancing the biological applications of 3D printed vascular tissue structures towards transplantable therapies for human patients. During her thesis, Dr. Stephens focused on pathway engineering in mammalian cells to hijack natural machinery and allow therapeutic access to the undruggable proteome. Between her defense and joining Prellis, Dr. Stephens worked as a biomolecular engineering specialist, consulting on the revamping of product development processes and quality systems to facilitate both innovation and first-to-market strategies for biotech clients. Dr. Stephens is an avid board gamer, volleyball enthusiast, fantasy novelist, and a loving gardener.

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What initially sparked your interest in Prellis?

I was missing science, and I was looking for the next cutting-edge, ultra-new, never-been-thought-of technology, and that's the category Prellis fell into. I saw Prellis’ vision and chose tissue engineering even though it was a little outside my area of expertise from my PhD and formal training. I saw the bigger picture of how Prellis’ tech is going to change the world.

What would you say is unique about the team at Prellis?

There isn't a team out there that I've been more proud of. Whether I can tie that to a specific individual’s work or anything we do together collectively, the interdisciplinary backgrounds that we've merged and melted together work extremely well. The languages that our separate teams speak are very, very different, but we always find ways to communicate effectively and efficiently and create the high-performing team we have now. COVID has changed our communication in some ways, but we're definitely persevering.

What’s your vision for the future of Prellis?

When the pandemic hit, we took a left turn and dug out one of the tissues we had developed early on and hadn't done much with before, but the fact that EXIS is now up and running as a platform — it's an interesting roadmap for all the other tissues and organs we want to develop. Having a roadmap of how to get beyond our lab with our tissues is very exciting. What we've done can now be interpreted and translated and applied to other tissues. That roadmap is very exciting.

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