Empowering Alberta’s Biotech Landscape: The Amino Labs Story
Championing Innovation & Education in Biotechnology since 2017
About Amino Labs
Established in 2017, Amino Labs heralds a new era of biotechnology education and innovation right from the heart of Canada. Originating from the graduate research of our CEO Julie Legault at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Amino Labs' mission is to accelerate the education of future bio-innovators to accelerate the invention and commercialization of world-changing biotechnologies. Biology is a powerful platform technology that is intrinsically in balance with our environment, and by expanding the population of bio-innovators, more people will leverage biology toward solving the world’s pressing challenges.
Rooted in Tradition, Built for the Future
Nestled within the scenic vistas of Southern Alberta, Amino Labs’ headquarters offers a unique blend of historical charm and cutting-edge innovation. Amino Labs operation is located on a century-old farm, a location steeped in tradition and grounded in the rhythms of nature and agriculture that have sustained communities for generations.
As a way to keep Amino Labs' burn rate low and maximize the chance of finding product market fit, Founders Julie and Justin spent two months in 2017 gutting and renovating a 50 year old 2500 sqft barn. Originally built to be a hog barn, it was unknown to the old timers who built it that it was destined to house the most innovative biotechnology education company in the world. With a small extension added in 2022 to store growing inventory, Amino Labs fully utilized humble operation is now over 3000 sqft.
In keeping with the environmentally conscious values that Amino Labs loves about biology, Amino Labs works diligently to incorporate sustainable practices and technologies in our operations. In 2020, Amino Labs installed a 13 kWh array to ensure that it produces more electricity than it consumes, and we pledge to maintain this trend as Amino Labs continues to grow.
Julie Legault: Bridging Design and Science
A French-Canadian designer with a keen eye for simplifying complex technologies, Julie is an alumna of the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Royal College of Art. Her expertise is not just confined to design; she is an educator, serving as Biotechnology Faculty at Singularity University, and an author, co-penning 'Zero to Genetic Engineering Hero'. As the founder of Amino Labs, Julie's vision and leadership continue to drive the company towards new heights in making biotechnology accessible and engaging.Dr. Justin Pahara: Scientist, Entrepreneur, Leader
Justin brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to Amino Labs with over 15 years of immersion in synthetic biology and biotechnology. A Cree Canadian scientist and an alumnus of the University of Alberta and the University of Cambridge, Justin is not just a seasoned entrepreneur but also a respected leader in biosecurity. In addition to advising at Amino Labs, he also runs the Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada NanoLab, a reserach program in the Government of Canada that is creating next generation agriculture technology that leverages nanotechnology.
Together, Julie and Justin have created a space where history, community, and technology converge, offering fertile ground for learning, discovery, and innovation in the ever-evolving realm of biotechnology.
Investing in Education:
Education is the cornerstone of our efforts at Amino Labs. We meticulously design, manufacture, and facilitate contemporary science activities that find their place in classrooms around the world. Our kits and resources are crafted with beginners in mind, ensuring that individuals, irrespective of their prior knowledge, can learn, teach, and engage with the fascinating world of biotechnology. Whether it's about genetically engineering microorganisms, creating living agar art, or extracting bio-products, we provide the tools necessary for an intuitive learning experience.
Every product and service offered by Amino Labs is a testament to our commitment to innovation and education in biotechnology. Driven by cutting-edge technology and user experience principles honed at M.I.T, we ensure that learning about biotechnology is not just accessible but also straightforward and enjoyable for everyone. From our easy-to-use kits to clear and concise instructions, each element is designed to empower learners and educators alike.
Making a Difference in Alberta
At Amino Labs, we recognize that the future of biotechnology resides in the hands of the emerging generation of scientists, researchers, and entrepreneurs. Committed to nurturing this budding talent, we provide valuable paid internships to Alberta students through collaborative programs like BioAlberta's Work Integrated Learning. These internships not only offer students financial support but also equip them with hands-on experience and knowledge that is indispensable in the real world.
Amino Labs also opens its doors to curious minds by welcoming students for lab tours and tutorials. These interactive sessions are crafted to ignite interest and deepen understanding of biotechnology among students. Participants gain insights into the practical aspects of biotech, witnessing firsthand the transformative power of this science and its potential to shape the future.
Mentoring Tomorrow's Leaders:
Our involvement with the youth in Alberta extends beyond internships. Amino Labs plays an active role in guiding and mentoring high school and university teams participating in esteemed competitions. Through events like GeekStarter, Tech Future Challenge, and the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition, we provide the necessary support and mentorship to students, aiding them in showcasing their innovative projects and ideas on reputable platforms.
Supporting Local Entrepreneurs:
Alberta's local entrepreneurial spirit is something we at Amino Labs greatly admire and support. Through initiatives like Founders Fundamental and various local events, we offer our expertise and guidance to local entrepreneurs embarking on their journey in the biotechnology industry. Our mentoring efforts are designed to foster innovation and drive success among the local business community.
Commitment to Community:
Our investment in the community is a reflection of our dedication to making biotechnology accessible and engaging for all. Through our various programs and initiatives, we are not merely educating; we are building a community of informed and enthusiastic individuals ready to take on the challenges and opportunities present in the dynamic field of biotechnology.
Join Us in Advancing Biotechnology Education in Alberta
Amino Labs is on a mission to make biotechnology education accessible and engaging for all, and we need your support!
For School Connections: If you know a school or district that can benefit from our innovative products, connect with us! Let’s bring hands-on science to more students together.
Let’s Collaborate: We welcome potential partners interested in promoting science education. If you have an idea or opportunity for collaboration, we’re more than happy to explore the possibilities together.
- Sponsor Education Activities: Educators are always in need of funds. If you or your organization would like to accelerate the adoption of biotechnology education in Alberta schools, one way is to sponsor schools or districts with equipment, materials, and support. With relatively small budget, you or your organization could expose hundreds or even thousands of students to biotechnology - the vast majority of which would not otherwise be exposed to biotechnology. Studies show that most teens choose their career path by the age of 16, and so we need to expose them to biotechnology early!
For Literacy Advocates: Are you or someone you know working to advance science literacy? We're looking for partners like curriculum consultants, educational organizations, and enthusiasts to spread the joy and knowledge of biotechnology.