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Pharma's Almanac Article Featuring Ronawk

Changing the Future of Cell Culture and Accelerating Next-Generation Therapies

Ronawk has developed a new 3D solution that enables the easy growth of large quantities of cells of a consistent phenotype. The company’s CEO and Founder A.J. Mellott, Ph.D., and Chief Revenue Officer Scott Leigh discuss the potential applications for the technology and their hopes for enabling significant advances in pharma manufacturing and beyond with Pharma’s Almanac Editor in Chief David Alvaro, Ph.D.
https://www.pharmasalmanac.com/articles/changing-the-future-of-cell-culture-and-accelerating-next-generation-therapies
by David Alvaro
Pharma's Almanac

The Ronawk team takes some time to talk with Pharma's Almanac Editor and Chief, David Alvaro, about the start of the company, the Bio-Block technology, and how the company plan to innovate cell culture using 3D cell culture.
"The eureka moment was when I had a very simple thought:  Why can’t we grow cells in 3D from the beginning? When cells start growing in the body, they’re really growing in 3D. Nothing in the body — tissues and organs, etc. — is flat or 2D. It’s all contoured. If we could grow cells in a 3D format from the beginning, maybe we could we get higher-quality cells and create more accurate models.

The answer to the question was yes, but that then led to other questions, such as whether cells grown in a 3D format can expand, how nutrient diffusion and gas exchange could be handled, and so on, in order to provide an environment that closely mimics the original, natural cell environment." - AJ Mellott, CEO

Kansas Representative Sharice Davids Visits Ronawk


The Ronawk team was incredibly excited to host Representative Sharice Davids of Kansas with a tour and overview of how federal programs like the America COMPETES Act will impact small businesses locally and nationally.  Ronawk currently sources all supply chain needs in the United States and manufacturers Bio-Blocks which will revolutionize the ability of life sciences and other science companies in the area of cell culture development.

“In science, and in particular cell culture, there are many hurdles in the supply chain that impact the speed, cost, and results. The opportunities the America COMPETES Act creates will help Ronawk as a manufacturer to supply customers in and outside of the US with a premium cell culture development technology. Additionally, it will help scientists all over the world accelerate research and potentially lower the cost of production for life science and pharmaceutical companies across the globe,” said Dr. A.J. Mellott, CEO and Co-Founder of Ronawk.



Additionally, Rep. Davids and the Ronawk team outlined how the growing needs of STEM education and the opportunities that Ronawk present to train and educate high school, undergraduate, and graduate-level students in the future are paramount to the future needs in science for young people.

“It is important to encourage and train the next generation of young midwestern scientists. At Ronawk, we understand this, and that is why we are investing our own resources to provide opportunities for the talented individuals in the area that want to go into science. We hope to help create new jobs in manufacturing and research and development for next-generation Kansans to help benefit the region and our future property, in keeping with our state's motto,” said Heather Decker, CTO and Co-Founder of Ronawk.

To see more about the recent event featuring Rep. Davids, look to the link below with additional details.



DAVIDS TOURS LOCAL MANUFACTURER TO PROMOTE SUPPLY CHAIN SOLUTIONS, WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT
February 23, 2022 Press Release

Today, Representative Sharice Davids toured local biomanufacturer Ronawk, continuing her efforts to meet with local businesses and promote investment in supply chains, innovation, and American manufacturing. Ronawk’s unique technology helps scientists advance cutting-edge research, such as the COVID-19 vaccine, and their use of domestic materials has helped them navigate ongoing supply chain issues. Davids joined leaders from Ronawk and Kansas Manufacturing Solutions (KMS) after the tour to discuss how to address inflation and help American industry compete on a level playing field against countries like China.

See more:  https://davids.house.gov/media/press-releases/davids-tours-local-manufacturer-promote-supply-chain-solutions-workforce

Graduate Student Summer Internship


Position Number: TBD

Employer Name:
Ronawk

Department:
Research & Development

Stipend:
TBD

Overtime Status:
Exempt

Classification:
Unclassified

Position Reports to (Classification Title):
Chief Technology Officer

Regular Hours of Work (Classified Jobs Only):
40 Hours

Length of Employment:
10 Weeks – Summer of 2022

90-Day Probationary Period:
N/A

Location of Position:
500 N. Rogers Rd. Suite 500-B20, Olathe, KS 66062

Position Summary:
This position requires an individual that is highly independent and self-motivated. The individual will be assisting Ronawk researchers to execute a variety of experiments related to 3D bioprinting, 3D printing, cell culture, and biologics production. These experiments are approved by Ronawk’s CTO and advance Ronawk’s strategic plans, complete client service projects, or improve Ronawk’s products. The position requires an individual that is well-versed in a variety of biological skills as well as a willingness to learn and develop new skills to complete projects. The individual will be responsible for submitting regular scientific reports to management, presenting scientific data to management, writing and submitting
manuscripts, contributing to scientific grants, and presenting at scientific meetings. The individual will be responsible for conducting his/her/their own literature reviews to justify scientific proposals to management and to support scientific presentations externally.

Required Qualifications:
Bachelors degree in biological sciences or related field with 2 years or more experience, or a Master’s
degree in biological.

Preferred Qualifications (1 or More):
-Proficiency with culturing primary cells isolated from tissue
-Proficiency with culturing immortalized cell lines, either adherent or non-adherent
-Proficiency with measuring biological factors via standard bioassays
-Mechanical testing experience
-Familiarity with 3D bioprinting (Design or Operations)
-Familiarity with 3D printing (Design or Operations)

Instructions for Applying:
Email Ms. Heather Decker (hdecker@ronawk.com) a Resume or CV, and cover letter on 1) why you would like to be a summer intern at Ronawk and 2) what you hope to gain out of your internship experience by no later than Friday, March 18th. A letter of recommendation from an individual familiar with your qualifications is highly encouraged, but not required.

Duties (1) Essential:
Data processing and analysis (imaging and numerical)

Duties (1) Essential:
Writing, constructing, and presenting scientific information for grant proposals, conference presentations, and manuscripts.

Mental/Cognitive Requirements:
Communication: YES
-Comprehend and use basic language, either written or spoken, to communicate information and ideas
-Comprehend and use technical or professional language, either written or spoken, to communicate complex ideas

Calculation: YES
-Perform numerical operations using basic counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing
-Perform complex quantitative calculations or reasoning using algebra, geometry, statistics, or abstract symbols

Problem Solving: YES
-Formulate and apply the appropriate course of action for routine or familiar situations
-Use logic to define problems, collect information, establish facts, draw valid conclusions, interpret information, and deal with abstract variables for unique or unfamiliar situations

Physical Activities & Requirements:
Light Activity:

-Kneel
-Crouch/Squat
-Sit
-Stand
-Walk
-Lift – Raise or lower object & 20 lbs from one level to another
-Carry
– Transport an object
-Push
-Pull
-Turn/twist
-Bend
-Balance
-Reach
-Handle

Undergrad Student Summer Internship 2022


Position Number: TBD

Employer Name:
Ronawk

Department:
Research & Development

Stipend:
TBD

Overtime Status: Exempt

Classification: Unclassified

Position Reports to (Classification Title): Chief Technology Officer

Regular Hours of Work (Classified Jobs Only): 40 Hours

Length of Employment: 10 Weeks – Summer of 2022

90-Day Probationary Period: N/A

Location of Position: 500 N. Rogers Rd. Suite 500-B20, Olathe, KS 66062

Position Summary:
This position requires an individual that is highly independent and self-motivated. The individual will be assisting Ronawk researchers to execute experiments that are approved by Ronawk’s CTO that advance Ronawk’s strategic plans, complete client service projects, or improve Ronawk’s products. The position requires an individual to be able to follow technical instructions, keep detailed notes, and have a willingness to learn and develop new skills. The individual will be responsible for submitting weekly progress reports to management and over the duration of the internship learn how to conduct literature searches, present scientific data, and write technical manuscripts.

Required Qualifications:
High School Diploma and at least two years college experience in biological sciences or related field

Preferred Qualifications (1 or More):

  • Proficiency with aseptic technique

  • Familiarity with culturing primary and immortalized cell lines.

  • Proficiency with measuring biological factors via standard bioassays

  • Mechanical testing experience

  • Familiarity with 3D bioprinting (Design or Operations)

  • Familiarity with 3D printing (Design or Operations)


Instructions for Applying:
Email Ms. Heather Decker (hdecker@ronawk.com) a Resume or CV, and cover letter on 1) why you would like to be a summer intern at Ronawk and 2) what you hope to gain out of your internship experience by no later than Friday, March 18th. A letter of recommendation from an individual familiar with your qualifications is encouraged, but not required.

Duties (1) Essential:
Data processing and analysis (imaging and numerical)

Duties (1) Essential:
Writing, constructing, and presenting scientific information for grant proposals, conference presentations, and manuscripts.

Mental/Cognitive Requirements:
Communication: YES
-Comprehend and use basic language, either written or spoken, to communicate information and ideas
-Comprehend and use technical or professional language, either written or spoken, to communicate complex ideas

Calculation: YES
-Perform numerical operations using basic counting, adding, subtracting, multiplying, or dividing
-Perform complex quantitative calculations or reasoning using algebra, geometry, statistics, or abstract symbols

Problem Solving: YES
-Formulate and apply the appropriate course of action for routine or familiar situations
-Use logic to define problems, collect information, establish facts, draw valid conclusions, interpret information, and deal with abstract variables for unique or unfamiliar situations

Physical Activities & Requirements:
Light Activity:
-Kneel
-Crouch/Squat
-Sit
-Stand
-Walk
-Lift – Raise or lower object & 20 lbs from one level to another
-Carry
– Transport an object
-Push
-Pull
-Turn/twist
-Bend
-Balance
-Reach
-Handle
RONAWK CELEBRATES THREE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY BY HIRING CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER AND TRIPLING STAFF

Ronawk has hired Trice Alford as its new Chief Marketing Officer and has officially become a staff of seven.  

For Release on February 8th, 2022

Olathe, KS – Ronawk, a life sciences company that accelerates the development of next-generation therapies, is celebrating its three-year anniversary. Ronawk was founded by Dr. A.J. Mellott and Ms. Heather Decker on February 8th, 2019. Ronawk started as an effort between two colleagues that wanted to create a way for their fellow scientists to accelerate research while being able to reach out to the community and build an organization that Kansas City could be proud of. Looking for a way to conduct cutting-edge research that would ultimately benefit the broader community, Dr. Mellott and Ms. Decker settled on the name “Ronawk” which is a combination of “Robin” and “Hawk”, and means “Message of Healing”.

 

Using the technology that Dr. Mellott created in 2015, Ms. Decker and Dr. Mellott made the Bio-Block technology the cornerstone of their company. Together, they pulled their own resources and began building the company in 2019. They went to workshops, webinars, read as many texts as they could on business operations, and even found a small office to rent. Ronawk went on to be accepted into the NSF I-Corps program at Wichita State University, the E-Scholars Program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, and SHARPHub at the University of Kansas Medical Center. Friends and Family started to notice and invest in Ronawk that first year. In 2020, Ronawk gained the attention of a family office and was able to move from a 300 sq. ft. office to a 4,401 sq. ft. manufacturing facility. In 2021, Ronawk gained more attention and more investment and was able to announce the development of a STEM Academy to build a workforce and provide a way to engage students after High School. Ronawk closed out the year, with two strategic hires to expand its executive leadership team. Now with the beginning of 2022, Ronawk has expanded its team to seven and is proud to announce the hiring of Trice Alford as its Chief Marketing Officer.

 

“Trice has been an outstanding addition to Ronawk’s leadership team as the Chief Marketing Officer. He brings more than 25 years of experience in marketing and branding and understands how to effectively leverage online marketing platforms. Trice has really helped Ronawk reach a new level as far as marketing goes and has further developed Ronawk’s brand. I cannot wait to see what Trice builds on the marketing side over the next year. Already, in a very short amount of time, Trice has greatly expanded Ronawk’s presence online, and our customers and collaborators are taking notice” said Ronawk CEO and Co-Founder, Dr. A.J. Mellott.

 

Trice Alford, had this to say about Ronawk, “I’m incredibly excited to join the Ronawk team.  Already the team is full of leaders with tremendous levels of expertise and knowledge. I’m excited to join at this critical time of growth. Together this group will be able to do some amazing things over the coming years and I’m really proud to be a part of it.”

 

In addition to the hiring of Mr. Alford, Ronawk has hired a research assistant and administrative assistant to help Ronawk keep up with the ever-expanding operations. As Ronawk begins its third year, the team has more than tripled in size. While Ronawk was started by Dr. Mellott and Ms. Decker, Ronawk is now a team of seven and is looking to grow even more over 2022. Ronawk’s third year is looking very bright!

 

 

 Ronawk Media Contact

media@ronawk.com

316.477.3055

 

About Ronawk

Ronawk is a Life Sciences company based out of Olathe, KS, that produces 3D bioprinted consumables that accelerate the translation of Life Sciences research into ground-breaking diagnostics and therapeutics while reducing the need for animal testing. In addition, Ronawk collaborates with multiple research groups around the world to accelerate Life Sciences research.
In baseball, preparing for the first pitch requires a great deal of practice and builds on a spectacular amount of behind-the-scenes effort. Being a scientist is not much different - amazing discoveries, treatments, and technologies resulting from countless hours of energy and effort. That’s where Dr. A.J. Mellott saw an opportunity to make a difference with Ronawk, LLC, a biotech startup company that’s developing an innovative technology to help researchers produce stem cells at a massive scale. This technology allows scientists to do more experiments, test new ideas, and devote their time to something that could be translated to patient impact.