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10 Under 10 Alumni Panel: Millennial Scientists

12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Dec. 16, 2020

The VCU Office of Alumni Relations’ annual 10 Under 10 awards program recognizes noteworthy and distinctive achievements made by alumni who earned their first VCU degree (undergraduate, graduate or professional) within the past 10 years.

The VCU Alumni Richmond Chapter hosts two 10 Under 10 honorees to discuss their journeys to success after graduating and where they are now in their careers. Hear 2019 winner Elliot Roth (B.S.’15/En; Cert.’15/DVC) and 2017 winner Isaac Rodriguez, Ph.D. (M.S.’10/En; Ph.D.’13/En), discuss their unique careers in science. Moderated by Andy Hobson (B.S.’12/En).

Register for the Zoom link.

About the speakers

Elliot Roth (B.S.’15/En; Cert.’15/DVC): Roth the founder of Spira, a company that replaces petroleum and animal compounds in the supply chain using algae. Spira has received awards from RebelBio, Lighthouse Labs, the World Food Programme, Halcyon Incubator, BeGreen, CommBeBiz and the National Science Foundation. He has presented at SXSW, Synbiobeta and Thought for Food. He is a Kairos Fellow, a Seasteading Ambassador and a Future Founders Fellow. Before Spira, he obtained a degree in biomedical engineering, trained at the Stanford d.School, studied synthetic biology for 12 years and worked for five years as a product consultant. He previously founded six failed startups and two successful nonprofits, including a community science laboratory, and raised over $1 million for various startups. He is motivated to solve physiological needs using simple biological design. In his spare time he plays music, builds hydrogen airships and is working on a side project to enable access to health care on the open ocean.

Isaac Rodriguez, Ph.D. (M.S.’10/En; Ph.D.’13/En): He is the co-founder and chief science officer of SweetBio Inc., a Memphis, Tennessee based, commercial-ready medical device company with FDA-cleared, honey-incorporated wound care products. Since 2015, SweetBio has raised $4 million, graduated from ZeroTo510 and LaunchTN accelerator programs, was a finalist in Steve Case’s 2018 Rise of the Rest tour and recognized by Inside Memphis Business as a 2016 Innovation Award winner and by the American Cancer Society North Central Region as their 2019 Innovators of Hope. SweetBio was also highlighted on 60 Minutes and Forbes. Some of Rodriguez’s notable achievements include serving as the keynote speaker for NASA Langley’s 2017 Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration, an invited speaker in 2018 for The Empowerment Conference, being cited over 900 times in academic journals, being named as one of Memphis' Top 40 Under 40 in 2015 by The Memphis Business Journal, and being honored in 2017 by VCU as a 10 Under 10 alumni. He serves as a board member of the Virginia Latino Higher Education Network, Seeding Success, New Memphis Institute, Setting the Standard Enterprises, the Collegiate School of Memphis, and formerly Shelby County Mayor Luttrell’s Young Professional Council and Mayor Strickland's Transition team.  

About the moderator

Andy Hobson (B.S.’12/En): Hobson is a 2012 graduate of the VCU College of Engineering. He is a sales engineer for TLA Inc. in the HVAC industry. He is a past president of the VCU College of Engineering Alumni Board and is the engagement committee chair for the VCU Alumni board of governors. He is also an active member and board member of the local Richmond ASHRAE chapter (American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers).




Stefani Bonner
(804) 896-2061