Women in STEM: Dr. Annie Bowles

Women in STEM: Dr. Annie Bowles

DR. ANNIE BOWLES
Director of Research and Development

Annie has been working with FACTORFIVE Skincare since 2019 and also works as one of the leading stem cell scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

When and how did you decide to get into stem cell research?

I was halfway through college (undergrad)–kind of late to the game! Like many of my colleagues, I was interested in medicine/diseases/clinically-related work so it first makes sense to go down the pre-med, AKA medical school, route. But, after taking a course on regeneration, when I was first introduced to stem cells, and volunteering in a lab for one of my professors, I changed my path to grad school and pursued science as a career. I felt I had more flexibility in the topics that I wanted to study, specifically cell therapies.

What is your science background?

I went to Louisiana State University for undergrad with biological Sciences as my major and Chemistry as a minor. After that, I got my Master’s and Doctorate in Cell and Molecular Biology from Tulane University. During grad school, I worked at the Center for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine where I studied cell therapies for various diseases as my thesis and realized that I wanted to focus on clinical research and gain more experience with biomedical engineering. So, after getting my Ph.D., I received a position as a Postdoctoral Associate in two specialties, Orthopaedics and Biomedical Engineering, at the University of Miami where I furthered my expertise in cell therapies with different applications.

Now, I am a Senior Research Scientist at the Marcus Center for Therapeutic Cell Characterization and Manufacturing at Georgia Institute of Technology, finding ways to advance standardized practices and improving manufacturing processes of clinically used cell therapies. I hope to become a professor with my own lab in the near future where I’ll continue my research on cell therapies.

Did you always love science?

Honestly, no! It wasn’t until college where I really understood science and truly grasped how amazing biology and nature are. I excelled in grade school but never focused on a subject enough to embrace beyond what I had to do to make the grade. I was a typical kid and not really thinking about my future, and now in retrospect, I wish I had more influential teachers to help me find an earlier connection to a subject, something I hope to do when I engage with K-12 students in outreach programs.

What do you love about working with FACTORFIVE Skincare?

I love seeing everyone’s responses and results! It’s the instant gratification that I get from applying leading-edge science and tailor it to specifically target a condition, in this case skin restoration.

What’s your favorite FACTORFIVE product and why?

This is a difficult one because I use both the serum and the cream religiously but also love the eye/lash cream. The serum and cream combo really keep my annoying adult acne at bay, especially when stress and hormones like to reveal themselves as blemishes on my face. I’ve reproducibly tested this out too (because I’m a scientist) and when I don’t use the products, I still do, in fact, get the stress and hormone-induced blemishes.

What advice would you give to young girls interested in science and technology?

Science can be found in almost everything – nature, cooking, art, sports, etc. – and when applied to something you like, it’s easier to understand the science. I think it’s most important to first find a connection with something you think is fascinating and then identify the science in it. Once you understand the science behind things, find out what kind of careers involve what you’re interested in and explore all of your options because finding out what you don’t like is just as important as finding what you love.