Bowman Bagley is the Managing Director of Advanced BioMatrix. He is responsible for developing and executing the company’s business strategies including product and business development, marketing, and quality assurance. Bowman has helped develop innovative new product lines such as Lifeink® pure collagen bioinks and CytoSoft® physiological stiffness substrates.
Bowman graduated from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in Neuroscience and minor in Business Management. After working at Advanced BioMatrix for a few years, he returned to school while working and graduated with a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Utah. Bowman’s desire to combine his knowledge of business and science led him to work at Advanced BioMatrix where he believes he can introduce products to the market that will allow researchers to make life-saving discoveries. Bowman enjoys rock climbing with his wife and 3 kids, playing games, and building sandcastles. He is speaking at our upcoming event focusing on bioink for tissue engineering.
Jenny: When was the first encounter you had with Bioprinting?
Bowman: At my summer internship with Advanced BioMatrix before joining full-time, I was tasked with evaluating 3D printing for 3D cell culture. The PLGA/PLA types of materials were a little outside of our expertise, so we ended up putting a pause on that project. The concept of precise deposition of materials in a defined pattern stuck with me though.
Jenny: What inspired you to start your journey in creating bioinks for 3D Bioprinting?
Bowman: Thomas Hinton from the Adam Feinberg lab came to us at a convention and said: “I love your collagen. Can you make a bioink?” We went back to the lab and then asked ourselves… What is a bioink??? So after many hours of research into what makes a good bioink, we sent some collagen samples to the Feinberg lab. They responded that the bioink we had sent them would change the world. We bought a bioprinter the following week, and I started publishing pictures of 3D bioprinted ears, noses, and scaffolds – all from pure collagen (now called Lifeink®).
Jenny: Who inspired you the most along this journey in Bioprinting?
Bowman: The Feinberg lab has inspired me the most to develop new inks. They helped me learn FRESH printing and the best ways to print our collagen inks. They recently published a mind-boggling paper using our Lifeink® to print an entire heart, as well as other components of the heart. It is inspiring to me to see the progress bioprinting has made in just the last few years – and to think how it may start saving lives in another few years.
Jenny: What motivates you the most for your work?
Bowman: I want to leave the world better than I found it. I know that bioprinting is going to be one of those world-changing technologies that save and improve lives. Every week I see new publications come out using our products. Researchers around the world are making breakthrough discoveries – from slowing down the spread of breast cancer, to faster healing after having COVID. It is inspiring, motivating, and humbling to see what is being discovered and accomplished with materials that I helped develop.
Jenny: What is/are the biggest obstacle(s) in your line of work? If you have conquered them, what were your solutions?
Bowman: There are a lot of challenges that are outside of our control. From a lyophilizer breaking down mid-cycle to a worldwide pandemic, there will always be variables. Just keep going and new doors, discoveries, and opportunities will appear.
Jenny: What do you think is (are) the biggest challenge(s) in 3D Printing (or Bioprinting)? What do you think the potential solution(s) is (are)?
Bowman: The biggest challenge in my mind is the complexity of the human body. It was created so masterfully with thousands of proteins, cells, sugars, etc… all working in perfect harmony. Bioprinting that level of complexity is going to take an amazing worldwide collaboration, using a combination of all the existing printing technologies, along with additional ideas not yet discovered. We need to start small and work together with each step of the way. There is too much secrecy in science – those seeking prestige and name recognition over the benefits of shared ideas and technology can bring to the world.
Jenny: If you are granted three wishes by a higher being, what would they be?
- Ability to heal any injury or illness to myself or another person.
- Ability to get my 3 kids to fall asleep on time.
Jenny: What advice would you give to a smart driven college student in the “real world”? What bad advices you heard should they ignore?
Bowman: Good advice: Many opportunities come in part from knowing the right people. Reach out and make meaningful connections with those around you.
Bad advice: Don’t stop going to school until you have all of the degrees you want. Take a break between your undergrad and masters, or masters and PhD. Get some “real world” experience. Make some connections. Oftentimes, this industry experience will benefit not only you, but those around you as well when you go back to school.