SōRSE Employee Spotlight: Jerry Bryan

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Written by | July 15th, 2021

Jerry, SōRSE Associate Scientist

Meet Jerry Bryan, SōRSE’s Associate Scientist on our R&D team. Jerry joined the company in 2019; he started as an intern while wrapping up his degree in Biology at the University of Washington. After graduating, Jerry started working for the company full time, tapping into his experience doing lab work in college for his role at SōRSE. Jerry is currently responsible for developing formulations that allow the delivery of functional ingredients in water-based systems and evolving SōRSE platforms. While Jerry may be one of the youngest members of the Science team, he is an out-of-the-box thinker who brings great value to the company because of his curiosity and his work ethic. Jerry was actively involved in the formulation of SōRSE Clear water-soluble CBD emulsion, which was launched in November of 2020.   

When did you start becoming interested in science? Were there any particular courses in college that you took that stood out? What about the field intrigues or excites you?     

I have always been interested in science from the first time I mixed baking soda and vinegar in elementary school. During my freshman year at University of Washington, I started working in a plant biology lab (Bendich lab), and that’s where I started to gain a passion for science and research.    

My favorite courses at UW were Plant Classification/Taxonomy and Organic Chemistry. Plant classification was fun because it made going on walks a lot more interesting once I was able to recognize plant families, and also gain an overall appreciation for the plant world. Organic Chemistry helped me visualize and understand how chemicals interact at a molecular level, which helps me in my current work.    

What excites me about the field of science and research is that you can learn something new every day. While research can be frustrating and tedious at times, I am always motivated by the next ‘ah-ha’ moment and the opportunity to learn something new. I am also excited to be a part of a company that is an innovator and pioneer in the cannabis/ingredient industry.    

How did you come to work at SōRSE? What was your first year like?  

Near the end of my final year at UW, I applied to every research job opportunity I could find and I discovered SōRSE. I even started working part time at SōRSE for about a month while I was still in school. My first year at SōRSE was nothing short of a deep dive on many aspects of the company. I got to work with Production and the Operations team and learned how to make large batches of finished material, made many finished beverages in product development, learned analytical tools to assess emulsion stability, and I also got to work on developing new SōRSE emulsions. Learning a little bit from each department allowed me to take a 100-foot view when developing products, and consider every aspect of a product before finalizing it.    

What do you enjoy about your current role at SōRSE, and what’s been challenging?    

I enjoy that I get to push the boundaries of what we think is possible in the cannabis and ingredient world. It’s also very rewarding to see something that I formulated on store shelves.     

At the same time, pushing those limits and boundaries is a very challenging task. Making something that no other company has commercialized means that I don’t have a reference point to work from; in essence, I have to start from scratch and come up with the concept myself. At those times, I have to trust my theoretical knowledge and keeping trying new things until I get the desired outcome.       

Describe a day in the life of Jerry at SōRSE. What are some of the projects that you are currently involved in?  

A day in life at SōRSE for me consists of ideation, research, bench work such as making emulsion or product development and helping prep/ship out R&D samples to customers. I am currently working on a lot of custom emulsions for specific customers.    

(I have a long list of specific projects I am working on, but my manager says they are top secret.)    

Can you share some highlights from your time at SōRSE?    

My biggest highlight so far at SōRSE is commercializing our Clear CBD formulation. When I talk about pushing the boundaries of what we think is possible, this is a prime example. This is a product that our customers have been requesting for a while. None of our competitors had successfully brought a successful clear CBD emulsion to market, nor was it obvious how to accomplish this task. This took over 100 iterations to get it right. Even when we thought we were almost done formulating, issues didn’t cease. I am proud to say we now have a Clear CBD emulsion that can be scaled up for production, has minimal sensory attributes, is robust with temperature changes, and can go into various beverages and applications without stability issues.    

If you could, what product infused with cannabinoids would you create for consumer use?    

A MiO-style THC product that has a pump mechanism, allowing easy dosing of 10 mg of THC. (MiO is a liquid beverage mix used to flavor water and other beverages.)   

Can you share a fun fact that not a lot of people know about you?   

I play keys and guitar for fun, and jam/make music with Trevor, our Shipping Manager, every week.