“I had just been denied from graduate school and I was looking for an opportunity to continue my education and engage in academic science. That’s when one of the Exosphere curators told me about the Biohacking Stream.”
Alex Borrelli was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. With both of his parents working in the medical sciences – his dad a nurse and his mom a respiratory therapist –, he got an early exposure to the scientific sensibility as well as human care. While studying Biochemistry and Glass Blowing at Jacksonville University for four years, he picked up valuable skills in mass spectrometry and Venetian chandelier craft. Since his graduation Alex has been working to build on that foundation. After finishing up an internship at a local environmental laboratory, he was looking for an opportunity to continue his education and engage in academic science.
His first choice, graduate school, fell flat. So when an Exosphere curator and friend of his told him about the biohacking course, his curiosity was piqued. He’d always had an idea to make a biofoam that first responders could inject into hemorrhaging wounds to staunch blood loss. The opportunity to start his own work on this technology while still in the early stages of his career was a major reason he eventually took a leap of faith and traveled down to South America.
“Exosphere really helped me the most by pushing me out of my comfort zone into a place that I was able to grow professionally. Living together with our other stream participants helped cultivate long term relationship building with collaborators.”
While at Exosphere, Alex finally got the chance to put his ideas into action. His prototyping experiments culminated in a live demonstration of his trauma biofoam at Demo Dary. However, the best was yet to come: shortly after arriving back in the US, Alex got a job offer as a Research Technician in cancer research for Mayo Clinic, the #1 hospital in the US.
Drawing on both his formal education and the work he did at Exosphere, Alex is now part of a team using the power of stem cells to combat all kinds of liver damage, doing his part to solve the problems of the world.
“While America is trending overall towards a becoming a nation less tolerant of diversity, I'm sitting in the cafe at Mayo Clinic listening to two groups of people speaking two different languages a couple tables over. At least I still have a faint glimmer of hope that we can embrace our differences and work together to forge a brighter future.”