An interview with Anu Mahadevan and Paul Blundell

Posted on 2 August 2022

In June, during a client visit to the Organix facilities, Russ Thomas interviewed Anu Mahadevan (CEO) and Paul Blundell (President) of Organix, our new organization in Woburn, just outside Boston Massachusetts. Russ wanted to introduce Anu and Paul to the rest of the Symeres family and find out more about them and what makes Organix so successful.

Anu and Paul, could you share something about yourselves that’s not on the website or LinkedIn?

Anu: I am an accidental organic chemist. I wanted to do my master’s in psychology but ended up doing my PhD in organic chemistry. And within chemistry, physical chemistry was my first choice. I love experimenting in the kitchen and my vegetable garden.

Paul: I never stayed in one place longer than three years until I came to Boston. I grew up on Air Force bases in Germany and the UK and was born on Penang Island in Malaysia. I have hunted Russian submarines over the North Sea twice. The first in a turbo-prop Avro Shackleton and the second time in a Hawker Siddeley turbo-jet Nimrod. Each sortie lasted eight hours.

What would be the elevator pitch for Organix if you had to give one?

Organix solves problems. We work in all areas of chemistry, but our main goal is to solve a client’s problem. We conduct a range of services, including organic synthesis; extraction and isolation of natural products; analytical methods in all areas; RAFT polymerization; drug conjugation; and SAR work in all areas, including lipids. If you provide the problem, we will find the solution.

Having made Organix such a success over the years, what are you both most proud of so far?

Our employees. The diversity and range of expertise. We have taken care in selecting them from the get-go. We have interviewed every one of them personally. We have grown the company to 45 employees and have provided the tools and resources for them to perform cutting-edge, demanding research for our clients. We help our employees live the American dream.

What are the special things about the Organix culture that you want to maintain as part of the Symeres family?

The teamwork and enthusiasm for chemistry. Our culture is one of inclusivity, and this is demonstrated in how our staff help each other, either in staying late to add a sample to the HPLC sequence queue for a colleague or just being there for someone to give them a ride to their mechanic at lunchtime. 

How has it been so far? What are your first impressions of working with Symeres?

Symeres very much has the same enthusiasm for science as Organix does, and this has shown in our interaction at both the upper management level and the mid management level. The response from Symeres clients has always been positive when referring to Symeres.

What do you see as the opportunities for the Organix–Symeres combination in the coming years?

The exchange of ideas from each facility and new learning possibilities. We look forward to hosting fellow scientists from Europe and are glad to have the opportunity to send our workers to Europe to learn new skills, such as parallel synthesis techniques and scale-up techniques.

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