Business in Focus: Twist Bioscience

A closer look at companies executing leadership excellence

Twist Logo

When Dr. Emily Leproust helped launch Twist Bioscience in 2013, she did so with the belief that synthetic DNA would be critical to solving many of the world’s biggest challenges. When SARS-CoV-2 became one of those challenges in early 2020, her team tapped into their guiding principles of Grit, Impact, Service, and Trust to fight the pandemic head on.

Headquartered in San Francisco, Twist produces synthetic viral controls that resemble SARS-CoV-2 variants to enable researchers to rapidly develop and validate diagnostic tests. Just weeks after the Omicron variant was identified, Twist launched a new control to match the need.

Twist Guiding Principles

Scaling to meet these herculean challenges in 2021 required Twist to hire 283 new employees, open offices in Shanghai and Beijing, and build a new factory in Portland, Oregon. For many companies, unprecedented growth can have an inverse impact on culture. Yet, Twist was recognized as a 2021/22 Great Place to Work, it ranked #6 on Fast’s 2021 Most Innovative Biotech Company, and #60 on Deloittte’s Fast 500 North America list.

Not only does Twist make culture a priority, the company also prioritizes sustainability. Through its Kimberly-Clark plastic recycling program, for example, Twist diverted more than 7,000 lbs of plastic waste from landfills in 2021. They also changed their packaging to a part-recycled construction that generates significantly less cardboard waste, and requires less dry ice while still keeping customer orders safe. Additionally, Twist invests in future scientists, providing each team of high school and undergraduate students competing in the iGEM competition 10,000 bases of DNA.

Kudos to Twist for powering the bioscience economy while empowering its people to make a positive impact in the world. You can learn more about Twist’s culture here.



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