Home Tech EcosystemLifeAt Life At Scientist.com: A Peek Inside One of San Diego’s Top Tech Companies

Life At Scientist.com: A Peek Inside One of San Diego’s Top Tech Companies

by Neal Bloom

By Jill Felska

It’s no secret that San Diego is home to some incredible companies, but how much do you really know about each of them?  Welcome to our new “Life At” column – brought to you by Fresh Brewed Tech and Want To Work There – where local employees give us a peek inside the businesses and cultures of different companies across San Diego.

As you know, building an inspired workplace fosters more collaboration, creativity, productivity, and overall happier employees. One local company that has been successful at creating a unique culture is Scientist.com. “Building a great company is more than just about good pay and nice perks,” says Kevin Lustig, Ph.D., CEO and Co-Founder of Scientist.com. “It’s also about rallying around a clear and important mission, having a sense of humor to deal with the inevitable ups and downs, and being able to work closely together in a respectful way.”

Lustig wasn’t the only one with things to share about the company culture at Scientist.com. Below, current employees give us the inside scoop about this fast-growing company.

Company: Scientist.com

Snapshot: Scientist.com is on a mission to pioneer a faster, leaner and more innovation-centric approach to research. As the world’s leading marketplace for outsourced research, the company’s platform simplifies the entire research sourcing process, saving time and money, and providing access to the latest innovative tools and technologies while maintaining full compliance with an organization’s procurement policies. Scientist.com operates private enterprise marketplaces for most of the world’s major pharmaceutical companies, VWR and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Since its founding in 2007, the company has raised more than $33 million from Leerink Transformation Partners, 5AM Ventures, Heritage Provider Network, Bootstrap Ventures and Hollywood producer Jack Giarraputo, among others.

Headquarters: Solana Beach

Number of Employees: 65 total; 30 in San Diego

The Real Deal: Scientist.com was recently ranked no. 9 on Inc. magazine’s 2018 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing, privately owned companies in America. The company accomplished a three-year revenue growth of 15,268%.

Passion ties Scientist.com employees together

The Scoop

“After spending almost six years working on my Ph.D. at UC San Diego, I was looking to transition from science to business. I attended a seminar for Alternative Careers in Science and Kevin Lustig, our co-founder and CEO, gave a short talk on what was then called Assay Depot (now Scientist.com). Kevin was so engaging and excited about the work that they were doing and it really inspired me. One week later, I was in his office, we talked excitedly for an hour, and he hired me. That was 4 ½ years ago.” – Diana Ourthiague, Senior Director of Accounts

“After interviewing with many of the employees, I noticed how passionate everyone was about the work they were doing at Scientist.com. It aligned with many of my own values in trying to further drug discovery.” – Ghazal Babai, Scientific Marketing Manager

The Vibe

“One word – passion. Everyone who works here is so passionate about what we are doing and that stems from our fantastic leadership. Our officers have bred an amazing company culture where each individual is led, not managed. When you empower your employees, you get passion at every level of an organization.” – Diana

“I love the people here, what we are working towards, and the fact that they treat their employees so well. They really trust their employees and we have flexible hours, which alleviates the stress of getting to work at a certain time and sitting in traffic both ways.” – Natalie Duner, Sr. Account Manager

“As the 9th fastest growing company in the country, the opportunities to grow as a professional and make an impact here are endless. There is also no other team I would rather work for.” – Dan Kagan, COO

“Egalitarian. Fast-paced. Friendly.” – Sean Preci, Communications Director

Company Leadership

“Our company’s founders, Kevin Lustig and Chris Petersen, are two of the most brilliant, down-to-earth individuals one could ever meet, much less work for.” – Sean

“There is an emphasis on a bottom-up management style that Kevin (our CEO) maintains. There is always immense amount of support for any new ideas or concerns. It is an open environment where you can have access to leadership at any time. Your opinions matter to them and they make sure to let you know they are there for you.” – Ghazal

“(Our leaders) are very inspiring, hard working and lead by example. They are also very encouraging and are always happy to help when needed. I think it’s great that they are so approachable.” – Natalie


“As a working mom, I love the flexible schedule and unlimited vacation policy. I don’t have to stress if I need to take my kid to a doctor’s appointment and I am never going to have to miss a soccer game or recital.” – Diana

“Flex time. We care about success not working a bunch of hours. Cold brew and surf boards in the office.” – Dan

Scientist.com office is designed with the San Diego lifestyle in mind

San Diego Style

“Surf. Work. Eat. Sleep. Repeat.” – Sean

“We like to take ‘walking meetings’ where we just go for a long walk and talk about ideas and solutions. Sometimes we even take a walk on the beach. There are not many places where you can do that year-round.” – Diana

“The climate, the genuinely fun people, and the Mexican food!” – Sean

“The sunshine and the beach.” – Natalie

“It’s hard to complain when you are working steps away from the beach. The weather is amazing 90% of the time, which allows our company to keep an active culture. Walking meetings are encouraged and so is team-bonding over surf.” – Ghazal

“The best part of any business trip is viewing the San Diego skyline as I land back in paradise. It’s a city filled with smart people who don’t sweat the small things like on the east coast. And I can work all day and still enjoy great weather for a few hours.” – Dan

What’s Next?

“I think our company is going to scale up. With our current trajectory, we will be growing rapidly and with more growth comes more work! I imagine that the culture will remain similar though, because we hire carefully.” – Ghazal

“We may outgrow our brand new office space. I foresee a company golf cart in the near future. The company retreat will be held in Costa Rica.” – Sean

Interested in joining the Scientist.com team? The company is  growing quickly and plans to hire full-time team members in engineering, sales, operations, design, and customer success over the next year. Visit the company’s career page to learn more.

Editors note: Interested in Fresh Brewed Tech featuring “Life At” your company? Email jill@wanttoworkthere.com for consideration.

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