Frances’ personal and professional trajectory can be described as a series of sharp left turns in a relentless confrontation of the road less traveled. By the time she was a teenager, Frances had adapted to a series of profound ecosystem shifts: from her hometown of Vancouver and summers in Taiwan, China, Singapore and Japan, to the bustling borough of Queens and the sleepy town of Babylon in the state of New York. Without a clear sense of belonging, Frances found a home in the quirky tribe of the Theater, combining a pursuit of performance with a dedication to learning—ultimately landing at Princeton University, where she graduated with a B.A. in English Literature and a Minor in Theater.
The “sink-or-swim” approach has become the theme of Frances’ career, and she now aptly finds herself diving into the invisible world of microbes as a Project Lead for Seed Health—covering anything from scheduling pixel-to-pixel meetings to assisting the Co-CEOs with Seed’s planned expansion globally. Before joining Seed, Frances worked for a Hollywood icon in a wide range of capacities, including serving as Associate Producer for a documentary film about pesticide poisoning in Kauai, project-managing a multimillion dollar estate remediation project, and facilitating non-profit events for environmental and social causes. Prior to her stint behind the silver screen, Frances helped launch a boutique luxury slipper brand, managing the end-to-end production in China to sales and distribution at major retail outlets such as Barneys New York and Saks Fifth Avenue.
After 3 decades of moving in every sense of the word, Frances is now happily settled in Los Angeles with her husband Philip and their cat Willow, and currently adds home (and self) improvement to her long list of projects
In conversation with Frances:
Six word story of your life. Through calamity comes discovery of self.
What was your first brush with science? A stamina-building lesson in the anatomy of a frog through dissection.
Why do you think bacteria are important? The study of bacteria is both a practical and existential pursuit: practical because we need bacteria to survive, and existential in the sense that what is invisible to us holds the key to our future.
How do you define science? Truth-seeking through a quantitative lens.
How do you define health? A sustainable equilibrium within the body, mind, and spirit that allows for vitality and longevity.
What are you currently reading / listening / watching? The Human Superorganism by Rodney Dietert, So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo, Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi, multiple reruns of The Godfather, and any Miyazaki masterpiece.
Favorite microbiome-nurturing food? Cilantro.
Scientist, dead or alive, you’d like to eat with? Albert Einstein.
Microbiome perturbation you’re trying to give up. Baguettes.
Favorite science joke or best mindgasm fact? That which we often take for granted—our ability to breathe— is linked to a cataclysmic event approximately 2.45 billion years ago in which cyanobacteria began creating oxygen.
One fact most people don’t know about you. Sometimes, I eat dessert for breakfast.