Taavi Ivan: Our own Indiana Jones

Working at the R&D Department of Solis BioDyne feels like being in an Indiana Jones movie where crazy ideas are turned into reality - this is where science meets practice. For Taavi, born and raised in Tsirguliina, this has become a daily work environment. 

As a child, Taavi dreamed of becoming an adventurer. A real professional adventurer, like you, can see in an action movie. Taavi’s playground was the woods nearby his house, where he climbed the trees, explored the shores of a pond, and built a treehouse using rough-cut boards - which resulted in numerous scratches and bruises but at the same time created a feeling of excitement, made him feel like a real adventurer. Today, at Solis BioDynes, Taavi's working days are filled with similar excitement.

At grammar school, Taavi discovered to his surprise that natural sciences, especially chemistry, enable successfully describe almost any interrelations in the world. And that was when his interest in Chemistry started. Taavi, who had a bit of a rebel reputation at school, found himself in the principal's office more than once during his studies. Considering this, Taavi's chemistry teacher was more than surprised when Taavi chooses Chemistry for his final high school exam. The fact that this was the first time in more than five years that someone had chosen Chemistry for a final exam caused great excitement in the little Tsirguliina. Taavi passed the exam with excellent results. Studies at the Department of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Tartu were just a logical course of events. Taavi’s hard work and determination helped him achieve good results on the chemistry exam. "Persistence and the ability to cope with difficult situations are important," says Taavi about his choices. While being a student, Taavi was also actively engaged in sports. Initially, he lacked stamina, knowledge, and skills. Even the first running steps came only through great effort and pain. However, his persistent work and improvement of his knowledge took him so far that one moment he even considered the possibility of swapping his university studies to a professional decathlete career. But this did not happen.

Active research at the university on the bifunctional inhibitors and photoluminescent probes for studies on protein complexes resulted in Ph.D. thesis and made him think: "Where should I head next?".

Taavi chose Solis BioDyne, where he can continue working with molecules. According to Taavi, his work as the Head of the R&D department at Solis BioDyne provides him an opportunity to design experiments, conduct them in the laboratory, and take on administrative and managerial responsibilities. "Working feels good when you know your contribution is important and helps make someone's life better," he says, and that is true for Solis BioDyne. Taavi describes Solis BioDyne as a big family, where the sense of community, helping, and noticing each other is just as important as work. "By learning and developing together, we can make the world a better and more caring place, when taking into account each other's interests as well as the environment," he points out as a bonus for working at Solis BioDyne.

Taavi also sees the responsibility that comes with managing the department and being familiar with new and evolving diagnostic and analysis methods, rather than a challenge for development and an opportunity to expand his knowledge and share new information with colleagues. "In the ever-changing world of science, it is important to be able to adapt quickly. I am lucky to have colleagues with whom I can discuss and debate almost any topic daily, reflect on my thoughts and listen to their cool ideas", says Taavi. 

And Solis BioDyne does have plenty of new ideas. In most cases, even so, many that there are not enough working hours to look into them. Setting priorities and focusing primarily on the most important things is a skill that Taavi, as a new leader, develops daily because there are just so many new and exciting topics to deal with but no time for everything.

Taavi has tried to share his interest in science and knowledge by contributing to the improvement of the quality of education of young Indiana Jones, with his chemistry textbook and workbook set for 8th grade. He wants to show young people that it is possible to change the world with persistence, diligence, and a strong desire to learn.

We wanted to know a little bit more about Taavi and asked him 5 questions, read below what his answers were:

  • Name 3 items you would take to a desert island? AWG water condenser (with photovoltaic batteries), spear, and sunglasses.
  • If I were a superhero, your superpower(s) would be? Definitely laser eyes. And teleporting.
  • Name your favorite 3 books. Remarque Arc de Triomphe, Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Zapowski The Witcher
  • What is the formula of happiness? H = sqrt($^1.2/t(W)) + (t(S) + t(F))^1.2 - ln(1/(t(N)/7)) : $ salary, W work, S sunshine, F family and friends, N avg night sleep over observed period.
  • The song you could listen to all day long: Küberrünnak ja Karmo - Klaver, one can draw parallels regarding lyrics to other aspects of life, or Saint Jhn - Roses (Imanbek rmx)