Look for the Nanodropper movie in 2050
Columnist Steve Lange and Allisa Song go toe-to-toe talking about heritage, inventions.
Ten (or so) questions with Allisa Song, Mayo medical student and co-founder and CEO of Nanodropper.
Wait a second! You’re not the same Allisa Song who wrote “A Dynorphin Projection From the Dorsal Raphe Nucleus to the Ventral Tegmental Area Mediates Stress Potentiated Cocaine Reward in Mice” are you?
Oh, my gosh! Yes! That is me!
And they’re turning that into a movie now, correct?
Yes. In theaters January 2050.
So who would play you?
I’ve never even thought about that. I love the actress from "To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved." Have you seen that?
Um, no. I have not seen that.
The actress is Lana Condor. I love her energy on screen. I feel like she could emulate my personality. And she’s Asian-American.
OK. But the cocaine mouse would have to be voiced by Christopher Walken.
You describe yourself as Korean-American.
I was born in Seoul, South Korea, and lived there for the first few years of my life. I moved to the United States in 2001, when I was in second grade. And when we first immigrated, we ended up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That’s not usually the typical place that Korean immigrants set as their home base. But that’s where we ended up. I think I grew up not feeling super confident about the Korean part of me. My priority was to be as American as possible, and assimilate, and like the things that my friends like.
AS: It does. It did. But I feel like I had a self-realization or reckoning not too long ago where I really started to be really proud of my Korean heritage. I started to learn a lot about the Song family history, which is from my dad’s side. Learning about the 28 generations that came before me and all the jobs that people held. Things like that.
I’m going to give you some self descriptors you’ve given. You just give me a sentence or two about each. Dancing enthusiast.
AS: I used to dance competitively. I was trained in Russian ballet, and then I did a few years of dancing with a Korean dance company in the Bay Area. That was one of the influences that made me really proud of my Korean heritage. Now it’s more like dancing for fun.
I learned piano when I was younger like a lot of Korean kids, but I kind of lost it for a while. And then rediscovered my love for it through my med student band. We’re called the Ectopic Beats.
Are you married?
No, but I am engaged. A lot of people already know this, but I’m engaged to Elias, the COO of Nanodropper. We’re high school sweethearts.
Excellent. So, Nanodropper is a device that goes on to current eye drops and allows you to meter out a fraction of what would normally be metered out for eye droppers, right?
And you’re still looking for the next big invention?
Well, yes, we’re always ...
Great! Because I’ve got a bunch of ideas that just need someone to turn them into actual inventions. Pop-A-Lens. Boot Scootz. Attach-A-Patch.
I love the names. Especially Attach-A-Patch. I’d love to know what that is.
I can’t tell you unless you agree to take it on.
We’ll look into it. I’ll talk to my partners. But I don't ...
Steve Lange is the editor of Rochester Magazine. His column appears every Tuesday.