About Burmer Music

About glenna burmer

Glenna Burmer, MD, PhD, is an award-winning composer, captivating storyteller, inventive film-maker, and retired physician and molecular pathologist who takes much of her inspiration from her Japanese-American roots. 

As co-founder of LifeSpan BioSciences, a Seattle healthcare reagents company that is a world leader in the antibody industry, she has more than 30 years of industry experience studying the correlation of the expression of genes and proteins within pathological tissue samples. She is currently a part-time consultant in molecular pathology in the biotech industry.

Burmer received training in both pathology and molecular biology at the University of Washington, where she was an assistant professor in the Department of Pathology before founding LifeSpan BioSciences in 1995. There she served as chief pathologist and chief scientific officer, overseeing hundreds of contract research studies for large pharmaceutical and biotech corporations. 

Some of her pioneering work included: designing and synthesizing thousands of polyclonal antibodies against major drug target proteins, completing the immunohistochemical characterization of more than 15,000 antibodies, constructing and selling an immunohistochemistry subscription database, designing and building artificial intelligence software using neural networks for detecting cancer in pathological tissue samples, and overseeing research projects involving deep genome sequencing of RNA and DNA. Burmer sold the company in 2021.

Glenna Burmer, composer

In addition to her extensive scientific background, Burmer is a gifted musician, classical composer, and concert and animated-film producer. As president of Burmer Music LLC, she has produced six contemporary classical music compilation CDs, four concerts featuring some of the best composers and musicians in the Pacific Northwest, and an original ballet.

Her animated short films combine her original music with 2D and 3D animated storytelling. The first film, Nana korobi (Seven Falls), won more than 50 international awards in best animation, music composition and original filmmaking. Her second film chronicles the adventures of a lovable post-apocalyptic robot called Bippy. 

Burmer is also writing a science fiction trilogy that leverages her training as a medical scientist and expertise in molecular biology, biotech and medicine to create worlds filled with fascinating characters and hilarious experiences.

music, film and story combined

The unifying element in a Glenna Burmer project is storytelling. Whether producing a symphonic concert or creating an animated film, Burmer uses the language of music to connect with audiences, captivate the listener and create an original and compelling story.

“An unexpected new presence in Seattle culture”
says the Seattle Times

Since 2011, Burmer Music has presented emerging composers and their music to Seattle audiences. From the initial idea to the final performance, Burmer concerts represent up to two years of preparation by composers, soloists, dancers and musicians, culminating in critically acclaimed world-premiere performances.

In partnership with scientists, educators and others, she works to extend the music into the community through lectures and multimedia presentations, reaching a new generation of listeners. Her most recent undertaking — animated films featuring original musical scores — are enjoyed virtually by audiences around the world.