Why I joined

I started working as a scientist at LifeArc in 2019, developing diagnostic tests within our purpose-built facilities in Edinburgh. Due to previous work focussing on Motor Neurone Disease, I have been involved in setting up LifeArc’s Motor Neuron Disease translational challenge in this space and quickly realised I wanted to learn more about the business side of our job.

Working closely with LifeArc’s Tech Transfer and Business Development teams was a delight, but I needed more formal training in this area. I applied for the LifeArc-AUTM fellowship and feel very privileged to have been accepted.

The programme taught me to look at the science world differently. As a scientist, we focus on tiny details and try to look even deeper into finding out what exactly is going on in reactions and mechanisms. In Tech Transfer, the more you learn, the more you get an overarching view of the science field, and you can start to form new pictures of the field and bring like-minded people together to fill knowledge gaps.”

What it was like

Having lived through all the restrictions of the pandemic, it was fantastic to get the opportunity to travel to New Orleans for the AUTM 2022 conference – despite all the anxiety around Covid tests and entry restrictions. The conference itself was intense with talks starting at 8am and finishing around 7pm. But the networking was invaluable, and I connected with many amazing people. The conference gave me a feeling for what it’s like to work in Tech Transfer, and it opened my eyes to the career areas I could get involved in.

Where I am now

After completing the Fellowship, I started my new role as a Business Manager at LifeArc and have been applying  the knowledge I acquired in the Fellowship to help LifeArc implement a new strategy to make an even bigger patient impact. From now on, rather than being a scientist and working in the lab, I will be supporting the people who do science, mostly by managing their grants and projects. This is a great opportunity and I’m delighted to be able to apply my science skills in a business context.

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