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Did you know that our region is home to one third of UK’s biotech?

L to R: Jenny Brookman (CamAWiSE), Harriet Fear (One Nucleus), Amie Blake (MRC-LMB)

“What Next After Academia: Life Science Careers and Company Networks” with Harriet Fear, CEO, One Nucleus
Joint CamAWiSE/MRC-LMB Meeting, Cambridge, 25th May 2012.

As a PhD graduate with couple of years experience in industry, I have always wondered what could be the right career path for me if I cannot peruse an academic career. How and where can I start my quest for success? If I want to start up a business what are the available resources and where can I get help? Hence the MRC-CamAWiSE event, that hosted One Nucleus CEO, Harriet Fear, was an excellent opportunity to answer my questions.

The event introduced by Jenny Brookman from CamAWISE who welcomed the attendees with a short introduction to the CamAWISE network, a non-profit organisation that brings together women in STEM careers from academia, enterprise and industry and acts as a source of support, information and inspiration.

Harriet started her presentation with a brief introduction of her career history with the British Foreign Office for 21 years serving in over 17 countries around the globe. She joined One Nucleus (formerly ERBI) as CEO in 2009 with a mission to redefine the OneNucleus membership (now life science and healthcare, not only biotech) and to form strong and strategic relations with like-minded US counterparts for the benefit of its members. In order to achieve these goals One Nucleus merged with the London Biotechnology Network to enhance the offer to members and create a stronger critical mass on the international stage.

In her talk she mentioned interesting facts about the East of England Bioscience sector, which is the most successful life science cluster outside the USA.  For example:
• 230 SME biotech/medtech/medicinal chemistry companies
• Dozens of major pharmaceutical companies (eg: GSK, AZ)
• 150 medical devices companies (inc supply chain)
• Over 400 specialist service providers
• Over 20 multinationals in pharma, agbio and food
• 67 healthcare trusts and leading hospitals for clinical trials
• World class science parks: Cambridge Science Park, Granta Park, Chesterford
• 13,000 people directly employed in biotech businesses
• 30,000 people employed in life sciences
• Home to nearly half the UK’s top 20 FTSE quoted biotechs
• Home to one third of UK’s biotech and 10% of all Europe’s

She emphasised that the reasons behind this successful cluster are based on global biotech and engineering centres of excellence in this region in addition to Biotech/medtech convergence.

Harriet continued her presentation by defining the One Nucleus mission which is maximising the global competitiveness of its members. As a membership organisation, it provides different services for its members such as networking, training, and a group purchasing consortium. Membership of this organisation can also benefit from special interest groups including human resource and project management services. The One Nucleus extensive training portfolio includes: Introduction to Drug Development (for scientists and non-scientists), Introduction to Management, Project Management, and Commercial Awareness: From Bench to Balance Sheet. One Nucleus will award CPD accreditation in 2012.

Harriet also mentioned two other organisations Cogent and the Oxbridge Biotech Roundtable (OBR) that provide valuable networking opportunities for scientists to select their career path.
Cognet (http://www.cogent-careers.com) is steered towards scientific skills rather than business and provides a good source of information on scientific career pathways on their website that may be of interest to scientists and PhD students to identify where to go next.
OBR ( http://www.oxbridgebiotech.com/) is a  great network for helping to fill the gap between academia and industry. They have an industry immersion programme which gives PhDs and postdocs the opportunity to gain business experience.

After an interesting questions & answers session there was some great networking that continued during a lovely lunch provided by the LMB.  I recommend the reader to have a look at these two websites for further information:

https://camawise.org.uk/

http://www.onenucleus.com/ .

Dr. Mojgan Moddaresi PharmD, PhD, CBiol, MSB (www.cosmetics-novotechs.com)

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