In her weekly newsletter HeatherHollick asks “What is your theme for the week?” She and I have been exploring the value of networking, and I’ve been asking myself if I need to refocus and direct my networking to be more productive. As a result, my theme for this week was No More Mindless Mingling. So when I found myself at Triangle Biotech Tuesday, I wondered if, only two days into the week, I’d already violated my theme.
Deborah Thompson, Ph.D.
Deborah Thompson is a research grant Program Analyst at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. NCBiotech grants; strengthen the research infrastructure at North Carolina's academic and not-for-profit research institutions. Deborah supports the research grant programs through program outreach, reviewer recruitment, and investigator consultations.
Deborah also leads the popular NCBiotech Jobs Network, a monthly program designed to help job seekers develop contacts and relationships that will help them network to their next job. NCBiotech Jobs Network events support the efforts of biotech and life science professionals seeking employment opportunities in the state. The Jobs Network provides monthly structured networking sessions, and participants include hiring managers, human resources professionals, placement services, and recruiters.
Deborah holds a Ph.D. in genetics from The University of Georgia. She did post-doctoral research at North Carolina State University in the Botany and Entomology departments. She has more than 15 years of research and development experience in molecular biology, genetics, cell culture, botany, and entomology in academic, government, and industry laboratories. Deborah has authored peer-reviewed publications in subjects ranging from plant and insect gene regulation to protein expression, biopesticides, and bioremediation. She has a strong interest in agricultural biotechnology and plant gene expression and enjoys educational outreach to non-scientists and to K-12 students and teachers.
It’s not often that graduate students and postdocs get to take the lead at scientific conferences, but at the annual Plant Molecular Biology Retreat, they do just that.
In April I had a conversation with Karina Colón’s fifth grade class at Smith Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh. Her students were preparing a presentation on genetically engineered crops. Mrs. Colón was concerned that the students were not getting balanced, science-based information and she reached out to me to provide a counter-point.
NCBiotech works in the community to make connections that create life science jobs in the state. Because of our role in economic development, it’s appropriate that we at the Center work to retain talent in the state when companies downsize.
That was NCBiotech’s motivation for starting the NCBiotech Jobs Network. But for me, personally? I do it for the smiles.
When Karina Colon’s fifth grade students at Smith Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh wanted more information about genetically modified plants and animals for their end-of-year project, I got the nod, as the Science and Technology Program Analyst at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
On April 29, NCBiotech Jobs Network hosted a panel of experts who answered the question how do you “Grow Your Future” in North Carolina agriculture. Gwyn Riddick, Vice President for Agricultural Biotechnology, welcomed attendees and noted that connecting people to jobs and companies to skilled workers is one of the most important things NCBiotech does. North Carolina is home to 80 – 85 agbiotech companies and five of the ag Big 6, making our state an agbiotech center in the US.
On March 6 2013, the NCBiotech Jobs Network teamed with the Industrial Fellowship Program to present NCBiotech Jobs Spring Workshop: Work Styles, Strengths and Skills. Supported in part by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the event was aimed at job seekers of all ages and levels of experience. The workshop gave attendees some tools to create a comprehensive job search strategy.
The NCBiotech Jobs Network kicked off its 2013 series January 28 with an event focused on speed networking.
We provided a short introduction to networking tips and tricks, then attendees paired off and practiced what they learned. It was an opportunity for Jobs Network attendees to broaden their professional networks and prepare for future networking events. Here are some of the key points we covered:
Borrowing a line from the Grateful Dead classic, our October event featured personal stories and professional advice from three North Carolinians whose career paths have taken some interesting twists and turns. These mid-career professionals have had various experiences in academia, industry and government, working for non-profits as well as multinational corporations. Our panel included Marcelo Anderson, Associate Director, Manufacturing Sciences, Biogen Idec; Bill Bullock, Vice President, Bioscience Industrial Development, North Carolina Biotechnology Center; and Neil Jones, Co-founder