Joanne Kamens

Dr. Kamens is the Executive Director of Addgene. She has worked in pharma and biotech and has been doing career advising for scientists since 2003. She serves on many nonprofit boards and is an advocate for diversity and equity in science.

Recent Posts

Management for Scientists: You Can’t Do It All Yourself

Posted by Joanne Kamens | Feb 20, 2015 3:30:00 PM

This is the fourth in a 5 part series on Introduction to Managing People for Scientists. Subscribe to the Addgene Blog to follow the entire series as it is published.

Once you are responsible for managing others you will only be successful in your role if you become a master at delegating tasks and responsibilities. The manager is not expected to DO all the work she is expected to make sure the work gets done and done well. Involving your team effectively is now your new measure of success. It is imperative that you resist the temptation to “just do it myself” or micromanage you don’t have time for that and you won’t be as productive.

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Management for Scientists: Giving Feedback

Posted by Joanne Kamens | Feb 6, 2015 9:46:20 AM

This is the third in a 5 part series on Introduction to Managing People for Scientists. Subscribe to the Addgene Blog to follow the entire series as it is published.


Feedback is help and it should result in authentic assistance for the recipient to become more effective and successful. Giving timely and useful feedback is an absolutely required aspect of being a successful manager. Great bosses tell people where they stand clearly and routinely. They are clear with each employee about what they do well and where they need to improve, and they’re also clear about how the person is doing overall. Employees hate to wonder what you think of their work.



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Trends in CRISPR and SynBio Technologies [Slideshare]

Posted by Joanne Kamens | Feb 4, 2015 10:58:00 AM

CRISPR-synbio-slideshare-AddgeneAddgenie Eric Perkins attended the recent Keystone Meeting "Precision Genome Engineering and Synthetic Biology". His reflections on the program are here. This was a great opportunity for Addgene to present our own data on plasmid deposits and distirbution for these fast moving fields. 

Addgene is a global nonprofit plasmid repository. Over 2,000 labs have deposited plasmids to Addgene and we distribute over 130,000 plasmids in 2014. Thus, we are in a unique position to observe and quantify how new technologies are being disseminated through the scientific community.

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Career Coaching for Scientists: Why and Where Do I Find One?

Posted by Joanne Kamens | Jan 29, 2015 8:25:00 AM

career-coachProfessional Career Coaching can be an excellent tactic for scientists making a career shift or who wish to improve their current job situation. What can a coach do that is different from an advisor, boss or mentor? First, professional coaches have experience and knowledge to help scientists transition out of the academic sphere into a different meaningful career in science. Supervisors in the academic infrastructure are not always as effective in mentoring for this transition. Second, a coach will help you set goals and then hold you accountable for carrying through on the actions you committed to. Finally, hiring a paid coach will make you take the experience more seriously and I have seen, without exception, that this helps people do a better job at reaching their goals. 

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Management for Scientists: Seeking Feedback

Posted by Joanne Kamens | Jan 8, 2015 9:34:00 AM

volunteering_feedbackThis second installment in the Management for Scientists series will focus on an aspect of communication especially important for a manager – getting feedback from the team. Successful management can almost be boiled down to one, key concept: Creating a culture of excellent, effective communication between all members of a team. As described here in a 2012 Intuit blog post, a study coming out of MITs Human Dynamics Laboratory identified five characteristics of very successful teams. Here they are annotated with my comments:

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Addgene is a non-profit plasmid repository that promotes scientific sharing. Our blog extends this mission by providing a platform for scientists to share practical tips and cutting-edge research.

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