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: 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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22 Hot Plasmid Technologies from 2014

Posted by Joanne Kamens | Jan 6, 2015 12:21:53 PM

Updated Mini-transposon Vector for Bacterial Mutagenesis or Gene Targeting

pBAM1 for addgene.png

Victor de Lorenzo's lab has engineered a modular mini-Tn5 vector that can be used to generate random mutagenesis libraries or to insert heterologous genes, reporters, or other markers into a target genome. They did this by selecting the important elements from existing transposon and vector systems and creating an all-synthetic vector that included only the elements needed for function.

The lab validated this vector, called pBAM1, by conducting random mutagenesis in the soil bacterium Pseudomonas putida and demonstrate that they can successfully create GFP fusion proteins with a variety of genes across the genome. Although this tool was published in 2011, it was only recently made available through Addgene and we want to highlight it for use in your research.

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Management for Scientists: What Makes a Good Manager Anyway?

Posted by Joanne Kamens | Dec 9, 2014 9:22:00 AM

8_types_of_managers

“I'm slowly becoming a convert to the principle that you can't motivate people to do things, you can only demotivate them. The primary job of the manager is not to empower but to remove obstacles.” – Scott Adams, Dilbert cartoonist

If that is all it takes, then how come there are so many bad managers? New managers are rarely chosen because they have demonstrated skill at managing and this is especially true in science. It is assumed that if you are good at science and you are smart, you can be a good manager. The kind of smarts and the type of skills that it takes to be a good scientist are not the same ones it takes to be a competent manager (much less a really good one). While getting your PhD or doing a postdoc few science trainees will have opportunities to work on Emotional Intelligence or to hone delegation skills, for example.

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How-to: 5 Steps to a Great Panel Discussion

Posted by Joanne Kamens | Oct 22, 2014 9:57:29 AM

This post was originally published on LinkedIn. Follow Addgene on LinkedIn for repository news and updates.

microphonePanel discussions are becoming a ubiquitous format for events and sessions in scientific conferences. They can result in lively discussions with both panelists and audience fully engaged. They can also be dull and painful to sit through (imagine the entire audience playing Candy Crush or reading email). My advice is always "don't do it unless you can do it well" – even the smallest program. I don't mean have fancy food or a fantastic view (these are nice if you can afford them). I am talking about making sure the audience is interested, educated and talking as a result of the content. Here are some of my tips to organizing and running a memorable panel discussion.

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Future of Research Conference - Remarkable Opening Session

Posted by Joanne Kamens | Oct 7, 2014 11:00:00 AM

Dr_BourneIt was with a sense of relief that I attended the amazing, postdoc-driven Future of Research Conference at Boston University last week.  This fantastic city-wide effort was led by two amazing postdocs, Kristin Krukenberg and Jessica Polka from Harvard Medical School and a long list of supporters from all of the research centers in Boston.  I was relieved because it finally feels to me like the postdocs are taking some steps to control their own future in science (see my previous blog on this).  Indeed, that was a primary message delivered by many of the speakers.  As Dr. Polka said as she started things off, “We are all capable of contributing to change.” 

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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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