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.
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Recent Posts

Management for Scientists: Managing vs. Leading

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Mar 31, 2015 12:08:04 PM

This is the final post in a 5 part series on Management for Scientists.

We are inundated with articles and books on the topic of leadership. Perhaps one of your advisors or mentors has urged you to work on developing your “leadership skills”. Leadership is prized at all levels of an organization and is also one of the most common criteria required for a promotion. Yet little explanation is given for how someone can or should demonstrate this quality.  

I am often asked to give career seminars on Leadership Skills. After attempting to put together such a presentation many times, I could never actually figure out what skills were really leader-specific. How is leadership different from good management? Aren't all career skills leaderhsip skills when done well? Do you just have to know it when you see it?

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Topics: Career, Management for Scientists

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

Posted by Joanne Kamens on 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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Topics: Career, Management for Scientists

Management for Scientists: Giving Feedback

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Feb 6, 2015 9:46:00 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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Topics: Career, Management for Scientists

Trends in CRISPR and SynBio Technologies [Slideshare]

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

Addgenie 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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Topics: Hot Plasmids, Genome Engineering, Inside Addgene, Synthetic Biology, CRISPR

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

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

Professional 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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Topics: Career

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