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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

Will You Be My Mentor? Finding and Asking for Mentoring Support

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Feb 4, 2014 10:50:00 AM

 “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”

- Abigail Adams, 1780

There are potential mentors all around you. This third article in the Addgene Blog Mentoring series will cover 2 of the 7 mentoring questions I set out to answer. First, I will describe some of the many ways you can approach finding someone to give you advice and guidance. Second, I will offer some advice on how to “make the ask” once you have found someone you admire and want to learn from.

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA

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Topics: Career, Mentoring for Scientists

Choosing a Good Mentor for Scientists

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Jan 16, 2014 9:56:08 AM

A scientist-in-training will spend 10 or more years with a small number of formal advisors learning how to be a scientist. It is shocking how little pre-work most PhD students and postdocs do to ensure the advisors they choose will be ones that help them succeed after the training period. While there are many aspects to choosing the right labs (see my webinar on this topic), for this second entry in the “Mentoring for Scientists Series”, let’s focus on how to choose an advisor/principal investigator (PI) that will also serve as a good mentor. To read more about what makes a good mentor, see the previous post in this series.

Check out Joanne's Reddit AMA

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Topics: Career, Mentoring for Scientists

"What Makes a Good Mentor?" and 6 More FAQs About Science Mentoring

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Dec 17, 2013 9:47:07 AM

"The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own." -Benjamin Disraeli

Mentor, Sponsor, Advisor, Boss – who will help me advance my science career? We spend many years becoming scientists. It takes us a decade or more for just the “training” portion of our careers. In that time we may have only 2-3 formal supervisors that will provide guidance and experience. Navigating a fulfilling career in science can be challenging – is advice and guidance from only 2 people enough? 

For many years I’ve been organizing mentoring programs for scientists and doing training to help mentors and mentees have fulfilling, productive relationships. I will be sharing what I’ve learned along the way in this ongoing series of blog posts.

Listen to our podcast interview with Harvard Medical School researcher Connie Cepko to learn about her mentoring style.
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Topics: Career, Mentoring for Scientists

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