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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

Safe Port in a Storm...How Addgene is Weathering the Pandemic

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Sep 17, 2020 9:15:00 AM

These are stormy times. It feels like we’re being buffeted by wind and waves and sometimes wonder if we can take another blow. Back in March, we never expected to be in this here and now. Our closure was earlier than most companies. Since the start of this crisis, we’ve been very responsive to the mood of the Addgenies — and they were very anxious at this point. Here's the message I shared with the Addgenies on March 11, 2020 after rumors spread in our building that someone from a different company had tested positive for COVID-19 (it turned out to be an unfounded rumor).

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Topics: Addgene News, COVID-19

Seven Tips for Using LinkedIn as a Scientist

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Oct 1, 2019 9:21:32 AM

To LinkedIn or not to LinkedIn. That is the question.

When presenting on building relationships (also known as “networking”), one of the most common questions I receive is “Do I have to be on LinkedIn?” For anyone who is planning or might need to plan for a career outside academia (that would be pretty much all scientists), a LinkedIn profile is absolutely necessary. If people can’t find you on LinkedIn, you will lose opportunities and hiring managers will think it is odd. For those planning a career in academia, it may not be required, but many academic scientists are starting to see the advantages of using social networking to start, build, and track professional relationships. Here are my seven best tips beyond the basics to get you started.

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Topics: Science Careers, Networking

What's Your Organism? Expanding Genomic Tools via the NSF EDGE Program

Posted by Joanne Kamens on May 2, 2019 8:41:38 AM

In this heyday of molecular biology, many scientists do a lot of DNA work but never get to actually manipulate the organism they study (unless if you count normal human interaction for all of us studying human genes in test tubes and gels). As a freshman in college I studied development and evolution of histone genes in Strongylocentrotus purpuratus, the spiny purple sea urchin. It’s not a standard model organism, but it was easy to harvest eggs and sperm, mix them in a tank, and observe the beauty of embryo development in real time. I was already a biology geek, but this formative experience nailed down my plan to become a research scientist. I recently was invited to attend the first Principal Investigator meeting of the NSF EDGE (Enabling Discovery Through Genomic Tools) Program and I met scientists from 21 different labs who clearly also share this wonder of the organism.  

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Topics: Other, Organisms

Celebrating 15 Years of Scientific Sharing

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Jan 14, 2019 9:08:58 AM

Addgene has so much to celebrate! As we enter this new growth phase of the organization and the expansion of our impact, I’d like to take a moment and honor all of the success we have achieved and the opportunities we have for the future. At Addgene we will never ever stop planning, perfecting, and learning, but there are a lot of things we actually don’t have to worry about and that is something to recognize!

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Topics: Inside Addgene, Addgene News

Is this the right place for me? 8 tactics for choosing a lab

Posted by Joanne Kamens on Oct 2, 2018 8:56:53 AM

Why is choosing the right lab such a big deal? It’s actually something you CAN choose and it will make a huge difference for your future career and life. You might see a lab head as choosing you, but in reality, you are giving your hard work and talent for many years (at a very low salary I might add). You have a right and responsibility to choose a lab where you can thrive and do your best work. This post is focused on choosing a lab, but almost all of these guidelines can apply to any workplace or job. It amazes me when the most analytic scientists seem to toss data-driven reasoning out the window when making decisions. We think scientists make choices based on logic and reason, but often our decisions are based on emotions and assumptions. I’m not just talking about simple things like “Which route should I take to get to work?”; we often make important life decisions without much logic - even choosing a training lab where we will spend the next 6 years.

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Topics: Science Careers, Early Career Researcher

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