April 7, 2021
With the growth of EBRC and its latest establishment of the BioMADE Manufacturing Innovation Institute, I am incredibly pleased to (re)introduce Dr. India Hook-Barnard as the next Executive Director of EBRC.
India has been a Senior Advisor with EBRC for the last several months and will now be taking over the day-to-day direction and operations of the Consortium. She has deep experience working across industry, government and academia to establish cross-sectoral programs in areas highly relevant to engineering biology. As part of this transition, she’s looking forward to connecting with EBRC’s members and government sponsors to discuss your priorities and our joint opportunities to advance engineering biology goals. I look forward to working with her to grow EBRC’s impact and grow the impact of our field.
Prior to joining EBRC, India was Senior Advisor to the Beyond 2020: A Vision and Pathway for NIH Working Group, and Senior Vice President for Patient Outcomes and Experience at the National Marrow Donor Program. Before that, she served as the inaugural Executive Director of the California Initiative to Advance Precision Medicine and as the Director of Research Strategy at the University of California, San Francisco. Earlier in her career, India worked at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine focusing on issues of emerging science and technology, including synthetic biology, precision medicine, biosecurity and biodefense. She earned her PhD in Microbiology—Medicine from the University of Missouri, and continued to study the regulation of gene expression in bacteria and phage during her postdoctoral fellowship at the NIH. India brings a wealth of experience to EBRC and we’re happy to have her join the team.
Reporting through the president to the board, India will oversee all EBRC staff and programs, develop and lead new initiatives, and be your primary EBRC point of contact. India is taking this role at a key time for EBRC: we now have a significant number of ongoing programs and will be up to 10 team members by summer. I will remain actively involved as president by participating in strategic initiatives and key projects.
Thank you for your engagement with EBRC and I look forward to continuing our work together.
August 31, 2020
In February, the SPA welcomed thirteen mentor-mentee pairs to the EBRC Mentorship Program, the largest cohort yet. The Mentorship Program creates one-on-one partnerships between graduate students and postdocs and professional EBRC members from industry, nonprofits, and government.
During the virtual EBRC Annual Meeting in early April, the SPA hosted an entrepreneurship-focused panel about the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The panel featured representatives from NSF, Fannin Innovation Studio, and Lynntech, Inc.
On April 30, the SPA organized an informal virtual Industry Panel and Networking Session with representatives from EBRC member companies LanzaTech, Tierra Biosciences, BASF, and Twist Biosciences. The event included a panel discussion and networking with the panelists about their careers in the biotechnology industry.
The SPA is working on growing it’s interactive members. We encourage graduate students and postdocs to apply for SPA membership here.
June 8, 2020
Member Communications Update
Over the past months, EBRC has been considering ways to improve communication with the membership and find ways to have meaningful engagements in the absence of in person interactions. Along with this, we’ve been considering ways to make it easier to engage in conversations with colleagues in EBRC, especially within our four focus areas.
The BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front)
Trello: We will discontinue using Trello w/ the membership. Those of you on current boards will be removed in the coming days. Please note that some previously sent calendar invites may contain links that may be inactive.
Slack: All EBRC members are invited to join our Slack workspace. Colleagues from industry and government can join Slack at this link using your institutional email address. Individual members are automatically invited. If the email address you primarily use is not listed or you have any other issues, please contact email@example.com.
Key elements of the EBRC Slack workspace:
- The EBRC Slack is open to EBRC Individual Members (not students / postdocs) and employees from EBRC Member Companies & Government agencies. EBRC Student & Postdoc Association leadership (SPA Board) are the only lab members on Slack.
- EBRC Council & Working Group members are strongly encouraged to join. Discussion and links around working topics will be included in relevant channels.
- Interact with colleagues across the engineering biology ecosystem between events.
- For further details see our EBRC Slack one-pager.
Google: We will continue to use G Suite (Drive, Docs, Sheets) as we have been.
Email Newsletter: We’re starting a regular monthly newsletter.
Trello: We currently use Trello extensively with the EBRC staff, but it’s seen mixed use with the working groups and committees. The EBRC Slack workspace is intended to replace Trello’s functionality as a platform for discussion, some working group announcements, and links to pertinent documents.
G Suite: EBRC pays for G Suite services (at ebrc.org) and we use it extensively. We plan to keep using it with the working groups and committees and moving some of the positive aspects of Trello to it. For example, dynamic meeting agendas can be captured in a Google Doc vs. Trello card. These documents will be linked in Slack. See next.
Slack: Engagement across the membership, and with the EBRC staff, is important. We would like to try to enable more dialog across the membership on relevant topics. We tried to use Trello cards for this, but it hasn’t worked as robustly as we’d like. With an increasing number of labs / companies using Slack, we will use this platform for discussions in each of the four program areas, and could use it for discussion with (for example) the EBRC Council.
Email Newsletter: We will be putting out a monthly newsletter, starting mid-June. The newsletter will provide useful updates and announcements from EBRC and will supplement information provided through other ways. We realize that some companies won’t be able to use various technology solutions (e.g., Slack or Google), and this will always be accessible.
We look forward to continued engagement and dialogue with you.