The WIB Research Triangle Park Chapter
The WIB-RTP Chapter was inaugurated on March 18, 2010, at the Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. Research Triangle Park (RTP) is one of the oldest and largest high-technology research and development centers in North America. It is part of North Carolina's overall biotechnology initiative and a primary economic driver for the region. Its 7,000 acres house more than 170 companies employing over 42,000 full-time and approximately 10,000 contract employees. Businesses range from Fortune 100 multinational research and development companies, to U.S. federal agencies, to university spin-outs and start-ups.
North Carolina’s RTP is where numerous winners of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Presidential Awards, and National Science Foundation Awards carry out their efforts. It has served as a model for innovation, education, and economic development worldwide. Many women have and continue to embark on careers in the life science.
The expansion of Women In Bio to include the RTP Chapter was officially announced at 2009 BIO International Convention. RTP is an ideal region for expansion of Women In Bio because North Carolina ranks biotechnology as one of the top three industries in the state and RTP has been ranked one of the top areas in biotechnology development in the U.S. RTP is home to major biotech and pharmaceutical companies, a rich venture capital community, and top research institutions and universities. The RTP area consists of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill and is home to the respected Duke University, University of North Carolina, and North Carolina State.
WIB Committee Leadership
Women In Bio committees support the professional and personal growth of WIB members and the organization as a whole.
Chapter Chair: Susan Nichols, EvalStar
Chapter Vice Chair: Natalia Mitin, PhD
Chair: Sharmilee Patel, WuXi AppTec
Vice-Chair: Katie Trapp, BASF
Volunteer: Carole Wegner, Zygote Sciences, Molly Starback, Duke, Shradda Sahpariya- Cambell University
Chair: Aprel Buonpane, Travel Management Partners
Vice-Chair- Kendyle Woodward, iBiotech
Volunteer- Sathya Ganeson, Affinergy
Chair: Natalia Mitin, PhD
Vice-Chair- Robin Deacle, Corporate Communications
Program (Events) Committee
Chair: Daina Zeng, Agile Sciences
Vice Chair: Teresa Squire, NC Biotech
Volunteer- Robin Gallagher- Independent, Teresa Squire, NC Biotech, Meredith Earl, Liquida, Kathleen Burkhart, Duke
Young Women In Bio (YWIB)
Chair: Laura McClung, Eli Lilly and Co
Vice Chair: Sabra Stipe, EvalStar
Volunteer- Stephanie Mixon, PhD. Candidate, Ana Mclanahan, BioNetwork Capstone Center
WIB-RTP’s Book Club – Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
Thirty participants took part in the WIB-RTP chapter’s June Book Club at the Koinonia Coffee House on June 11, 2013 to discuss Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.” In two groups to facilitate active discussion for all attendees, table leaders Robin Deacle and Teresa Squire posed broad questions about the message of the book that quickly led to honest, supportive, and inspiring discussion of what it means to Lean In. Sandberg’s notion that true equality would be a world where “women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes” was seen by many attendees as an important, tangible goal to actively work towards, while others weren’t convinced that a fifty-fifty split was necessary, but rather emphasized that whatever choice both women and men make in their careers, the support they need to succeed needs to be available.
Some of the suggestions made to help women Lean In to their careers included being persistent, removing emotion from business settings, being willing to make the choice to walk away from a negative situation, and treating each woman individually rather than painting the needs of women with a broad, but homogeneous, brush. Attendees also discussed the importance of supporting other women in the workplace both by advocating for and working collaboratively with female colleagues and by having honest dialogue with young women about the effects of their choices as they continue in their career.
Chapter Chair Susan Nichols challenged participants to actively take these ideas back to their organizations. Attendees also agreed that organizations such as Women In Bio are an important part of the available support system to help women Lean In and achieve their career goals.
The summer book club series will continue with a July discussion of “Necessary Endings: The Employees, Businesses, and Relationships That All of Us Have to Give Up in Order to Move Forward ” by Dr. Henry Cloud and an August discussion of “Life in the Treetops: Adventures of a Woman in the Field Biology” by Margaret D. Lowman in attendance.
For event information, resources and live-tweets from our events, find us on Twitter @RTPWomeninBIO or follow us on LinkedIn.
RTP hosts industry leaders, all with beginnings in R&D
The common lesson from the evening: let your passions drive your career decisions.
Five industry veterans with successful careers that began in R&D spoke at the RTP chapter’s “Path's to Success: Careers in R&D and Beyond” event May 29 at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center. With very complementary presentations, the speakers collectively urged attendees to never stop learning, networking or taking risks throughout their careers.
More than 90 attended the event, which featured:
Betty Marrow-Taylor, MEd (Senior Operations Manager, Biogen Idec)
Judy Liu, MPH (Director Strategic Planning & Marketing Operations, GSK)
Marga Oortgiesen, PhD RAC CCRP (UCB)
Myla Lai-Goldman, MD (CEO and President, GeneCentric Diagnostics Inc.)
W. Murray Spruill, PhD JD (Partner-in-Charge RTA Office, Co-leader of Intellectual Property Patent Group, Alston & Bird)
The speakers emphasized the importance of self-awareness. "Each day you should think about what's next and what you can build upon," said Betty Marrow-Taylor. "You're always on a potential job interview".
“It's important to be a lifelong learner, and to be able to learn from everyone,” said Judy Liu.
Marga Oortgiesen agreed, and told the audience to take advantage of others' experience, get qualifications, be open-minded, take opportunities, and to follow your heart and passion.
Myla Lai-Goldman told inspiring stories about passion and taking risks, and how trivial actions can change an entire career path. W. Murray Spruill closed the event by really driving home the importance of networking, and surrounding oneself with good, talented people.
Most attendees took advantage of the valuable networking opportunity following the presentations.
For event information, resources and live-tweets from our events, find us on Twitter @RTPWomeninBIO
RTP Hosts “Clinical Trials Management” - Educational Event
More than 80 men and women were in attendance for the RTP chapter’s Clinical Trials Management event April 29, 2013. Held at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, attendees had the privilege of hearing stories from seasoned CRO professionals. Quintiles’ Vice President and Global Operations Head Laura Marquis spoke about the future of healthcare and its implications for CROs. Pfizer’s Clinician and Manager of Clinical Research Almasa Bass then spoke about clinical trials from the perspective of a sponsor, and walked the audience through writing a protocol. Following the presentations, three additional CRO professionals joined the stage to participate in an interactive Q&A session with the audience: PARAXEL International’s Phillippa Miranda, PRA International’s Nila Williams, and INC Research’s Evette Pettus. Together, these five women shared with the audience the qualities CRO’s look for in an entry-level candidate, secrets to climbing the CRO executive ladder, and personal tales about how each “fell into” the clinical trials industry.
WIB-RTP Spring Networking Event a Hugh Success
WIB-RTP’s spring networking event on Thursday, March 7, 2013 was a huge success. Sixty eight exceptional women from different background, to include R&D, clinical research, pharmacy, regulatory affairs, sales, marketing, business development, accounting and human resources, gathered at Serena’s in Research Triangle Park, NC. The event started with WIB-RTP Chair, Susan Nichols welcoming everyone to the first event of the year. Diana Zeng, Programs Chair followed Susan and described an exciting roaster of educational, networking and fun events WIB has in store. Natalia Mitin introduced the sponsors, ImmunoReagents and WorldWide Life Sciences. The networking event was divided in two sessions. The first session involved a structured networking where there were discussions amongst attendees grouped in smaller groups. The open networking that followed was an exciting opportunity to follow up on the conversations that were originated in smaller groups, getting introduced to other people by your new acquaintances or just walk around and chat with other people eager to get to know each other. It was exciting to see the levels of engagement and a desire to help each other and to stay connected. The feedback from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive. Below are a couple of quotes:
“I liked the break-out sessions with the different numbers. The smaller sessions provided a more intimate forum for introductions”
“Thank you for your organization and recognizing the need for networking among women in the science fields”
WIB-RTP’s Y-WIB Holds Event at Biogen Idec
WIB-RTP hosted a Y-WIB event on Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at Biogen Idec. Once again, Biogen Idec graciously opened its doors to 21 curious middle school girls to host a fun and interesting Young Women In Bio (Y-WIB) event. In conjunction with Woman In Bio (WIB) RTP, Biogen Idec provided an afternoon of lab activities that mimic real world jobs and careers.
The young women heard from female scientists who work in various departments of Biogen Idec from Quality Control (QC) to Patient Services. They then learned what it means to have those jobs by shadowing the ladies on a tour of the facility. The new community lab was utilized for lab activities and discussions. The afternoon wrapped up with pizza and conversations between the young women and Biogen Idec employees.
Women In Bio is thrilled and grateful for the continued partnership with Biogen Idec to continue to expose young women to promising scientific careers with Y-WIB events.
WIB-RTP Hosts Holiday Party
More than a 120 folks from the WIB-RTP chapter, the Association For Women In Science and Graduate Women In Science gathered for a beautiful Holiday Party at North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences on the evening of December 12, 2012. The venue was beautiful and the attendees enjoyed refreshments, networking and sharing the Holiday spirit. Ana McLanahan, a member of WIB-RTP, was presented with a $1,000 WIB scholarship to help with her continuing education in the life science industry.
WIB-RTP’s First Annual 5K run/walk
More than 200 people gathered at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center on Saturday December 01, 2012 for the first annual 5K run/walk to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The 5K course is a brand new course recently certified by the USA Track and Field #USATF NC 12138NW. The youngest participant at the 5K was five years old and the oldest was 71 years old. Top honors went to John Baker from San Diego, California who clocked at 21:44 and Dr. Eva Garland, VP of Research at Agile Sciences who clocked at 24:03. Dr. Christy Shaffer from the Board of Trustees and Kay James the Executive Director of the Carolinas Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation helped kick off the event. The final scores and times are posted on East Carolina Road Racing’s website at http://ecrr.us/events/the-1st-women-in-bio-5k-walk-run-2/ . Raleigh Running Outfitters of Cary provided prizes to the winners. Middle school girls from YWIB sold hot drinks, delicious treats and WIB merchandise to the crowd. A check will be presented to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at the WIB Holiday Party on Dec 12, 2012.
WIB-RTP’s Three Part Young Women In Bio Entrepreneurs Workshop
WIB-RTP chapter hosted a three part Young Women In Bio Entrepreneurs Workshop at the North Carolina Biotechnology Center on November 2, November 16 and December 1, 2012. Thirty two middle school girls participated from local middle schools for these workshops. They learned about the basics of business including marketing, financials, and operations planning during the first two workshops. During the third workshop, which was combined with WIB-RTP’s first annual 5K walk/run, these young entrepreneurs got the opportunity to put their business ideas into practice. The young entrepreneurs sold hot beverages, dog treats, baked goods and WIB merchandise to the crowd at the 5K. All four teams and their ventures made a profit from sales of their products that day. The teams chose to donate their profits to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and to the Second Chance Pet Adoptions.
Women In Bio-RTP Professional Development Spring Event - an Inspirational Success
Around sixty women participated in the Women In BIO-RTP Professional Development program on May 31, 2012 at the NC Biotechnology Center. Dr. Kim Mayer from the Small business and Technology Development Center of Raleigh kicked off the event by demystifying the process of starting a company. While the focus was largely on creation of a life sciences company, the presentation was applicable to start-ups in most industries. A panel discussion on running companies from C-level executives included Sheila Mikhail from Life Science Law, Dr. Amanda Elam of Galaxy Diagnostics, Prathima Acharya of KBI BioPharma, Karen Adams from KJA Associates and moderator Claudia Black of G-Zero Therapeutics. A broad range of topics were covered involving operations, management, mentorship, finance and alignment of values. The importance of sense of humor while dealing with difficult situations was highlighted.
Katie Trapp of the NC Biotechnology Center navigated the do’s and don’ts of social media and presented best practices to developing a digital persona. Kittie Watson, President of Innolect, Inc. introduced the art and power of story-telling as it relates to brand development, and the five stories that all leaders need to know how to tell.
Read WIB member Robin Deacle’s blog of the event Inside View: Women in Bio can have it all with her favorite takeaways from the program.
Young Women In Bio Program Continues Its Successful Partnership with Biogen Idec
Thirty young women from area middle schools (6-8th grade) arrived at the RTP location of Biogen Idec on the afternoon of February 28, 2012. After meeting each other and company scientists, they were split into groups and the young women took tours of the facilities, learning about the manufacturing of bio-pharmaceuticals along the way. During the conversations that took place along the tour, the young women asked thoughtful questions of the scientists about the types of products Biogen Idec manufactures, the patients that they help, and the process by which their products are manufactured.
Once the tour concluded, the visitors broke up into smaller groups and participated in a variety of activities such as using pipettes in the lab or learning about the importance of documentation at every stage of a product, which protects the patients that take it.
At each stage of the evening, the young women were paired with strong women role models, many in management and leadership positions at Biogen. Each of these women had chances to talk to small groups and answer questions about their jobs and their interest in science.
The evening ended with everyone sharing pizza courtesy of Biogen Idec and talking about their respective schools and what they had learned from this event. Women In Bio is looking for other companies to join in similar partnerships as Biogen to educate more young women about careers in the life sciences industry.
Biogen Idec Hosts Second YWIB Event for Young Women
On Thursday, May 26, 2011, Biogen Idec graciously opened its doors to 30 curious middle school girls as it hosted the second Young Women In Bio (YWIB) event in Research Triangle Park (RTP). In conjunction with WIB-RTP, Biogen Idec sponsored and planned an educational and fun-filled program designed to provide the students with first-hand knowledge of the biotechnology and life sciences industry.
WIB Chair of the RTP Chapter Christine Warrington shared her appreciation for Biogen Idec’s collaboration on the project, stating, “It is great to see such a strong leader in the community support our key objectives of encouraging girls to consider careers in the life sciences.”
Sabra Stipe, Dr. Ayoola Cole and Lisa Richman, who conducted tours of the facility later in the evening, opened the event with a warm welcome and introductions. The three women, all WIB members, supported the Biogen Idec team as the girls learned how science impacts our daily lives.
After the introductory remarks, the girls were divided into two groups. While one group toured Biogen Idec's manufacturing facility, the other rolled up their sleeves and conducted hands-on experiments to demonstrate concepts related to product purification. The groups then traded places, allowing the girls to participate in both activities.
Finally, Biogen Idec female scientists took small groups back to their individual work areas for a shadowing activity, during which the scientists explained their roles, shared how they became interested in science, demonstrated a variety of lab equipment, and answered challenging questions from the inquisitive young ladies.
Following the program, the girls and some of the parents enjoyed time discussing the events of the evening with the scientists and WIB members.
Additionally, click here to view a full summary of the past YWIB events at the Biogen Idec facilities at the WIB-RTP and WIB-Greater Boston chapters.