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GEN’s editorial staff interviews life science academic and biotech industry leaders on important research, technology, and trends. These podcasts will keep you informed with all the important details you need.

While much is written about the difficulties people may encounter when they move from one corporate business culture to another, there are probably even greater obstacles facing individuals wishing to leave the academic research laboratory for a job in the bioindustry. More than involving distinct cultures, this type of career change can be viewed as a journey between different worlds.

This week's podcast interviewee has been very successful in both worlds. Gail Naughton, Ph.D., talks about the main obstacles facing scientists when they make the transition from academia to the bioindustry. She discusses the specfic hurdles she had to overcome to commercialize her laboratory-discovered tissue engineered products, TransCyte and Dermagraft. Dr. Naughton dissucces how scientists can learn to become effective marketeers for their companies and about how important is it for scientists to have an industry mentor to help them find their way in a non-ivory tower career in business. She also addresses the issue of why there are so few women running biotech and pharmaceutical companies and makes some suggestions on what can be done to move more women into upper echelon management levels. Dr. Naughton points out that "traditional sciences does not train its students in the practicalities of business and management" and offers advice on how academic researchers can get a better handle on these practicalities.

Be sure to listen to this important and provocative podcast the return to the blog and give your thoughts on the following question:

What do you see as major obstacles to scientists who are trying to move from the research laboratory to the business world as an employee at a biotech or pharmaceutical company?
Gail K. Naughton, Ph.D., has been the Dean of the College of Business Administration at San Diego State University since August 2002. Prior to that, she spent more than 15 years at Advanced Tissue Sciences, where she was the company’s co-founder and co-inventor of its core technology. During her tenure there, Dr. Naughton held a variety of key management positions, including president, chief operating officer, chief scientific officer and principal scientist. While serving as an officer and director of the Company, Dr. Naughton oversaw the design and development of the world’s first up-scaled manufacturing facility for tissue engineered products, established corporate development and marketing partnerships with companies including Smith & Nephew, Ltd., Medtronic and Inamed Corporation, was pivotal in raising over $350M from the public market and corporate partnerships, and brought four products from concept through FDA approval and market launch. Dr. Naughton holds over 90 U.S. and foreign patents and has been extensively published in the field of tissue engineering. In 2000, Dr. Naughton received the 27th Annual National Inventor of the Year award by the Intellectual Property Owners Association in honor of her pioneering work in the field of tissue engineering.

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