In 2005, as a patient advocate, I founded a conference to support burgeoning field of stem cells and regenerative medicine, with the hope it might change the world a bit for the better, uniting a diverse community of stakeholders and accelerating scientific research for cures. Was the task worth it? What impact has creating a new conference, out of thin air, made on a life? This week, I received an incredibly uplifting message from Dr. Soulmaz Boroumand from Mayo Clinic. Soulmaz maintains the Summit was a life-changing event and she presents a blueprint for networking success. I can’t think of a better way to close out 2018 than to share her message with you. My best wishes to all for a safe, healthy and happy New Year!
How the World Stem Cell Summit Impacted My Life
by Soulmaz Boroumand, PhD
From my childhood to an intensive but incredibly gratifying networking program in Ustinov College at Durham University, I’ve always been outgoing and sociable at heart. So when it came time to look for a job, there was no doubt in my mind that networking would play a key role in my career and job-hunting process.
I completed a MSc in Industrial and Commercial Biotechnology and PhD in Regenerative Medicine in England, where I worked with human embryonic stem cells within a GMP manufacturing environment. Yet, for my first full-time position, I wanted to return to my stem cell research and industry roots, so I started looking for the most authoritative international conferences in this filed and thankfully I attended the 2013 World Stem Cell Summit in San Diego, the most life-changing event in my life!
WSCS helped me move the needle on my career and transform my work life to a dream job faster than I could ever imagine. I had the opportunity to meet with experts from different academic and industrial institutions, along with journalists with years of experience covering workforce and other students from all around the world. I remember when I attended the Summit, I started with the end in mind. I knew what I wanted to get out of the event before I walked into the room. I set a goal for how many people from different institutes I will meet, how many appointments I will set, how many business cards I will collect, and who I will relink with after the conference.
That ideal networking event at WSCS 2013 launched me on my career path and I accepted a Research Fellowship position at Mayo Clinic where I continued my research work on Wound Healing and Regenerative Medicine. During my fellowship I worked in a cGMP lab at Mayo and developed a clinical grade, off-the-shelf regenerative medicine product to heal and repair damaged tissue. This regenerative product has the advantage of being applied directly to the patient without the need to grow the patient’s own cells over time.
I currently work with GMP manufacturing operations, quality, and regulatory staff in order to translate research process into cGMP environment. I am the primary scientist responsible for developing technical processing steps for internal and external clients with manufacturing needs. I will be interpreting research-based processes, defining project outcomes, and developing cGMP compliant manufacturing procedures.
I would encourage postgrads and postdocs, to attend the wonderful WSCS networking events and break away from the comfort zone of the people you know, grow your network, meet new people, and get closer to your dream job!
To register for the World Stem Cell Summit, click here.