When I was 8, I conducted my first proper, controlled biology experiment. By the advanced age of 13, I had decided to become a geneticist so I could feed the world.
I majored in biochemistry at Brown University, worked for the CGIAR in Italy and in the Ivory Coast (supported by a Fulbright fellowship) and then completed a PhD in molecular biology at Harvard Medical School. In the course of these experiences, I worked with inspiring scientists from all over the world, all equally motivated to solve big problems that would significantly help their local communities and the global community. While some of them had everything they needed at their fingertips, others had to mete out reagents for individual experiments and reuse disposable test tubes. One of the key factors was where in the world they were from.
I was driven to change that.
In 2003 I founded a grassroots organization that later became the social enterprise Seeding Labs. The organization’s mission is to empower scientists everywhere to transform the world. Seeding Labs does this by leveraging the resources of the science community in the US to power research and education, drive collaboration across borders, and unlock discoveries from people closest to the problems they aimed to solve.
As Founder and CEO, I led Seeding Labs to collaborate with more than 140 public and private sector partners, grow by over 11,000%, and provide scientific equipment and training opportunities worth at least $30M to scientists in 34 countries. As a result, undergraduate students have access to the hands-on education they need for future careers, and researchers have the tools to generate data, publications, collaborations, new funding and new patents. Most of all, they are empowered to move their discoveries forward on topics ranging from antibiotic resistance to cancer to alternative energy.
In early 2019, I transferred the leadership of Seeding Labs to a new CEO. I am looking forward to new opportunities to learn about organizational growth and impact at scale, and further explore the intersections of building social movements and driving global business.