Episode 100: Felicia & Rachel Reflect and What Even Is Time?
Revisiting the DEI Acronym

Introducing our newest partner: Addgene!

Addgene is a nonprofit biotechnology company. Their mission is to accelerate research and discovery by improving access to useful research materials and information. They facilitate the sharing of high-quality scientific materials, research reproducibility, and open science by archiving and distributing plasmids and associated DNA-based research reagents to scientists in 100+ countries around the world. Addgene also offers free online educational resources and protocols about molecular biology such as common vector backbones, cloning, CRISPR, and AAV and lentivirus production.

What makes Addgene a special place to work? What do you look for in a colleague?
Addgene is unique because of our mission-driven focus. Every Addgenie, regardless of their background, is committed to making research materials available to scientists around the world. Everyone works hard towards this goal every day whether they’re in the lab preparing plasmids and virus, researching new ways to distribute these materials around the world, writing and sharing educational resources, and more. We look for Addgenies who are excited about our mission and are willing to contribute their unique ideas towards increasing scientific sharing. 

We understand that our colleagues, Addgenies, keep Addgene’s mission and the company moving forward. We therefore support an enthusiastic and fun work environment – whether we’re working in the office or remotely. Some of our fun events include book club, potluck lunches, volunteer projects, and trivia contests. During the past several months while much of our team has been working remotely, we’ve kept up these social connections through virtual events like weekly breakfast chats and monthly “social distancing hours.”

Are there DEI initiatives or other inclusive core values that your organization prioritizes that you’d like to highlight?
Addgene is committed to fostering an inclusive work environment where every Addgenie belongs and feels valued. We ensure this through our culture of supportive, radical flexibility; harassment awareness and unbiasing training for all employees; recruiting partnerships with local organizations such as Just a Start and Project Onramp; and as a founding sponsor of the Massachusetts LGBT Chamber of Commerce. More recently, we are developing new internal DEI programs that will actively involve Addgenies from across the company in the process of learning about and discussing these topics on a regular basis.

What does the future of Addgene look like?
In line with our mission, all of our teams are listening to the scientific community to learn what would help them speed their science. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we created a COVID-19 and Coronavirus Plasmid Collection so that scientists pivoting their research to this area could quickly and easily find useful plasmid tools. We have also been expanding our collection of plasmids that are available to industry scientists so that scientists in both academic/nonprofit and industry/for-profit labs can benefit from the accelerated pace of research that Addgene facilitates.

In the long-term, we’re developing new services to offer the scientific community that expands on our expertise as a plasmid repository. To learn about our newest services, including a community-driven, open data platform for scientists who use AAV viral preps, check out Addgene’s Beta projects