Case Study - Roslin Cellab

John Gardner is Senior Project Manager with Roslin Cellab Ltd, which located to Roslin BioCentre in 2009.

"Roslin Cellab is focusing on the 3D culture of human embryonic stem cells and the differentiation of these cells into hepatocyte like cells, which will result in a culture system with an improved functionality, when compared to standard 2D systems. Ultimately we hope to be able to develop a product for the market and are applying for a number of grants to enable us to develop this area."

What has been your career path?

In terms of qualifications, I gained an MPhil in Immunology with a thesis on ‘Secretion of Antibody by Human B Cell Lines' at the Medical School, University of Edinburgh. I also have a Fellowship in Immunology, Institute of Medical Laboratory Sciences, University of Bristol and BSc (Honours) Genetics, University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

I specialise in Project Management in Stem Cell Science and Immunology. Prior to becoming Senior Project Manager at Roslin Cellab, I was Production Manager at the sister-company Roslin Cells. Before this I was Higher Scientific Officer at The Roslin Institute and a Research Associate/Post Graduate Student in the Department of Surgery, University of Edinburgh, Medical School.

What is the main purpose of your organisation and your role there?

Formed in 2008, Roslin Cellab is a commercial company wholly owned by the Roslin Foundation. Our mission is to assist clients in developing products and services for the stem cell sector by giving them access to both stem cells and stem cell know how.

We work with clients from academia and the life science industry carrying out contract research and co-development work. Being an SME, we are also able to collaborate in European R&D consortia whose funding may come either through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), European Framework Program or Eurostars program.

Roslin Cellab has a total of 8 associated staff (3 directors, 2 management, 1 financial and 2 scientists) with 4 of these directly based and fully employed at the company site.

The primary function of my role is to manage the operation of all client projects and the staff assigned to each project. This involves detailed project planning, costing, to the client's requirements, monitoring of project progress and final report writing. The scope of the work undertaken is wide ranging, due to the variation in client demands for their specific programmes of contract research.

The position also has responsibility for managing the Roslin Cellab facilities and staff, to provide the day to day management of working practices in Roslin Cellab within the laboratories. The role involves the management, development and motivation of the operational staff within Roslin Cellab to ensure that client projects are completed to their specific requests in a professional manner. Additionally, the approval of the procedures relating to projects and ensuring their strict implementation, that the relevant documentation is completed correctly and to closely monitor and control the progress of client projects is also a requirement of the position.

It is also necessary that the required initial training and continued training of the department personnel is carried out and adapted according to need along with the authorisation of written procedures such that the standards of housekeeping within the Roslin Cellab facility are maintained to an appropriate high standard.

What are your career highlights/successes?

Career highlights would be promotion to management roles, publications and qualifications. As yet no industry recognition for the company however I have gained a number of repeat business clients, from the USA to Europe, which highlights that we are providing the clients with a standard and quality of service they trust, and this has also been noted on their websites, in addition to number of complimentary testimonials.

What are you focused on at the moment and what does the future hold?

Roslin Cellab is focusing on the 3D culture of human embryonic stem cells and the differentiation of these cells into hepatocyte like cells, which will result in a culture system with an improved functionality, when compared to standard 2D systems. We are also examining a number of applications where we hope to establish a variety of systems which can be used to analyse, in 3D, such areas as drug toxicity, hepatocyte function, cell tracking, alternative culture methods and the transfection of hESC, with our collaborators and clients.

Ultimately we hope to be able to develop a product for the market which will generate substantial income for the company. We are also applying for a number of grants to enable us to develop this area.

Why did you choose to locate to Roslin BioCentre?

Location, cost and facilities were ideal for company size and needs.

What support/assistance do you find of most benefit at Roslin BioCentre

All of it, from the facilities which ensure our staff are comfortable at work to the services provided by Roslin BioCentre with respect to offices and laboratories. The staff of the science park are extremely helpful and communication to tenants is excellent.

Contact

John Gardner
Senior Project Manager
Roslin Cellab Ltd

Email: john.gardner@roslincellab.com
Telephone: 0131-200-6407
Website: www.roslincellab.com