April 5, 2016
I’m delighted to be this month’s blogger for the BC Cancer Foundation. Over the next month, I hope to share with a bit about myself and my enthusiasm and commitment to the incredible research work being done at the BC Cancer Agency.
Currently, I’m the Director of Management and Administration at the BC Cancer Agency Genome Sciences Centre, where I’ve been a project manager since 2003.
I’m originally from Winnipeg, but I’ve lived in Vancouver for more than half my life, arriving in 1990 shortly after finishing my BSc at the University of Manitoba. Most of my immediate family eventually followed, and I’m fortunate to have them now living close-by in Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria.
I worked for a few years as a lab technician, but in 1992 I had the opportunity to take on a new role as a project manager. A career was born. Being a project manager in a scientific environment gives me the opportunity to be a part of the science and research that I love and add much more value than I ever could have as a technician (I wasn’t really very good at lab work).
By applying my skills and expertise in management, organization, and communication, I help make research happen by bringing people and groups together to exchange information, working through organizational barriers, and contribute to the responsible conduct of research by applying sound management to the projects and finances.
The best compliment I’ve ever had as a project manager in research was when a scientist referred to me (and the rest of the project management team) as “research enablers”. That description told me that I was doing things right – making it possible for these great researchers to do even more and even greater research by taking care of the management and letting them do the science.
In upcoming posts, I’ll share more about how I came to be in my current role and what I do, describe the principles of project management and how those contributed to the incredible research work and outcomes I’ve been privileged to be a part of, and share my own thoughts about the future of my profession and how it can contribute to enabling cancer research.