Being the Lever: SLAS Interviews Dr. Lauren Shields, Head of TSC at Benchling
The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening, or SLAS, hosted Benchling’s own Dr. Lauren Shields on their podcast New Matter. Dr. Shields, Benchling’s Head of Technical Solutions Consulting, sat down with guest host Colin Cox to discuss everything from the place of automation in biotech, to her career trajectory, to advice for early career professionals in life science. Listen in to hear Dr. Shields and Colin Cox share insights on the life sciences and the future of the field.
Dr. Shields loved science from a young age. With two parents in the sciences, her early exposure to the wonders of science led to a formidable academic career, studying neuroscience as well as various cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. From there, she pivoted to industry and joined Benchling when the Customer Success team was made up of just four people. Now, the team is 71 and counting, and Dr. Shields has been integral to their success in empowering customers to accelerate research with Benchling.
Over the course of Dr. Shields’s career, she has seen tremendous advancements in the technologies, therapeutics, and sheer capabilities of the life sciences. Whether it’s the breadth of possibilities in antibody therapeutics or the seemingly limitless opportunities with CRISPR, Dr. Shields acknowledges that automation and robotics are, quite literally, instrumental in these advancements.
Through her many endeavors in the life sciences, Dr. Shields has come to believe that perseverance, collaboration, empathy, and a little risk taking are the keys to success. To a young scientist, she gives the following advice: Stick with a project, especially when it’s not going according to plan, because this ultimately yields the results that drive the field forward. Find what motivates you and then find other people who have the same mission. And finally, once you know what you’re looking for, don’t be afraid to take a leap and pursue your interests.
From her days in the lab to her achievements with Benchling, Dr. Shields says she is proud to be part of a scientific field that is progressing so rapidly.