Meet the Hello Bio team: James Flanaghan
In our new blog post series, we're introducing you to the entire Hello Bio team, so you can get to know us a bit better. We’re a team of scientists (and friends!) who care passionately about supporting life scientists.
Who are we putting under the microscope today? It's the turn of James Flanaghan, our Head of Product Development...
So James, did you always want to be a scientist when you were younger?
As a child I was very inquisitive, curious and always looking for answers (so probably very annoying!). With this in mind, I’ve always wanted to have a science-related career as science always involves exploring, investigating and trying to find answers.
What made you pursue a career in life science?
I chose to study science at school, however I wasn’t very good at maths, physics or chemistry! However, biology absolutely fascinated me so I went on to pursue this at Keele University. Once I’d finished my degree I began my career in life sciences as a product manager for a commercial life sciences company.
What did you study at university?
I initially studied biochemistry and biology at Keele University. During my time there, I worked in a lab in Germany for a year, studying immunity in carp - and also took the opportunity to learn the German language whilst I was out there. After my degree, I opted not to study for a PhD as I felt I didn’t want to specialize and focus on one particular area - I knew I wanted a career in life science but I enjoyed learning and understanding about a variety of topics. Coming out of university, my first role as a product manager was perfect for me - it allowed me to stay up-to-date with different and varied research areas.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their career in the sciences?
I’m a planner and an organizer, so I’d say; don’t be scared to spend a good amount of time thinking and planning what you’re about to do - it will save you much more time in the long run! Also - work hard at everything you do and don’t cut corners. If you’re meticulous in everything you do, this will reap dividends for the future.
Finally – don’t be afraid to take breaks and get out of the lab, go outside to clear your mind or do something creative.
What did you enjoy most about your time at university?
I know it sounds nerdy, but when I was at University I enjoyed having the time to study and immerse myself in a topic. I also loved the lectures and being surrounded by people that intellectually challenged me.
I am a keen competitive swimmer, so I spent most of my spare time socializing with the swimming team, and occasionally (not often) joining them for a 5am training session!
If you weren't a scientist what do you think you would be doing?
I really love cooking and adore any kind of South East Asian food – I’d love to work as a chef or to open my own noodle bar!
What is it about life science that gets you most excited?
I think the translation of basic research into clinical application is incredible and I’m most excited by the fundamental idea that life science helps us to understand how our body and mind function and how this helps us to understand and cure diseases and conditions.
Which scientists working today do you admire and why?
What is your favourite scientist joke?What does a brain do when it sees a friend across the street? It gives a brain wave.
What’s your favourite science quote?
“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world. “ Louis Pasteur
What do you think is the greatest scientific discovery of all time?
What do you enjoy most about working for Hello Bio?
Working at Hello Bio is great! It's fun and dynamic - I particularly enjoy our lunch breaks - a lot of the team are musical, and we have a daily jam in the coffee room, with me on guitar! I can also say that every day is fast paced and no two days are ever the same! I love reading and keeping up to date with what researchers are up to and how they’re using our products. It’s thrilling to know that our products are helping support researchers to undertake valuable and important research.