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02.12.2022 | Published by bit.bio

Employee Spotlight | Amanda Turner

Name | Amanda Turner
Role | Senior Product Manager
Joined | 2022
Academic background | Biochemistry MA, University of Oxford

What was your career path so far and what is your background? 

After my degree in Biochemistry I decided to put my scientific knowledge to use in the commercial life science sector. My first positions were in scientific technical support and field sales for a global life science research products company. From there I advanced into roles in business development and marketing, and for the 10 years prior to joining bit.bio I worked as a product manager with a focus on antibody products and custom services for the biopharmaceutical and contract research services industry. I enjoy developing innovative, impactful products that help scientists achieve success.

Your team is responsible for the development and delivery of ioCells research products. Tell us more about what you do and what’s it like to work at bit.bio in your team?

A product manager is responsible for planning and execution of the product life cycle. We need to have a clear vision and strategy to create products that serve the needs of the market and our business. We are responsible for determining product design specifications and performance criteria. We set the goals, define success, motivate the many teams involved in development and commercialisation of the products, and are responsible for the outcome.

The starting point is to identify the customer needs and the larger business objectives that a product will fulfill. We carry out market and competitor research to understand why customers buy products, prioritise product features, and make decisions about which customers and markets to focus on.

At bit.bio the product manager is also the product owner. This means working with both external and internal stakeholders, defining and executing the product vision, determining what success looks like for the product, and also outlining the plan to achieve that success. We are involved at a strategic level in product concept development and also involved in the day-to-day activities as the product evolves. To gather market information and obtain testers for our products in development, we build relationships with external stakeholders, such as our partners Charles River Laboratories, and academic and industry key opinion leaders.

My product responsibility is ioGlutamatergic Neurons and ioSkeletal Myocytes wild type and ioDisease Model Cells. I collaborate internally with project management, cell type development and phenotyping, manufacturing, quality, sales and marketing teams, and externally with collaborators and partners for product testing and feedback.

I enjoy working in the dynamic and fast-paced environment of the products team. My colleagues throughout the company are collaborative, supportive, enthusiastic and fun to work with.

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Amanda and the wider commercial team. 

What would you consider good skills and qualifications for your job? And how do you use them on a day-to-day basis?

To be a successful product manager requires a unique set of skills: scientific and business expertise, combined with product strategy and vision. As a product manager you need to be forward-thinking. You need strong communication and time management skills, and be capable of leading and influencing the cross-departmental teams you work with, without authority. Other essential skills include assembling, interpreting and acting on scientific, market and customer information, solving problems and working to deadlines. No two days are the same as a product manager. I find myself using many of these skills on a daily basis at bit.bio. In my opinion, the two most important things for success are results and relationships.

What achievement are you most proud of and what are your future goals?

The highlight of my first six months at bit.bio has been steering the launch of three new ioDisease Model Cells products for studying the neurodegenerative diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Launching these products has been a great team achievement. My next challenge is to launch the next set of new products in early 2023, for scientists doing research and early drug discovery into Parkinson’s, Gaucher’s disease and Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

What do you do in your spare time?

Dog-walk-Amanda

Amanda walking her dog!

I enjoy spending time with my husband (open air swimming and cooking), my two daughters (supporting drama, music and sporting activities) and our Catalan sheepdog (walking, training and brushing - she’s very hairy!). In my ‘me’ time, I enjoy calming pilates, energising Zumba, muddy trail running, and relaxing at home and with friends.

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