How to use LinkedIn for Biotech Projects

December 11, 2009

Ed. note: Nearly 54 million professionals across different industries use LinkedIn to their competitive advantage. Starting this month, we'd like to focus on how professionals from different verticals are finding value on LinkedIn. Thanks to Don Low - Biotech Project Lead at Baxter Biosciences, for sharing LinkedIn tips for biotech professionals.

It's human nature to mark the passage of milestones, and people often place special significance on those that have round numbers attached to them. Two round milestones with global significance happened in 2009 - 150 years have passed since the publication of Charles Darwin's landmark Origin of Species, and 40 years have gone by since the Department of Defense launched ARPANET, the nucleus from which the modern Internet developed.

Darwin's work revolutionized our understanding of biology, and is now part of the scientific foundation supporting the modern-day biotechnology industry.  Similarly, the Internet has grown from a network connecting a modest 4 host computers to the worldwide web linking millions of hosts, forever changing the way we gather and handle information.  These seemingly disparate global phenomena are becoming increasingly intertwined as Internet technologies find ever more uses in the biotech workplace, speeding communication. We've come a long way from Darwin's elegant letters that he exchanged with fellow scientists in his field.

Today, social networking sites like LinkedIn are emerging as powerful tools to identify and connect with hidden resources that can give a project team leader a much-needed edge in an increasingly competitive world. The following slide deck is a presentation I gave to the NorCal Biopharma Project Managers group on how biotech professionals can find ways to maximize their usage of a social network like LinkedIn.

[slideshare id=2702356&doc=linkedintipsforthebiotechprofessional-091211192235-phpapp01]

These are stormy times for the industry - we face a severe economic downturn and downward price pressures due to increasing globalization and the prospect of large-scale health care reform.  Perhaps Darwin's ideas are relevant to our industry in another way - social networking sites are growing in power and rapidly changing to better suit the needs of our specialized projects.  Forward-looking biotech companies must in turn adapt and utilize the latest tools to stay ahead and escape - you guessed it, extinction.