Women in Biotech Mentoring Programme: Dr Carolina Grandellis

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In this interview, Dr Carolina Grandellis, Lead of the Earlham Institute Biofoundry, reflects on her experience as a mentee in the BIA's Women in Biotech Mentoring Programme. She delves into her career, the impact of this experience, and the value of mentoring as a whole.

Tell us more about yourself and your career

Carolina: I am molecular biologist with a passion for plant sciences, focusing primarily on plant-pathogen interactions. I completed a PhD in plant sciences and worked in biotech companies, specializing in plant tissue culture. In this role, I aimed to enhance drought resistance and other traits in a variety of crops. I then joined the Norwich Research Park initially to work in plant-pathogen interactions in an exciting long collaboration with industry, identifying novel sources of resistances genes to deploy in corn to fight fungal pathogens. More recently, I got enthusiastic about engineering biology and the power of automation in biosciences.  I am the Lead of the Earlham Institute Biofoundry and I consider myself a translational researcher who enjoys applying scientific discoveries to real-world challenges.

What was your motivation behind joining the Women in Biotech Mentoring Programme as a mentee?  

Carolina: I believe that mentoring plays a crucial role in developing new skills and advancing careers. It has the potential to boost confidence, particularly in light of the underrepresentation of women in management roles. Mentoring not only provides networking opportunities but also assists in establishing a healthy work-life balance, it creates a community and fosters a supportive network. 

What do you consider the main benefits have been to you personally? 

Carolina: Personally, I have learned valuable resources on how to be more effective and assertive at work situations and contribute to a better working environment. 

What impact did it have on your career?

Carolina: I believe participating in a mentoring program helped enhance my effectiveness and my confidence. 

Would you recommend the Women in Biotech Mentoring Programme to others and why?

Carolina: Of course, I would encourage women to apply for this amazing program. I have established a meaningful connection with my mentor and had the opportunity to learn a lot. Exploring different perspectives and experiences is a continual learning process, ultimately helping you achieve your full potential.


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