As a child Kara Held (Baker Ruskinn, Science Director) wanted to ‘save the world’ and a career in medicine beckoned. However, in college, scientific research fascinated her. This set her on a rewarding course to where she is today, Science Director for The Baker Company.
“My PhD dissertation at the University of Vermont focused on the spatio-temporal regulation of cyclic GMP in vascular smooth muscle cells. In the lab of Dr. Wolfgang Dostmann, I learned to love scientific research; understanding whether my initial predictions were right or wrong, identifying how the cells changed and their impact on the experiment. Nothing can compare to that feeling of discovery” she says. Deciding to stay in Cardiovascular research, Held completed her post-doctoral training at Yale’s Vascular Biology and Therapeutics Department, specializing in microRNA control of vascular reactivity. From Yale, she moved on to Harvard as a Researcher and Lab Manager, specializing in degenerative diseases modelled from iPS cells in the Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Department of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.
Working at world-renowned institutions, Kara saw the opportunity to influence the tools with which researchers work. This drew her to The Baker Company with the objective to make these tools the best they can be ensuring the work of researchers is as accurate as possible.
Now, at Baker, Kara helps the company continue to pioneer the industry it serves and also champion science. Her job is challenging and multi-faceted, from advising internal product development, to leading external seminars with academic collaborators. She determines the yearly research plan for the company and also works closely with key Baker and Baker Ruskinn customers.
“I’ve been at Baker since 2015. The work and challenges are very different then what I previously experienced. In academia it was hands-on research, now I look at the bigger picture. Instead of asking myself what’s happening in my cells and research; I’m exploring how I can pool all of my knowledge and experience to help make other people’s research better. How can I make science safer, easier and help enhance the integrity of other’s work? What solutions can we evolve to aid other scientists in their own work? My research at Baker influences the products we develop and manufacture and is designed to give our customers crucial information about how to utilize our products and optimize their research”.
“When I first came to Baker a big challenge was learning the history of the company and the sheer detail behind all of the products. And since Baker invented the first biosafety cabinet, it’s a long, important history. I’m still amazed at how we can modify standard biosafety cabinets to fulfil specific customer requirements. We are one of the only companies who provide this level of customization. Too often, as researchers, we accept the limitations of our tools, the equipment we rely on to perform critical research. Baker has done extensive customization to their Biosafety cabinets, to accommodate the needs of its customers; adapting to their work versus the other way around. From the addition of sinks to pass-throughs or tunnels from one cabinet to another, we can and will design products to complement the customer’s work. Not only do we make these modifications, but we ensure that they will perform and operate just as safely.”
With Kara Held on board and research central to all product development, Baker is addressing the needs of today in order to pioneer scientific research for tomorrow.
If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with Kara, please email firstname.lastname@example.org