To provide a range of innovative tools for accelerating drug development, InnoSer brings people from both scientific and business backgrounds together. With our interview series ‘A day in the life of’, let’s take a glimpse into what it is like to be part of this small but versatile and dynamic team!
MSc Biomedical Sciences
Zoom meetings, Presentations
With InnoSer since
For Tim, being a product manager is all about communication. He usually keeps himself busy with reaching out to the customers, picking up inquiries, answering questions on project details, and arranging meetings. He is the bridge between InnoSer’s team in the lab and the customers. He often travels to InnoSer’s facilities in Belgium, or visits InnoSer’s consortium partners such as the TU Eindhoven as well, keeping a close collaboration with everyone.
A regular day for Tim starts with arriving at the office around 8:30. “Usually, I am alone at first. Depending on the ongoing projects, each week can be different, so I get a chance to go over whatever I scheduled for that day. Around 9:30, my colleagues working in the lab have a break, and we enjoy a nice coffee together. Then I am back in front of my computer, probably preparing a presentation or responding to customer inquiries.”
Part of Tim’s job is to keep communication channels open between InnoSer and its partners such as MAT BioTech. “Together, we offer pyrogen testing services that use monocyte activation tests (MAT). The MAT is a new method for assessing fever inducing contaminations (pyrogens) during drug production. Before, pyrogen testing made use of rabbits and horseshoe-crabs. Now, MAT technology enables us to use human immune cells instead. We’re not only replacing the use of animals, but, we’re making drugs safer for humans with more accurate and specific tests.” It is greatly motivating for Tim to be part of the change towards more ethical and accurate alternatives for animal testing.
The most challenging part of Tim’s job is adapting to different communication styles that international colleagues, collaborators or customers have. “I always try to be careful that my Dutch directness doesn’t come off as rude. I try to be empathetic, try to understand the core need of a customer or collaborator, and together with them come up with the best solutions.” Being in direct contact with a variety of stakeholders, including senior executives, gives Tim the opportunity to develop himself. InnoSer still being a relatively small company makes most interactions informal and everyone easily approachable.
Tim loves the flexibility of his work. Since he lives close to InnoSer’s Leiden offices, he often grabs his lunch at home or even continues his afternoon work from there. “In other companies I might not have had the flexibility and encouragement to manage my own responsibilities, so I really appreciate it.”
Even before COVID-19, most of Tim’s meetings (such as those with colleagues in Belgium) took place via Zoom, so he thinks, fortunately, not much has changed for him. “Main difference is that I now work from home more than before. Though this allows me to drink my specialty coffee at any time. I’m like a home barista, and a proper nerd about it too; I like to do latte art and everything. So that’s one thing that I will miss, but surely I’m happy to start going to the office more often for more personal interactions.”
Tim studied Biomedical Sciences (BSc and MSc) with management specialization in Leiden University. He previously worked on castration resistant prostate cancer, using organoid-like models, as well as on a novel application of MRI (MRS) to assess metabolite diffusion in the brain, both at the Leiden University Medical Centre. He has also gained commercial experience as a strategy analyst at the global technology and consulting firm Accenture. Now, by combining his knowledge in business strategy and science, he helps InnoSer’s customers and projects.