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!
Cell culture, animal models, imaging
With InnoSer since
Kim Frederix is the study director for the immuno-oncology department here at InnoSer. Her main focus is the coordination and management of our immuno-oncology offerings and lab teams. In the last 2 years Kim’s diverse experience enabled the oncology department to take better shape and expand into a broad selection of in vitro services. Following the full establishment of our oncology department, Kim’s role also began to focus on innovative technologies and is currently involved in partnering and developing state-of-the-art platforms with international consortia.
Kim starts her day usually with an early wake up call from her youngest who is just 8 months. “After dropping the kids off to school and daycare, I head to the office to debrief with our senior research associate Sarah and make a to-do list for the day.” Kim says that each day is usually a little different in terms of tasks. “We have two main focuses in the oncology department: Firstly, we coordinate compound testing of our clients in different platforms, which can range from cell lines all the way to animal models. Secondly, together with our international consortia partners, we aim to develop new innovative platforms that in the end can improve the whole drug development process.” So, in a typical day Kim could either be coordinating the experiments in the in vitro labs or animal facilities, or having meetings with collaborators to discuss the progress in consortia studies.
Kim at the Diepenbeek labs.
For Kim, it is especially exciting to work with innovative platforms. Innovation is at the heart of our international consortia, and working with PDX/O’s and in partnership with companies like Neurix, InnoSer is staying at the forefront of these developing technologies. “We are slowly growing our biobank and validating a large number of models. Alongside that, we work with a full range of tumors that vary from liquid tumors to glioblastoma organoids. So I am usually very busy with keeping in contact with our physicians and surgeons who are responsible for collecting the samples, sourcing new potential tumours, ethical approval, consent forms, additional materials and the transport of these samples.”
As the oncology study director Kim would then go on to have meetings with any potential clients, consult on optimal study designs and answer a range of questions that any of our business developers may have regarding our compound testing services. Between all this Kim is signing off on proposed timelines and quotes for new studies.
Kim also explains that each study is different when it comes to design and this depends on what is needed from the client right down to the reporting and outcomes. Close communication between the labs and Kim allow for up to date and regular progress reports which she passes on to our clients. “We now have the ability to send out updated tumour growth curves which enable the client to follow up on their study “live”.
Kim has been wanting to expand our imaging capabilities as a part of our in-house services and development of the oncology department. Our newest addition, BLI machine, provides precise results using bioluminescence for accurate tracking of growth and metastasis of tumours. This was a great way to meet a need Kim was hearing from her conversations with clients. “Since acquiring the BLI machine I’ve been in the lab with Sarah learning the in’s and out’s so I can make an accurate analysis of the results and offer realistic timelines for studies.”
After a busy day and lots of Zoom calls, Kim usually hits her “loose-ends” to-do list, which helps to make sure that the day is finished off on a productive note before she heads out of the office to pick up her son from daycare and head home to her family.
“Coming on board with InnoSer and being part of a company that has a “can-do” mindset is a fantastic opportunity to always be learning and inspired by my colleagues”, says Kim. “The importance while we grow and expand is to ensure that this attitude remains a key fixture of the culture we have built here ”.
Kim studied Biotechnology at the University of Ghent and went on to complete her PhD in Biochemistry in Maastricht. She has previously worked in a range of different study fields with her passion for immuno-oncology bringing her into her current role at InnoSer . Kim has been working in project management roles for the last 10 years, where she has been involved in strategic planning, experiment design as well as colony management and protocol development. Kims broad scientific background has brought a lot to the InnoSer team and she is able to lend her helping hand in multiple different departments while overseeing the smooth running and expansion of our oncology department as the oncology study director.
Learn more about InnoSer’s oncology services.