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Dr. Arno Kromminga
Posted by Dr. Arno Kromminga BioAgilytix Insight, CRO Selection

BioAgilytix Team Q&A: Meet Yang Liu, Associate Director at BioAgilytix Europe

BioAgilytix Team Q&A: Meet Yang Liu, Associate Director at BioAgilytix Europe

On any team, fresh perspective or a new set of ideas can jumpstart positive change. As BioAgilytix continues to grow, we’ve prioritized finding talent with the depth and breadth of scientific expertise necessary to creatively address bioanalytical challenges and help our customers effectively navigate evolving drug development complexities.

To better understand how we are building out our “deep bench”, this week we are interviewing a new member of the BioAgilytix’s European team: Yang Liu, Associate Director at BioAgilytix Europe and a recent hire to our company. He talks with us about his background experience, his first month on the job, and how he sees his role evolving over time.

Tell us about your background and what brought you to BioAgilytix’s European headquarters.
I have moved around a lot in my career. While I am originally from China, I earned my Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Lund University in Sweden and completed my postdoc work at the University of Ulm in Germany. I then spent several years at two different CROs in Singapore, as an In Vitro Scientist for Maccine and then as an Associate Manager at Quintiles’ Assay Development Laboratory. About four years ago, I ended up back in Germany where I worked as Head of Operations for the Diagnostics Development Laboratory at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine, Hamburg. I have always liked doing pharmaceutical work, though, so I became interested in moving to a company where I could focus on that. I knew BioAgilytix’s European headquarters had a positive reputation thanks in large part to their European CSO, Dr. Arno Kromminga, who is an influential name in our field, and was excited for the opportunity to interview for the Associate Director position. Because of my past experience with CROs, moving to BioAgilytix’s location in Hamburg made a lot of sense for me and my career.

Tell us about your current role.
I started with BioAgilytix in August 2018, about six weeks ago. As an Associate Director, my role is multi-dimensional. I am involved in reviewing our operational support and identifying areas for improvement in our processes as well as in the actual pharmaceutical studies themselves. This part of my role requires me to act as a Principal Investigator (PI), managing and leading a scientific team on the frontline of drug development. The multiple facets of my role give me the opportunity to learn and improve and I believe it will continue to evolve in interesting ways as I am with the company longer.

What types of scientific projects will you work on in this role?
I have an extensive background working with biomarkers. As such, part of my role is working to build a European team that will specialize in biomarker testing. While BioAgilytix’s location in Hamburg has extensive expertise in immunogenicity and PK work, biomarkers have historically not been as much of a focus here as they have been for BioAgilytix in the USA. I am excited to bring my expertise to the European market while building a team that will be capable of carrying out complex, innovative biomarker projects.

How does your team manage communication and collaboration?
Throughout my career, I have realized that communication is a vital component in the success of any team and project. Willingness to communicate and collaborate is critical, especially in the types of scientific projects we handle, and I make these key considerations as I work to select and build out my team.

Concurrently, I am working with one of our Directors to support his team through the optimization of various business processes, including communication efficiencies. I am actually in the process of obtaining my MBA, and this drive to formalize our processes stems from work I am doing in those courses. We have learned about business process model and notation and process optimization, and I saw an application for BioAgilytix’s European headquarters. I am working to determine the best methods of communication that currently exist in the company, based on interviews with my colleagues, and combining them into a detailed diagram describing the way communication should be handled here across the board. Hopefully what I have brought to the company will prove valuable as our team grows.

What do you think differentiates BioAgilytix from other CROs?
I worked at two CROs in my career before coming to BioAgilytix’s Hamburg location, so I have a decent point of comparison for this question. The biggest differentiator is that BioAgilytix is very science focused. There is a real sense throughout the company that the science is the most valued element of everything we do. This mindset is evidenced in the discussions we take part in with our clients. They are genuinely scientific and do not focus on administrative issues as I was accustomed to in past roles. This way of working with clients is challenging. I always need to be prepared and ready to discuss even the most complex challenges as they apply to a given project. But, I enjoy it because it pushes me to learn more and to build my own knowledge base.

What is your favorite thing about working at BioAgilytix’s European headquarters?
I really enjoy my colleagues at BioAgilytix’s Hamburg location; I feel like I can talk easily with everyone I work with. Even working with the US team is easy as everyone is supportive and invested in collaboration. In addition to the culture of the company, the flexibility my role provides is excellent. I have the opportunity to work on projects that I think are important because my managers are incredibly supportive of my ideas and are open to new ways of thinking about challenges.

Interested in hearing from other BioAgilytix team members? You can find other Q&A sessions from our employees here.

Interested in joining the BioAgilytix team? Visit our careers site to learn more about what it’s like to work at BioAgilytix and to view our current career opportunities.

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