Natasha Brown joined the Joint Genome Institute (JGI) as a research associate in 2007, working on library creation and protocol research and development for the Roche 454 and Illumina sequencing platforms. Since 2013, she’s served as the Supply Chain Manager in JGI’s Project Management Office, balancing JGI’s production capabilities against the users’ needs and the science that they produce. As she put it, “If you have had any projects at the JGI, you have worked with me!”
Elements: What is your role at the JGI?
Natasha Brown: I am in touch with our entire 1,932-member primary user community to coordinate sample shipments and address special needs as they arise. Once a project is initiated, it is my job to get the samples for sequencing. My favorite part is that I get to interact with everyone in our user community. I really enjoy our Annual User Meetings to put faces to all the names I am in touch with throughout the year.
Elements: What’s one of the more challenging sample shipment submissions you’ve had to consider?
Natasha: One challenge as Supply Chain Manager is working with our international users to facilitate shipping from overseas and ensuring that all the customs documentation is in order. Each country has its own set of rules to follow. For example, I have had requests to ship RNA samples with no dry ice. Since the average international shipment takes at least three days, I have to let users know that wishful thinking is not sufficient to maintain sample stability.
Elements: What are you looking forward to about being colocated at the main campus?
Natasha: I am very passionate about community outreach. I am looking forward to joining forces with other Berkeley Lab staff members and IDEA in community outreach programs to identify potential and inspire thought in our underrepresented communities. By reaching out to young minds, I hope to impact the diversity of our future workforce, allowing new ideas to flourish and making science accessible to everyone.