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December 30, 2020

Operations Leadership in the Scientific Sector: Martin Dougherty – COO of Wellcome Sanger Institute – Inspiring Leadership interview with Jonathan Bowman-Perks

Podcast Details

Top Tip

Never forget that People are at the heart of any operational process

Martin Dougherty, Chief Operating Officer Wellcome Sanger Institute Genome Campus.

Core theme of operation leadership in the scientific or research setting.

Martin Said: “My career spans four sectors: academic, commercial, charity and public. I had a successful academic research career in tropical medicine. I then formed a company with colleagues working in pharmaceutical medical communications. I capitalised on this experience to go on to lead a healthcare research group, at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, developing clinical and cost effectiveness guidelines for the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence. Next, I became Executive Director at the Royal Statistical Society, a learned and professional body supporting statisticians, developing statistical science and promoting the appropriate use and understanding of statistics. Latterly, I held the role of COO at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology during the completion of the new Institute laboratories on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, successfully lead, and completed the transition programme in to the new facility.

Top Tip: Never forget People are at the heart of any operational process.

Martins colleagues are involved in Globally leading work such as – COVID-19 research at the Sanger Institute.  We are committed to tracking, understanding and combatting COVID-19. Our staff sequence thousands of virus genomes and use the data to trace transmission, inform public health measures and monitor for new variants of the virus. We also work to understand how the virus interacts with our cells, and to develop new diagnostics.

Martin is accountable for leadership across a range of management and support functions underpinning the research programmes and Genome Campus operations. These include areas such as HR and organisational development, finance and H&S, through to capital projects, facilities management and research administration.

“My ambition is to deliver cost effective management operations to our research teams that match their world leading capabilities. An organisation like the Sanger Institute should be led by the needs of the science and the mantra in Management Operations is to provide simple and effective services that reduce the administrative burden on our researchers, so they can focus on what they do best!

As a senior manager at the Sanger Institute I like to ensure people realise I am approachable. A wise consultant once told me the higher you are in an organisation the less you know about how it actually runs. One way to guard against this is to have a truly “open door” policy!”

Martin’s Specialties: Strategic leadership and planning, organisational transformation, evidence based policy development, relationship management and communications, problem solving, team motivation and development, financial management and board performance.

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