University of New Mexico, Center for Global Health, Division of Translational Informatics, Department of Internal Medicine
ASHG: What are the biggest challenges you encountered when acclimating to the pace and demands of industry? What skills do you wish you had worked on in advance?
Dr. Lambert: I founded and ran a company for almost 15 years. The skillset and value set for running a company are very different than being successful in graduate school. There are a whole different set of mental models required for running a business that I learned through self-education and trial and error. I wish that had learned systems thinking and change management skills earlier.
ASHG: What do you think the future holds for the field of genetics?
Dr. Lambert: In perhaps a generation, the field of genetics will advance to a place where we will be able to perform real-time measurement of changing biomarkers in the human body, including genes expressed and the microbiome, and have early warning signals for disease detection, prevention and intervention. Advances in instrumentation and automation of modeling to manage complexity will become increasingly important.
ASHG: What piece of advice would you give for those who want to return to academia after working for some time in industry?
Dr. Lambert: Keep active in publishing within industry if you ever think you will return to academia. Be prepared to struggle with everyone else to win grant funding.