Publications

- June 1, 2022: Vol. 34, Number 6

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Scientists building up scientists: Creating innovative lab and office spaces

by Suzet McKinney

As a microbiologist laboring in the lab, my goal was to unite passion, purpose and planning. If you care about such things, you know compromise is a word you scratch from your dictionary.

Thank goodness, then, for mentors who help us get to where we want to go. It’s hard for me to forget how a professor pointed me in the right direction with the following guidance: “You not only need to be concerned with your work,” he said, “but how your laboratory enables you to conduct it.”

In other words, a purpose-built environment is everything. In my current role, I try to make my old professor’s advice actionable. It means, for starters, balancing respect for the present with future needs. As with crafting a robust hypothesis, this depends on asking questions that matter, such as, will our scientists need more space in the future, or will their labs shrink? We make it a priority to consider flexibility and capability as foundational values because it guarantees scie

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