Celebrating International Women’s Day – a blog from Joanne Hackett

As part of the BioIndustry Association’s celebration of International Women’s Day today, Genomics England’s chief commercial officer Professor Joanne Hackett will be joining Dr Jelena Aleksic, founder and chief executive of GeneAdviser, at a networking evening to explore the topic of genomics and data protection.

BIA’s Women in Biotech Networking Evenings were created for attendees to connect with women from across the sector, share success stories and hear from inspirational speakers. Each event explores a different theme, reflecting speakers’ personal career paths as successful innovators in life sciences. As an academic, entrepreneur, investor and yoga instructor, Joanne is delighted to be taking part. Here she explains why. Namaste genomes!

Joanne Hackett

“Genomic medicine has been a major part of my life, both professionally and personally. I have Coeliac Disease which was only diagnosed by sequencing. It may sound dramatic but genomic medicine has saved my life.

As chief commercial officer at Genomics England, I am revolutionising healthcare in the UK.  We have the world’s largest number of whole genomes with associated clinical data which is already transforming patient’s lives as well as the wider healthcare system. We’re already beginning to make a mainstream genomics medicine service a reality in the UK. This year, whole genome sequencing becomes part of routine clinical care. This is the first time this has happened anywhere in the world. I find this absolutely amazing.

Today I would like to celebrate two things – the success of International Women’s Day, and what’s  happening in the UK’s genomics industry; the huge potential and opportunity that’s there. Realising this potential fully demands more as this transformation can only take place with really solid and productive academic and industry partnerships.

My passion is creating collaborations and relentlessly pursuing better health for all – and this is what I do every day. It is now my duty to pay it forward. This is why I mentor and support individuals on the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Training Programme, NHS Innovation Accelerator, and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator. I think that the time for talking about genomic potential is past. It’s time to talk to business − and forge partnerships on an industrial scale.”

The networking event takes place this evening in London, hosted by Instinctif Partners.

Joanne has been actively involved in clinical research for over 20 years in North America, Europe and the UK. An accomplished entrepreneur, scientist and strategist, she has experience in the execution and management of complex business transactions, as well as broad business development experience in negotiation, execution and management of hundreds of transactions with pharma, biotech, academia and non-profit organisations.