Meet Laura: Our Superstar Scientist

  • Published:
    Dec 15, 2022
  • Category:
    Apprentice All-Stars
“Apprentice’s product suite inspires me because it gives control to the people who need it for recipe authoring. As a result, the entire drug production lifecycle accelerates.”

Get to Know Laura

What motivates you? Besides chocolate? Let’s see… My main motivator would have to be innovation. I enjoy a good challenge, and I’m always on the lookout for novel experiences.

Marching for science in Washington, D.C. and waving with a mermaid in Sitges, Spain.

What’s your work superpower? As a scientist, I’m wired to see patterns. Patterns reveal what’s in play beneath the surface — all the layers behind what’s merely said out loud.

This allows me to connect with people on a deeper level, which is immensely useful when it comes to both understanding and resolving customer processing needs.

Laura in her natural elements — in the lab at ImClone Systems and riverside in her hometown of New Jersey.

What’s your non-work superpower? Saying yes! I think it’s so important to say yes to new experiences.

I’m always up for a new challenge and I enjoy living outside of my comfort zone. From taking hikes to listening to new music and going on unplanned adventures, I like to make things happen.

“I’ve done so many amazing things in my life because I say yes to new experiences!” 

How do you spend your free time? This is a hard question to answer, because I enjoy doing so many activities! To start, I’m a huge skier, a certified scuba diver, and I live next to New York City, which I take advantage of frequently. I also enjoy spending time in Hoboken and frequently go on river walks, ride my bike, and attend various concerts.

Exploring Puerto Aventuras Cenote Chac-Mool by scuba and spotting tamarin monkeys in Panama.

What’s your take on how to achieve work/life balance? Learning how to say no when it comes to certain out-of-scope tasks.

It took me a long time to master this, because I like to challenge myself. But learning how — and when — to say no has really helped me achieve a better work-life balance. It prevents me from taking on too much at once, which lowers my stress and lets me direct my energy toward my top-priority goals.

“Learning how — and when — to say no has really helped me achieve a better work-life balance. It prevents me from taking on too much at once, which lowers my stress and lets me direct my energy toward my top-priority goals.”

Where do you like to travel? Every year I go on a ski trip. Skiing has taken me all over the world — from the US and Canadian Rockies, to Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, and Japan. Europe is one of my favorite places to travel; I even lived in England for a year!

Laura’s ski trips in the Italian Alps and Colorado.

When it comes to good eats, the food in Ireland is the best. But France is probably my favorite place. From the beaches to the cities, it’s paradise.

My mother is French-Canadian, and when I turned 50 last year I took a trip to Bordeaux and toured the vineyards. The city is amazing — it’s near the sea and everything is walkable. 

Travels in France: from the beaches of Bordeaux in Lège-Cap-Ferret to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

Beaches to Jungles: Snapshots from Laura’s Travels

Laura’s passion for travel gives her a backdrop to explore another major hobby of hers: photography. Read on to see some top highlights from her travels.

From her hometown in New Jersey to the shores of Bordeaux, Laura makes a point to visit the world’s most beautiful beaches:

Laura’s favorite NJ beach, and Bordeaux’s Dune of Pilat.

But beaches are just the start. Laura’s travels take her all over the world, from the rivers of Melbourne to the rainforests of Australia:

Chasing beauty around the world: kayaking Melbourne and hiking the Australian rainforest.

Laura’s travels have taken her all the way to Japan, where she’s visited temples and natural hot springs:

Visiting temples and spotting monkeys at an onsen in Japan.

And from summertime surfing to skiing in the winter, she’s got all four seasons covered:

Making waves in Hawaii and shredding slopes in Colorado

Wherever the wind takes her, it’s clear that Laura savors each and every moment. And lucky for us, she’s captured them in photos.

City Skyline: Laura’s Jersey City Views

Though a globetrotter for sure, Laura doesn’t have to travel far to take epic photos. As a resident of Hoboken, she’s got two gorgeous cityscapes right in her backyard: Jersey City and Manhattan!

As Laura’s photos reveal, the East Coast skyline views are simply stunning — both by day:

View of Apprentice Jersey City headquarters from Governor’s Island.

And by night:

Nighttime NYC skyline views from across the Hudson in Hoboken.

Deep Dive: Behind the Scenes with Laura at Interphex

This year at Interphex 2022, Laura graced the CDMO stage with a riveting lecture on best practices for going digital.

In her session, Laura spoke to Best Practices for Digitizing Development Contract Manufacturing Processes in a talk sponsored by Pharma and Biopharma Outsourcing Association (PBOA).


Fun Facts About Laura: Rapid Fire Edition

We asked, Laura answered. Ready for some fun fast facts about Laura? Let’s go!

What is your main focus at Apprentice? Throughout the past 28 years, I’ve worn many hats. I’ve experienced everything from analytics to manufacturing, as well as working with small biotech companies and large enterprise pharma organizations.

Laura quite literally wears a lot of hats: from bouffant caps while in-suite to Apprentice swag in Central Park.

I’m a generalist at Apprentice, which means I get to work with lots of teams. I enjoy collaborating with a number of departments to break down workplace silos and be the voice of the customer. One of my core focuses is applying what we’re doing to actual use cases in the industry.

Where were you before joining Apprentice? I used to be an analyst. It’s a tough job. I don’t think a lot of people understand the passion and work that go into making drugs. A common misconception is that a machine makes it and poof! It’s done. This isn’t how it works.

It’s complex and dangerous to make drugs. Workers need to be safe throughout the development and production process, and the drug needs to be safe and work as intended.

Having experience as an analyst, I realized how important it is to honor the intelligence and people behind drug production. They’re the unsung heroes!

What about our brand mission resonates with you most? Apprentice creates this Kaizen cycle of continuous improvement. In turn, people are able to share knowledge and collaborate more effectively. This creates a ripple effect where workflows improve, drugs can be commercialized sooner, and patients who need therapeutics get them sooner.

The 7-step Kaizen cycle for continuous improvement [source]

What about your job inspires you daily? I know that paper is a pain, but it’s also a necessity. Our software bridges the gap between paper and digital, giving scientists the best of both worlds.

With Apprentice, life science professionals can use our no-code recipe authoring capabilities to easily develop and edit digital instructions simultaneously. This streamlines workflows and makes it easy for scientists to get what they need, right when they need it. At the touch of their fingers, they’ve got real-time access to digital recipes while they’re being created and refined — facilitating data capture and transfer across the board.

This inspires me because in essence, our software gives control to the people who need it for recipe authoring. As a result, it can accelerate the entire drug production lifecycle. How can I not be inspired by that? I have always been passionate about empowering people, and this is such a powerful way to do just that.

“I know that paper is a pain, but it’s also a necessity. Our software bridges the gap between paper and digital, giving scientists the best of both worlds.”

What’s a project/career highlight that stands out in recent memory? Seeing Tempo in action! It’s been four years of constant iterations and updates to bring Tempo to fruition and make our services as strong and robust as possible.

To me, it’s so important to learn how to work with others. With Tempo, preclinical teams can learn from commercial teams and vice versa. This creates greater understanding and collaboration from both teams, which streamlines drug production.

If you had a time machine but could only use it once, would you go back in time or into the future? Where and when would you go? I’d go into the future. I’ve already lived the past and have memories from it. But I’d love to see how my life will turn out and what the future looks like. Onwards and upwards!

On the hunt for mountains and music: an Aspen ski trip and a concert in Madison Square Garden.

Are You Our Next Apprentice Spotlight?

Want to work with brilliant scientists like Laura Jacoby? Check out our open positions today!


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