Meet Maureen Bunger, PhD: Our New Technical Sales Manager Reflects on her Past Experiences, Transitioning from Academia to Industry, and her Plans at TRL

 Maureen Bunger PhD, Technical Sales Manager at TRLMaureen Bunger PhD, Technical Sales Manager at TRL

We recently announced the addition of Maureen Bunger, PhD to TRL as our first Technical Sales Manager. Our company is excited about the experience and insight that Dr. Bunger will add to our company, so we decided to introduce her to the world with a good old fashioned Q and A.

What’s your education and experience background?
I obtained a PhD in Toxicology in 2001 from University of Wisconsin Madison.  From there I did a postdoctoral fellowship at NIEHS and then joined the Biomarker Discovery Center at Research Triangle Institute (RTI) and subsequently the BRITE Institute at NCCU.  On transitioning to the commercial side, in 2012 I joined Cellular Dynamics as a business development consultant and then in 2013 joined SciKon Innovation as Director of Product Development.  My experience is predominantly bioanalytical and cell biology with an emphasis on metabolism and toxicity research and testing. In business development efforts, I have focused on creating and commercializing tools to improve success of the drug discovery pipeline.
What prompted the initial transition from academia to industry? How has the transition gone?
Some of the prompting was due to economic conditions in academia.  Departments wanted new hires, but simply did not have the resources.  I was handed an opportunity to put my knowledge and skills to work in the commercial domain in the exciting field of stem cell products, and I jumped at the chance.
What do you think your past experiences will bring to your new role as Technical Sales Manager?
I have been a “technical customer” for 20 years and I understand both the needs of the customers and the institutional forces that inform decision making.  My experience as a researcher has also turned me into a total nut about product quality, so I love having being able to get high quality products into the hands of scientists because I know that their experience with the product will be successful.
Is there any aspect of your new role that you’re particularly excited about undertaking?
I am excited about working with a fantastic team of like-minded individuals at TRL all motivated towards developing high quality products and getting them into the hands of people who need them.
Do any of your personal hobbies or interests influence how you approach your job?
I have not had personal hobbies since I started my family with twins in 2010.  I am pretty motivated to ensure their future is secure right now. Their needs keep me focused on ensuring I don’t waste time on unnecessary or non-meaningful tasks because that time is better spent reading or playing games with them.  It’s amazing how kids can make you so laser focused.
What do you hope to learn and/or accomplish while working at TRL?
Honestly, I look forward to learning more about the sales process and putting that to work to grow sales for TRL.  The sales process seems as much art and personality driven as anything you could learn from a book.  . I would also like to use my skills in business development to help TRL in strategic positioning for growth through partnerships and other activities that will grow the product pipeline and ultimately increase total revenues.