Celgene Scientist Finds Value in Onsite Writing Course


Celgene Scientist Learns New Writing Techniques
As a research and development (R&D) Associate Scientist for global biopharmaceutical company Celgene, Jennifer Paredes understands the importance of precision. In her work, recording experiment details and clarifying results are vital. Now, thanks to Hurley Write’s scientific technical writing course, Paredes knows how to translate that scientific accuracy into clear, concise reports.

Complex content, advanced solutions
Celgene’s Cellular Therapeutics R&D department develops innovative cell therapy candidates to manage the causes and symptoms of diseases such as Chron’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. The therapeutic targets that the R&D team develops are often early components of important advances in the medical health industry.

Paredes focuses on the mechanics of cell behaviors, which is an important part of developing novel cell therapy candidates. The bulk of Paredes’ work takes place in the laboratory, planning and executing experiments. As a scientist, Paredes is responsible for providing technical reports that explain her research focus, her experiment plans, the outcome of those experiments, and the next steps. This scientific and technical documentation must match the level of accuracy and exactitude she uses in the experiments.

However, Paredes found it difficult to clearly communicate the details of those experiments in her technical reports. “Without prior scientific technical writing training, that was a challenge,” Paredes says.

Paredes decided to investigate scientific and technical writing courses, but she realized few companies offered appropriate training. Then she found Hurley Write.

Interactive and engaging
Right away, Paredes was impressed with the course structure created by Hurley Write’s owner and founder, Pam Hurley, Ph.D.

“This was my first exposure to a scientific technical writing course,” Paredes explains. “The course was very interactive. Pam made sure to establish the fundamentals of writing and apply those fundamentals in our writing examples. She engaged the audience by using direct examples from our work. She encouraged group exercises and discussions.”

She adds, “Pam’s knowledge and experience are what led to our workshop engagement.”

Paredes learned the importance of conciseness and clarity in her writing, which she says is especially important because her readers have limited time to read. She also learned how to identify the audience and their needs.

“The most important feedback I received was to be direct and not too verbose with my writing,” Paredes says. “Now, I make sure to explain scientific details with clarity and always ensure that the main point and purpose are clearly understood within the first couple lines.”

Better writing, better image
Since taking the course, Paredes has changed her approach to writing. She saw improvements immediately.

“This writing course has helped a great deal,” she says. “Now I always reread what I write and make sure it’s not complicated, vague, or unstructured.”

Paredes is certain that working on her writing style has improved the quality of her work. And other members of her team share her constructive opinion: “Since the workshop, I’ve received positive feedback from others describing their experience and how it has helped them improve their writing.”