I’ve known and worked with Damien Wilpitz since 2007 when he was hired as the manager for the newly formed laboratory of Dr. Benjamin Ebert where I was beginning my post-doctoral fellowship. I was impressed with how quickly Damien demonstrated his experience as a skilled technician and his ability to manage and to organize what became a rapidly growing organization. Researchers outside of our group would come to Damien asking for advice on how to start up their own labs. I saw him help with every aspect of their transition including how to hire new members, how equip the lab, how to manage inventories and orders, and how to monitor expenditures and budgets – all aspects of running a lab that are critical for newly independent faculty but for which they are typically under-prepared to do well.
When Damien formed Experimental Designs, I saw him turn his anecdotal experience into a high-quality, professional consulting program. I knew that when I had the opportunity to create my own lab that I needed to have Damien working beside me to make the transition. This was the best decision I have made so far as junior faculty member. Damien toured my future lab space. He spoke with the facilities director and the senior administrative staff. He helped me select my lab manager and then provided hands on training for him. We got the lab equipped and I was up and running months sooner than I would have been without him. Budgets are important, but as a PI, time is most valuable asset. Getting things done efficiently the first time is critical to becoming a productive research lab and well worth the upfront investment in professional guidance. The only thing better than hiring Damien and EDC would have been to convince him to join my lab. But, I’m still working on that …
Assistant Professor of Medicine Division of Hematology-Oncology
UCSD, Moores Cancer Center