Meet our new LIB Team member
Dr. Erika Zernickel joined Yokogawa in February 2021. In this blog, she gives an interview about herself and her role in the Life Innovation Business team. Welcome to the exciting world of LIB, Erika!
LIB Blog: Thanks for joining the interview. Could you briefly introduce yourself?
Dr. Erika Zernickel: Hello, my name is Erika Zernickel and I am a product manager working for two months at Yokogawa Germany, responsible for SU10 and CSU. The SU10 is our new product for single-cell analysis which will be launched this summer. Before I was working as a post-doctoral researcher at University Düsseldorf. As a biologist, I joined the Institute for Human Genetics.
Dr. Erika Zernickel is our new Product Manager
LIB Blog: As a product manager, what are your main tasks?
Dr. Erika Zernickel: My main tasks include for example the product development, customer research, requirements analysis including pricing and planning, competitive analysis, and market new products with sales, advertising, and production teams.
LIB Blog: You mentioned you are managing the SU10 product. Why should customers decide to buy SU10?
Dr. Erika Zernickel: From my own experience as a researcher at a human genetic institute, I see an increased demand for single-cell analysis platforms. With these, the customer can perform live-cell imaging after manipulating specific cell types in a culture plate.
The main advantages of the SU10 are:
- easy to handle
- fast and minimally invasive
- it has the potential to inject a variety of different substances (CRISPR Cas9, proteins, siRNA, drugs) into cells.
Why being a product manager is great
LIB Blog: What do you like most about your job?
Dr. Erika Zernickel: What I like most about my job is that I am now involved in a very exciting phase where we launch a new product, the SU10. Through my biological background, I can bring also new ideas regarding features and applications of the unique single-cell analysis technique. I also like the cooperation and interaction with a wide area of people like marketers, engineers, and the sales team internally but also with researchers externally. But the most important is that I really like the combination of my scientific background with business aspects.
In my opinion, it’s the most interesting position where you can involve your own ideas regarding product features to improve the end product. Providing customers the best solution for their problem should always be the first thought in product development.
LIB Blog: Why did you decide to study biology?
Dr. Erika Zernickel: Since I was a child I was interested in the biological aspects of life. I was always curious to know what life means and how the world functions from a biological perspective. In my opinion, biology is the key to understanding how everything works and why we are alive. Every human being starts from a fertilized egg, the zygote which gathers genetic information from father and mother. This divides further while forming into a blastocyst and in the end, the human being, built up by their genome.
Differences between academia and corporate work life
LIB Blog: You worked at a university research institute before. If you compare, what is the biggest difference between an academic and a corporate job?
Dr. Erika Zernickel: The biggest difference between academia and my corporate job is that now I am not working on the bench performing my experiments. But there are also a lot of things in common for example for being a researcher you need the same skills as a product manager. Basically, for both, you are responsible for a specific project and you need to solve problems according to make the project “run”. For this, you need to know to coordinate a lot of things in a defined time frame. You need to cooperate with different people, set certain goals, and plan how to reach certain goals together in a team.
Working at Yokogawa
LIB Blog: So far, what do you like most about working at Yokogawa?
Dr. Erika Zernickel: At Yokogawa, I like the most that I am in a new and relatively small team where it's easy to work more closely with each other and discuss everything directly and quickly in a great working atmosphere. It's also very interesting to be involved in something completely new like the SU10 product launch where I can bring my biological perspective and laboratory experience into it.
LIB Blog: Is there something you’d like to share with our blog readers?
Dr. Erika Zernickel: I am happy about comments and requests regarding our developments/products and would like to share our experiences with the community.
LIB Blog: Many thanks for giving this interview. We look forward to hearing from the SU10 launch!