Introducing Genes of Interest, our employee spotlight showcasing the individuals behind Forge that make our team unique.
Getting to know Eowyn Livengood, Upstream GMP Technician at Forge Biologics
What is your position at Forge and what does it usually entail?
I am an Upstream GMP Technician! I work in cell culture and with bioreactors. Simply put, Upstream is all about increasing the volume of cells in a specific environment. The product, or Gene Of Interest (GOI), is inside the cell, so to get it out, we have cut it open or lyse the cell. This prepares the packaged GOI for Downstream processes.
What Forge core value (HOPE) drives you daily?
My favorite is Open. Collaboration and transparency are so crucial to what we’re doing and gives us a definite edge. It also makes work go by before you know it! To me, being Open makes it easier to be Hardworking and, through communicating with your coworkers, shows you the Purpose that drives why we do what we do. Also, through collaboration, you can learn from those around you, and grow together. Openness has shown me how much gene therapies mean on a personal level to the individuals around me and this inspires me to seek excellence.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a career in gene therapy?
This goes for nearly any field, but try to meet people in the field and treat everyone with dignity and importance, especially if you’re above them in position. Do things the right way and follow GMP, even when it’s late, you’re hungry, or you have some place to be. It’s better to seek help or for someone to relieve you than to rush. Also, ask questions!
What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?
I was part of the group that discovered Photinus carolinus (Synchronous Lightning Bugs) in Northern Mississippi and I got arrested in the TV show, "NCIS: New Orleans" (it’s just acting, I swear!).
Are you currently binge-watching any shows or reading a good book?
"Severance" (on Apple TV) is a show I’ve watched twice already and am watching now for the third time. Highly recommended and very quotable! For books, I like Near A Thousand Tables by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up by Marie Kondo, and am currently reading Run To The Light by Laura King Edwards. I like books that change the way you look at things.
Favorite business book, TED talk, LinkedIn learning course did you like? Professional development book you’d recommend?
Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton, and Heen.
What is your favorite snack in the Forge social hub?
Sour Cream & Onion Lays or the oranges!
Who inspires you?
This is a tough question, as different people inspire me for different qualities. In general, though, I would say my dad, Timothy Livengood. He’s a very kind and humble person. His work ethic is insane, as he is often at work 12 hours a day, then works on the house or the car when he’s home, and he rarely complains about it. You’ll never see him angry, and he will probably shake your hand for too long. He’s a loving person to both animals and everyone around him. He frequently talks about safety while building rockets for NASA under Boeing and leads a team in doing so. He’s incredibly smart, but he listens to you like he has something to learn from your every word. I wish everyone could meet him.