Get to know Laura Hamilton, MassBio’s new Chief Business Officer

Jan 23, 2024

Tell us a little about yourself—who you are, what you’ve done, and how you have fun.

I’m originally from Cork City, Ireland and emigrated to the US with my family when I was 5 years old. I grew up in Boston and attended Northeastern University. Funfact – I’m a proud “Triple Husky” having earned my BSBA in Finance, Master of Science in Innovation, and Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) all from Northeastern’s D’Amore Mc-Kim School of Business. After working in Financial Services for many years, I pivoted into the life sciences industry which was truly life changing. I’m always happy to share that story showing my non-linear career pathway to where I am today! My previous role at MassBio opened my eyes to the incredible scope of industry here in Massachusetts. I’ve since worked in industry driving US market expansion for European companies spanning from early-stage drug discovery/drug development to an FDA cleared medical device. Equipped with that wide range of experience, I’m thrilled to return to MassBio in the role of Chief Business Officer and am excited to grow internal components of our business such as Membership, Events, and the MassBioHub– our state-of-the-art conference and business center. Externally I will be engaging with industry, representing the organization, as well as identifying strategic areas of growth. In my free time, I have a ton of fun leading the Boston Irish Business Association. BIBA is an active networking group connecting business interests between Ireland and Massachusetts. I enjoy live music and go to as many concerts as I can. I also love to travel – I frequently visit Florida to see my family.

Why MassBio (again) and why now?

Boston Irish Business Association 2023 Trade Mission delegates with US Ambassador Claire Cronin in Dublin

Many folks from industry know me from my previous tenure at MassBio as Director of Business Development from 2013-2017, where I was responsible for recruiting new member companies into the organization. It was a tremendous period of growth where we onboarded over 700 new members in that time. I thoroughly enjoyed that role as I got an incredible education on how our industry works at a macro level – having a front row seat to how all the pieces of the ecosystem intertwine. I loved getting to know member companies’ business objectives and building relationships with their employees. From FDA approvals to stock exchange bell ringing ceremonies, I’ve treasured watching the growth and successes of many of these companies over the years. I’m thrilled to return to MassBio now as the organization is shaping the future of industry in Massachusetts and beyond. As the oldest industry trade association in our sector, other emerging clusters look to us to model how they can support their local life science ecosystem.

Can you share a professional success story that you are particularly proud of?

2023 American Heart Association – Go Red for Women Boston

I love networking and connecting with people, and I’ve had the opportunity to do so for work over the past 10 years. In wanting to use that network for good, I’m pleased to give back by volunteering time and efforts by sitting on the Boston Board of Directors for the American Heart Association. The AHA does yeoman’s work in the local community focused on social determinants of health, driving impactful change through healthcare policy, and providing access to life-saving hands-only CPR training. In 2023 I had the great honor of Chairing the American Heart Association Go Red for Women signature event in Boston. This uplifting event highlighted the work of a leading Boston cardiologist focused on women’s cardiovascular disease risk along with the ever-inspiring patient voice, who bravely raised awareness by sharing her experience as a stroke survivor.

Tapping into your experience in the life sciences, what industry changes or trends do you think will have the biggest impact this year?

After returning from JPM, I can’t help but mention the industry buzz around Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. We are at the tip of the iceberg in understanding how AI and ML will transform drug discovery and drug development. There are companies leading the trend with focused new solutions but there will be an expansion of companies across the ecosystem using simple tools like ChatGPT to superpower their wide-ranging efforts. We have a dedicated AI/ML track looking at rapidly evolving space during our Align Summit. From bench to bedside, we will see a huge impact in 2024 from AI and ML.

Outside of your professional life, what do you love most about Massachusetts?

I love Massachusetts and particularly living in such an amazing city as Boston. Boston has so much to offer when it comes to history, culture, the arts, sports, and a dynamic hospitality scene. Beyond that, our proximity to incredible nature North, West, & South of the City are unparalleled. I love to escape the City on long weekends and head for some of my favorite New England destinations – Newport, Portland, Portsmouth, Martha’s Vineyard, or the Cape.

What’s your message to MassBio’s current and future members?

I encourage all members and future members to engage with us and help us deliver our valuable membership benefits more broadly across their organizations. We have something for everyone! Our Innovation programs provide a platform for early-stage companies to connect and grow. The Align Summit connects investors to early-stage investment opportunities. We offer a powerful purchasing consortium, MassBioEdge, where our members can leverage our purchasing power to receive discounts on lab and office supplies/services. We can also act as your Kendall Square/Cambridge base through MassBioHub – our business and conference center,. Our incredible membership team customizes engagement plans bespoke to every company’s ambitions and needs. So my message to current and future members is to lean in, engage and help us access more of your employee base with these invaluable company and individual value points. Mark your calendar for February 15th where we will be hosting a mixer in the Hub to give guided tours and an overview of our latest offerings.

What Boston sports team will be next to have a duck boat parade?

I’m going with the Bruins – “CUE THE DUCK BOATS!”

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