About the Author (Mike Barlow)

My name is Mike Barlow, welcome to barlows.blog. This is a place where I collect raw ideas and things I notice, process them, evaluate them, organize them, try to distill them down to something useful, and then share them.

I'm doing this in the context of my craft (I work in biotech operations leadership) and my hobbies (reading, sailing, hiking, and exploring).

My Craft

Sometimes I like to joke that I am the Forrest Gump of biotechnology. I grew up in a small town in northern Idaho, wasn't even close to being the smartest kid in school, stumbled into by first biotech job by talking about how beer is made, and through a whole series of random events I had a front row seat to watch the launch of the biotech industry.

Through dumb luck, I have gotten to help:

  • Genentech, Inc. start up their Vacaville, CA site. This is one of the largest antibody processing facilities in the world. In 1998, I was one of the first 25 employees on site.
  • Work with production and quality teams to launch blockbuster antibody products like Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin.
  • Operationalize and scale Juno Therapeutics Manufacturing platform for commercial launch. Juno was purchased by Celgene, which was purchased by Bristol Myers Squibb. I worked for three companies in just over a year learning cell therapy operations.
  • Help qualify and commercially launch Breyanzi, a CAR-T (cell-based gene therapy) for adult patients with B-cell lymphoma.

In my 25(ish) years in the biotechnology industry, I have tried to watch and learn as much as I can about organizing teams, operations, and generally getting things done.

I really have no artistic abilities.... I can't sing, dance, draw, or paint. You may notice here that my writing is a little sketchy too. But at some point I started to look at operations as a craft, and working with people and groups to get things done as creative expression. Operations is the part of the business where the most complexity exists. It is the center of a giant wheel where everything must come together in sequence and timing, and as far as I am concerned, it is where the fun happens.

My Hobbies

I plan to use this space to write about operations leadership and productivity, but I also spend a fair amount of time hiking, sailing, reading, running and photography. So I suppose you will see some of that here too. I guess blogging can be added to the list as well.

I love a good tromp in the woods, and I love sharing adventures. But what I really love to do is find ideas that cross over from my hobbies to work, and work to hobbies. I am hoping that this blog can become a vehicle for that by documenting things, sharing ideas and connecting with people.

You can read more about the plan for the blog here.


My life philosophy: Love God, Love People Live Generously.

It's as simple as that and I try to live it every day. I am a follower of Jesus, I try to apply his teaching because he showed me the truth and the truth set me free. In terms of specific denomination, I'm kind of in between denominations. Never really figured that part out. I just walk one step at a time.

So here's the thing. I'll never peer pressure you or hate on you if you disagree with me on philosophical or faith based topics. I don't work on sales quotas and I'm not trying to win anything. I'm just a beggar who found out where the bread is. If you want to know I'll be happy to show you too. My contact info is below.

As a student back in the early nineties, before I dove head first into microbiology, molecular biology and biochemistry, I was a philosophy major. I have spent 30 years working in the cutting edge of biological sciences and engineering and one of my all time favorite topics is how can the gospels and hard science co-exist. I have spent a lot of time thinking about it. Why am I telling you this, because the questions of faith, the nature of humans and the reality of consciousness and the goodness of God are some of my favorite topics. They might pop up here from time to time so don't be surprised.

Contact Me

I don't have the time or energy to build a fancy captcha system to keep the spam down so I have to go low tech. You can catch me on linked in pretty easily with a direct message but if you want to reach me by electronic mail here is the puzzle...

The stuff before the "at" symbol is my first name. It is four letters. It starts with an M and ends with an e.

The stuff after the "at" symbol consists of two words. The first word is "the" and the second word is my last name. Oh one more thing. My last name is in plural form. So for example if my last name with smith that second word would be smiths. As in "the smiths".

The third part is the part after the dot. If you use dot com it wont work. If you use dot net it also wont work. You have to use the first three letters of the word organization.

So there you go. Put these parts together and you can email me.

Also, as you might imagine. Putting your email on your blog just invites the spammers to the party. So in the title use an attention getter so I see you right away. Maybe put this blog name in the title, for example. Don't put anything about investment, free crypto, or selling any kind of blue pills. That's gonna go straight to the trash.

If you want to see my professional experience we can connect here. I don't do a lot of social media other than this blog, but every so often I will post photos on the instagram (@barlogram).

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