Robert Heckathorn

Senior Director, AstraZeneca

I joined AZ in 2008 as a Sr. Scientist in the Process Cell Culture team after spending the previous 6 years at Alexion Pharmaceuticals in a similar process development role. Early in my career, I saw the opportunity to make life easier for scientists through the automation of repetitive / manual tasks.

I began learning about databases and programming was able to hack together some crude (but effective) tools automating data transfer from highly used lab instruments. These small efforts to automate data capture from cell culture instruments has evolved into a second season of my career focused exclusively on creating a FAIR, integrated lab ecosystem in Biopharmaceutical Development (BPD) that manages lab workflows and data but also collaborates with robots.

I currently lead the ISE (Informatics and Software Engineering) team in BPD. I enjoy playing stringed instruments like guitar, mandolin and bass guitar.

21 September 2023, GLASGOW