NLN34: From Scientist to Nonprofit Leader – The Challenges with Nina Dudnik

In our podcast discussion this week, we are chatting with , founder and CEO of . We discuss topics relating to taking a nonprofit from an idea run by a group of volunteers to a productive organization, Nina’s challenges of shifting from the scientist mode to the nonprofit leader mode, and the steps they took to professionalize and fund their growing idea.

Nina Dudnik is the founder and CEO of Seeding Labs. Nina decided at a very early age to become a scientist but her interest in science always had a humanitarian angle. Nina has a PhD in molecular biology from Harvard University and has worked for the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research in Italy and in Cote d’Ivoire, where she was a Fulbright Scholar.

Upon completing her Fulbright and returning to the US, Nina founded Seeding Labs in 2003 to ensure that scientists in the developing world have the tools, training and network to pursue world-class research. Since 2003, Seeding Labs has provided resources for teaching and research to scientists in 26 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and India.

Nina has been named a TEDGlobal Fellow and one of the 100 most influential people in biotechnology by Scientific American’s Worldview magazine. She was recognized with a New England Biolabs 2016 Passion in Science Humanitarian Duty award and the 2014 John F. Kennedy New Frontier award. Seeding Labs was among Fast Company magazine’s top 10 most innovative not-for-profit companies in 2015 and has been featured in the Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal.

Seeding Labs’ mission is to help scientists in developing countries conduct life-changing research by ensuring their access to resources including laboratory equipment, training and professional connections with the global scientific research community. Since 2003, Seeding Labs has assisted scientists in 25 countries in Latin America and Africa, making over $3.2M worth of equipment available to scientists working on issues ranging from dengue fever to HIV to tuberculosis. We conduct training courses on grant writing, conduct exchange programs for scientists in the U.S. and Africa, and build connections between colleagues worldwide.

The key points covered in this podcast discussion are:

  • Recognizing When It’s Time to Professionalize a Nonprofit
  • Recognizing the Right Next Step as a Non-Profit Evolves
  • Running a Non-Profit is Often Living in the Midst of Unknowns
  • Larger Grants Often Mean More Data Tracking
  • Listen to Your Gut Instinct and Don’t Over-Analyze

Click here to view the transcript.

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