Member Spotlight

Q&A with Christian Claiborne, Tulane University

July 10th, 2020Christian Claiborne

What is your current role at your institution?

I am a Business Development Officer in the Office of Research Business Development. Basically, I act as a bridge between outside entities (mainly corporations) that want some sort of partnership or collaboration that involves our research.

How long have you been a NACRO member?

I have been a member since my first Conference in July of 2018.

What do you enjoy most about your NACRO membership?

I really value the connections and exchange of ideas. We have a pretty unique focus in our office on research-based collaborations, but it’s helpful for me to see how other offices with different priorities operate. It works both ways as well: I enjoy talking about what we do here with people who are genuinely interested even though they don’t deal with research in the same way we do. The mutual exchange of information and ideas helps everyone.

So far, what has been your greatest Corporate Relations success? What has been your greatest challenge?

I would be hesitant to label any of them the “greatest”, but perhaps the most interesting currently is a COVID-19 newsletter our office is putting out. It has actually proven to be an unexpected tool for industry engagement. More than half of the mailing list (2200+) is in biotech/pharma, so the institutional exposure has been phenomenal. As for a challenge, our effort to catalogue all the active STEM research projects in the university is up there. We found that companies want specific granular details about research very early on in the process (COVID is only making this more essential), so we designed and piloted a system to track them all. It’s going very well so far, but it’s a lot of work.

What’s something about you (a fun fact) that not many people know?

I collect antique books on science and Greek and Roman history, as well as queer ephemera (mostly from New Orleans). As a result, my apartment looks a little bit like a museum that caters to a very specific audience.