InMotion: A Model for Recruitment to Memphis

I have said, many times, that buildings are important. Scientists need facilities to do their work. However, I’ve also said this: Buildings need scientists more than scientists need buildings.

It’s an important distinction and integral to the DNA of the Memphis Bioworks Foundation. While we’re building the buildings, we’re working as hard – if not harder – to both grow new scientists in Memphis, and to recruit talented, knowledgeable scientists to Memphis.

Memphis is a center of excellence in the orthopedic industry. We have a strong base of orthopedic companies who are looking to employ exceptional employees, either from home grown talent, or from cities around the world. InMotion Musculoskeletal Institute is an example of a bioscience organization that has been effective in recruiting scientists to the city. In fact, a large part of InMotion’s success to date can be attributed to its ability to bring together a startling array of talented players from different parts of the academic and industrial worlds, as well as from clinician circles. These talented employees have helped InMotion beat the odds of building an Institute from the ground up.

InMotion has been very successful in recruiting young scientists to Memphis. For example Dr. David Komatsu, who recently completed a post-doctorate fellowship at Indiana University, chose to relocate to Memphis. Dr. Komatsu is at the start of a promising career in finding new bone fracture treatments. He is young, but he also is well trained and has a history of research success. With the right mentorship, Dr. Komatsu should grow into one of InMotion’s many stars and ultimately through his research, will be an ambassador for the orthopedic industry in Memphis.

Another example is a young scientist InMotion recruited back to Memphis. Jason Schroeder, PhD, is a Memphis native and alumni of the University of Memphis. InMotion recruited Dr. Schroder from a position at the Food & Drug Administration, where he analyzed medical products for FDA approval. As with Komatsu, Schroder has the potential to be a top-level musculoskeletal researcher.

Attracting senior-level scientists is typically a little trickier. In order to stand out from other organizations InMotion leverages mutually beneficial collaborations with local universities and clinical groups.

For example, recently InMotion and the University Of Tennessee Health Science Center Department Of Orthopaedic Surgery partnered with the Campbell Clinic and successfully lured William Mihalko, MD, PhD, from a tenured position at the University of Virginia. What made the position beneficial for Dr. Mihalko was InMotion’s ability to provide him with the resources and support for research, as well as Campbell Clinic’s outstanding reputation as an orthopaedic clinic.

A second example is John Williams, PhD, whom InMotion and the University Of Memphis Department Of Biomedical Engineering recruited from a senior position in the orthopaedic industry. Dr. Williams came to Memphis not only because InMotion could support his research, but also because he will feature prominently in the research plans of the University of Memphis.

Clearly, InMotion is a driving force in bringing musculoskeletal researchers to Memphis. InMotion is successful because the Institute is offering younger scientists a place to grow, as well as leveraging partnerships with existing groups in order to recruit senior scientists.

InMotion’s ability to form successful recruitment collaborations with other companies reiterates what I have been saying for more than a year. We need to foster a sense of community collaboration and find innovative ways to attract new talent to Memphis. The influx of new talent will continue to focus attention on Memphis as a center of bioscience excellence, and lead to increased economic activity. I hope companies throughout the Memphis-area will sit up and take notice of both the organization’s recent growth and the talent they have brought to Memphis.

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