VH Bio is pleased to introduce our Sales & Marketing Manager, James Briggs. Learn about his role at VH Bio, background, and opinion on a few interesting topics:
Describe what your job entails.
I’m responsible for managing the sales activities and strategy for our Molecular Biology product line as well as the personnel who represent it, and also marketing activities and strategy for the organisation as a whole.
What is your career and/or education background?
I graduated in 2006 from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BSc in Biosciences. From here I immediately started a job as a Laboratory Scientist for a leader in Veterinary Diagnostics, however I soon found that this environment wasn’t for me.
I therefore decided to move in to Life Sciences, starting off as a Technical Sales Specialist for an International manufacturer of bio-research reagents where I worked until 2012.
I then joined VH Bio – again as a technical sales specialist – and have so far enjoyed 6 ½ years with the company working towards my current role.
What is your favourite part of the job?
The lovely people that I work with. We’re like one big family at VH Bio.
In your opinion, what is the greatest advancement in the history of science?
I can’t really narrow it down to just one – so I won’t – and as a molecular biologist, I’m first of all going to say the co-discovery by James Watson, Francis Crick, Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins on the double-helix structure of DNA, which now forms the basis for all of modern biotechnology.
As a technique which then revolutionised modern biotechnology, I’m also going to say the invention of PCR by Kary Mullis which allowed researchers to create unlimited copies of DNA from just one original strand! PCR opened up many new possibilities for molecular biology research – as well as in the diagnosis and monitoring of diseases.
Honourable mention also for Frederick Sanger who developed the technique for DNA sequencing which later paved the way for the mapping of the human genome.
When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a Physiotherapist whilst I was at school and college.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
With 2 young kids spare time has become something to really be grateful for these days.
When I do get it I love spending time with my friends and family.
I enjoy going to the gym just to completely switch off from everything and everyone.
I really enjoy my football and I’m a season ticket holder at Sheffield Wednesday.
I’m also really in to the whole Craft Beer scene at the moment which has just exploded recently! I really enjoy trying a variety of beers from a variety of brewers. I’ve become a bit of a beer-nerd/snob!
If you could be any animal, what you be and why?
Hmmm, tough one. I’d have to say a Bald Eagle – It would be amazing to just soar around like they do!
What was the first car you owned?
A 10-year old Fiat Punto in black. I was the ‘proud’ owner for about 3-months before I sold it for a profit of £25. Although I did have to spend a small fortune on it during this time to repair a blown head gasket. I don’t miss it.
Describe your perfect weekend.
A long one!
The backdrop would definitely be lots of sunny, warm weather. Relaxed. Time spent with friends and family. Laughs. Lots of nice food and eating out. Some quality beer. And finally a Sheffield Wednesday win – Sheffield Wednesday can often make-or-break a weekend for me.
What annoys you?
So many things. Where do I start?!
- People who use Facebook purely to brag and portray a “perfect life”.
- Middle lane drivers.
- People who park in front of my house.
- Young millenials.
- X Factor and reality TV in general.
You get the idea. I think I’m old before my time.
The big one is theft and burglary though. Breaking in to someone else’s property to steal their possessions really gets under my skin.
If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I really like my food so if I was ever faced with this I’d find it a really difficult decision.
Actually no – a really good quality burger…
No, wait… Pizza burger? Can that be a thing?
If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?
- Helicopter pilot
- Helicopter fuel
What is the first concert you attended?
I think it was Meatloaf. Can’t remember what age I was – maybe around 11 years old?
5 famous people – dead or alive – that you would invite to a dinner party?
Ricky Gervais for the comedy.
Prof. Brian Cox because I find him fascinating to listen to.
Kurt Cobain – although I can’t imagine that a dinner party would really be his scene – but I’d love to have a chat with him.
Rosalind Franklin to hear her side of the story regarding the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA.
And finally, Eric Cantona as one of the greatest footballers to ever play in England and I think he’d have a story-or-two to tell.
NB: we know James cheated on the deserted island question, but we still think he’s a great guy and are happy to have him on the VH Bio team!