Michelle Gurrola-Gal

Business Process Manager, Office of Commercialization and Industry Engagement (OCIE), DAL
(902) 494-3397 michelle.gurrola-gal@dal.ca

Tell us about the work you did before joining Springboard.

I worked in veterinary medicine for several years. After I finished my undergrad in veterinary sciences in Connecticut I worked for Charles River Laboratories doing bench work for preclinical research, working with laboratory animals for almost a year before transitioning into more training and educational roles. I started doing technical training which involved training people on how to do bench work, how to work with the animals, how to practice “good science” by maintaining proper scientific principals in a workplace. That expanded into taking on more corporate roles, rolling out training sessions regarding company policies, regulatory agency requirements, passing on that information and training to our entire group in Pennsylvania, which was about 300 people.

What led you to Halifax?

While I was working full-time in the preclinical research environment, I pursued a master’s of science degree in biology. During my masters, I did my thesis on zebrafish as a preclinical toxicological model, and afterwards I wanted to continue my work with zebrafish.

This is what led me to Halifax. There is a zebrafish lab that’s part of Dalhousie’s CORES facilities. At the time, there was a doctor with a research team using zebrafish to model pediatric cancers and leukemia, and I was hired to manage the research program projects. This was my introduction to university, grant-paid research and is what brought me to the Industry Liaison and Innovation office at Dalhousie (Dal ILI) and Springboard.

Coming from a predominantly research background, what were your initial thoughts about the Springboard network?

I ended up with ILI in a short-term contract and I loved it. I thought: ‘what an interesting environment to be connecting academic researchers with local and nation-wide companies.’

In the interim, I got a different job at the Canadian Centre for Vaccinology as a project manager for clinical trials and did that for just shy of a year. In that time, I found myself missing broadness and range of what the ILI group at Dal, and all of our Springboard members participate in, which is building connections and bringing people together. Although I am a scientist at heart, I realized that I wanted to support the entire research community by connecting industry with the experts in the field and at the research bench.

Tell us about your day-today with Dal ILI.

Rejoining ILI, my focus has been businesses processes, its optimization and how to actually move things, whether it’s contracts, agreements or other documents between the many parts of the university. It’s about moving the ball forward for all parties and making sure all the right people are engaged.

How does the Springboard network support your goals?

One of the things I looked forward to most when rejoining Dal ILI was, not just knowing I had a great team with my own institution but knowing that I had this network of support. Being back in the Springboard family and having the network’s time and their support really helped me jump back in and reacclimate.

  • Supported By:
  • Canada
  • ACOA
  • Springboard Members