Hi, I'm Shelby Doyle. I am a scientist, inventor, and science communicator with experience coaching, teaching, and leading at the intersection of education and innovation. With 10 years of experience using communication to link innovation to impact, I look forward to coaching first-time founders and new leaders as they rise to meet the challenges of today.
Learning the trade + building community
I completed my undergraduate training at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In my time there, I played D1 sports, conducted LSU AgCenter research, completed the LSU Distinguished Communicator program, served in student government, coached reading in local primary schools, and spoke to donors in support of a $100M capital campaign. These multi-faceted efforts earned me multiple awards in both scholarship and community development.
As I considered next steps, my employment opportunities were primarily in the petrochemical industry, advancing ideas that fell short of the impact I thought bioengineering could make in the field. So, I decided to skill up with graduate training in the Biological Engineering Department at MIT, which offered proximity to Kendall Square and a culture that valued both publications and impact.
Coaching technologists + growing influence
Once at MIT I jumped at the chance to join a brand-new communication initiative to ensure students had the tools they would need to succeed: the MIT Communication Lab. I started in the “Comm Lab” as a peer coach under Jaye Goldstein, helping my fellow engineers learn to communicate effectively in any setting. In this role, I honed my coaching and mentoring style, as well as my craft as a communicator and educator.
As the organization grew, my leadership and influence grew with it. As a senior fellow and advisor, I led numerous projects in curriculum development, community outreach and strategic partnerships, including projects that led to the founding of a peer organization at Northeastern University and new curriculum to train scientists to advocate for science policy directly with lawmakers in DC. Ultimately, I served on the steering committee, advising on the evolution and sustained growth of the organization, until transitioning out of the organization.
Hard science chops + team building soft skills
At the same time, I trained as a chemical biologist under Dr. Angela Koehler at the MIT Koch Institute for Cancer Research. I worked on a variety of projects in small molecule probe discovery in oncology in my 6 years there, with collaborators across sectors and continents. I am an author on many scientific papers and an inventor on several patents, including a licensed patent that led to a molecule currently in a PhI/II clinical trial. To achieve this level of impact, communication has always been key: fostering foster close-knit interdisciplinary teams; transferring knowledge to colleagues from diverse personal and technical backgrounds; navigating conflict resolution; managing multi-institutional projects on stakeholder timelines; and telling science stories to raise funds from diverse sources.
In this time, I also got married, had a baby, experienced loss, and learned to work from home with an infant during pandemic lockdown. At the time of the pandemic declaration, I was actively involved in defining my next gig: leading a sponsored research agreement with a large pharmaceutical company. However, facing childcare challenges deeply exacerbated by the pandemic, I decided to hang up my pipette and look for a role where I could make a different kind of impact.
Leading an organization from stuck to strong
In my search for scientific leadership positions, I was recruited to the MIT Center for Microbiome Informatics and Therapeutics (CMIT). Specifically, Co-Director Professor Eric Alm asked me to leverage my technical chops and soft skills to raise the profile of the organization and guide it from its founding phase to a new phase of maturation and growth.
Within the first 6 weeks, through discussions with senior leadership and interviews with key personnel, I outlined a strategic plan to guide the organization through personnel changes, shifting stakeholder priorities, and the uncertainty of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In 18 months, we made dramatic improvements to institutional alignment, revenue planning processes, program structure, patient stakeholder outreach, brand messaging, and fundraising strategy. In that same time, I oversaw the launch of our flagship clinical trial in Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) at MGH and launched a new entrepreneurship course focused on IBD in partnership with MIT Sandbox Innovation Fund Program. As we near the end of a key fundraising drive and reorganization process at MIT, I am ecstatic to team up with Founder to Leader to offer support to founders leading the way in the private sector.
Becoming your coach
Realizing a better world through biotech will take a new generation of founders leading the way. As many scientists and technologists are stepping out to meet the moment, I want to bring my unique skills and perspectives to help them grow their companies and their influence. Whatever you are facing today—diagnosing challenges, identifying solutions, building trust needed for change, building your brand, or honing your voice as a leader—you deserve the support of a coach. I look forward to hearing the story of you, your technology and your team to learn how I can help you realize your company’s potential and own your influence as a leader.