Trevor Smith

Lead System Designer and Project Manager, Cell & Gene Therapy
Marlborough, MA, U.S.

Attention to detail and an eye towards innovation has driven Trevor’s passion for science. As the Lead System Designer and Project manager for Cell & Gene Therapy, Trevor works closely with product managers and R&D to facilitate the launch of new products in GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ portfolio.

Trevor originally studied neuroscience and took up pre-med undergraduate courses with the aspirations of becoming a neurosurgeon. He then pivoted in his graduate degree to microbiology and became heavily focused in the field of immunology. Trevor joined the GE family in 2017 as an R&D associate spending most of his time working in the laboratory performing cell culture within human T-lymphocytes. His team worked to replicate the many new and emerging cancer treatment workflows to deliver technology that would support their manufacture.

At his first job as a research microbiologist for the United States Army, Trevor worked with test methods to evaluate antimicrobial textiles to improve soldier health and hygiene. To better understand the impact of these materials, he wanted to incorporate advanced cell culture techniques into the work he did by using human keratinocytes. Though he faced a degree of discouragement and a lack of facilities, Trevor continued to pursue his idea. He was able to secure $20,000 in funding to turn an unused room filled with old equipment into a state-of-the-art cell culture lab. “I keep the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures of the lab as a reminder that hard work and persistence pays off.”

Getting the opportunity to travel to São Paulo to speak at a Cell & Gene Therapy Conference was an eye-opener for Trevor. Not only was it his first experience travelling internationally for business, but it allowed him to meet different customers as well as his regional GE team members. “The life experiences of each individual enriched discussions and debates for more productive outcomes.”

Trevor believes cost is one of the biggest challenges the health sector is facing today. Tackling this from the manufacturing perspective, he and his team value the cost of goods right alongside their safety and efficacy. “We’re working to close and automate cell and gene therapy manufacturing workflows with the aim to decrease the cost of labor, and in turn, increase value of manufactured therapies.”

What brings Trevor to work every day is the reminder that he is helping to facilitate better patient outcomes. “The field of cell and gene therapy is the very definition of precision medicine,” he says, adding that science is moving incredibly fast to ultimately benefit patients with more targeted therapies. To continue this pace of innovation, Trevor hopes emerging leaders can maintain a natural sense of curiosity and a constant urge to keep researching new ideas. “Innovation is the crossroads of education and creativity.”

The advice Trevor wishes he received when he set out on his career is to be flexible. “There’s no ‘correct answer’ to a career path, so to define one is to limit yourself,” he says.

Meet more leaders from GE Healthcare Life Sciences

View More Leaders
"There’s no ‘correct answer’ to a career path, so to define one is to limit yourself."