The Intersection of Healthcare, Life Sciences and Social Media

When our former colleague and friend, Allie McCormick, – now Innovation Activation and PR Manager, JLABS @ TMC Houston – reached out asking if current colleague Meredith Owen and I would lead a session on the growth of healthcare audiences on social media we enthusiastically said absolutely.

JNJ has built out a beautiful space complete with cutting edge research technology and curated a stellar cohort of early stage life science companies. To give you an introduction to JLABS and the work Allie is doing there, we asked her to answer a few questions:

What is JLABS @ TMC? What are JLABS goals?

JLABS @ TMC is a capital efficient, no strings attached incubator that sits beneath the Johnson & Johnson Innovation umbrella. We provide Life Science startups the infrastructure they need, including wet lab space and equipment, that enables them to simply focus on their science with the ultimate goal of getting solutions into patients faster.

What is the impact JLABS has had or hopes to have on Houston?

We’re building an incredible ecosystem with our partners at the Texas Medical Center, and it is our goal to become the premier destination for Life Science and Biotech startups within the region.

What is your role at JLABS?

My role has three parts:

  1. The first is to support JLABS and our residents from a communications perspective, as well as drive the program strategy and curriculum.
  2. Secondly, I support Johnson & Johnson Innovation for the Texas region, which includes supporting three executives from a communications perspective, and handling any marketing or communications needs within the region.
  3. Lastly, I’m responsible for the Texas ecosystem, and ensuring we’re showing up where we should and partnering with the right people.

Why was it important to host a session on social/digital communications for the JLABS companies?

As the communications lead, I get a lot of questions regarding social. I think most scientists know that it’s valuable, but are unsure how to get started or tap into that value. Being a former employee of W2O Group, I’ve seen the expertise internally and knew they could easily translate this information into something valuable for our companies. And they delivered.


Thanks to Allie and Katelyn Bach’s hard work planning the session, we had a great conversation with JLABS cohort companies and members of the Houston health community. Our session examined the growing online conversation among healthcare professionals, patients, advocates, media and industry; explained the importance of maintaining an active social media presence; informed attendees how to track & leverage online conversations about the topics important to them and gave simple steps to get started on social media.

In addition, the session also covered how the above learnings can be utilized to optimize and target key audiences on social to improve marketing communications, clinical trial recruitment, risk and reputation management and investor relations. For a further recap of the session see Christine Hall’s recap in the TMC News.

Follow Steven Cutbirth on twitter @SvenC; Follow Meredith Owen on twitter @Mere_Owen; and MDigitalLife on twitter @MDigitalLife.

To learn more about how the MDigitalLife Online Health Ecosystem database can reshape the way you interact with doctors, patients, the media & all the important stakeholders of your healthcare company, learn more about us here.

Steven Cutbirth
Steven Cutbirth
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