Seeding Labs Recognized as Best Practice in Access to Medicine Index

Access to Medicines Index recognizes Seeding Labs as Best Practice for R&D Capacity Building

This week, the Access to Medicine Foundation recognized Seeding Labs’ Instrumental Access program as a Best Practice for R&D Capacity Building in the 2021 Access to Medicine Index!

This is an extraordinary recognition of how our work is accelerating scientific discovery and education in developing countries worldwide.

The Access to Medicine Index is a report detailing how 20 leading pharmaceutical companies make medicines, vaccines, and diagnostics more accessible for people in low- and middle-income countries.

This honor highlights the powerful partnerships between Seeding Labs and our corporate supporters on the 2021 Index: MilliporeSigma (Merck KGaA), Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Sanofi, and Eisai.

You can dig into the entire report here (the Seeding Labs piece is on page 111). The Best Practice nod describes the innovation at the heart of our Instrumental Access program:

“By determining what researchers need to be successful and providing fit-for-purpose scientific equipment to support such projects, the Instrumental Access program helps to build country and institutional research capacity. It also … [enables] recipients to address local challenges effectively and teach future generations.”

One Step Further

MilliporeSigma* and Takeda have extended their support of Seeding Labs “one step further,” as described in the Index. They have integrated partnership with Seeding Labs into their business operations—spanning R&D and corporate social responsibility—in three ways:

  1. Investing in our Instrumental Access program with multi-year, sustaining funding
  2. Donating surplus equipment
  3. Engaging their employees through volunteerism

The result? Across the Instrumental Access network of 87 universities in 37 developing countries, more than 30,000 students each year now have hands-on educational opportunities with lab equipment. Hundreds of researchers are able to accelerate their research. Scientific infrastructure is just the foundation; the sky is the limit!

Connecting the Global Scientific Community

TakedaAt Takeda Pharmaceuticals, what started with donations of equipment and resources to strengthen global science has expanded to include contributions of employee expertise. In the process, they have made R&D capacity-building a standard part of their operations.

Dr. Chris Reddick

Dr. Chris Reddick

“Takeda is committed to improving global health and addressing health disparities that impact underserved communities. Having our partnership with Seeding Labs called out in the Access to Medicine Index 2021 as a best practice is a welcome endorsement of this important work,” says Dr. Chris Reddick, Head of the R&D Center for Health Equity at Takeda Pharmaceuticals. “Through our partnership, we are empowering scientists to catalyze basic research, advance early translational medicine, and strengthen the overall healthcare infrastructure in developing countries.” 

MilliporeSigmaAs the founding sponsor of our TeleScience platform, MilliporeSigma has partnered with Seeding Labs since 2013 to share scientific knowledge and resources with millions worldwide.

Jeffrey Whitford

Jeffrey Whitford

“At its core, Seeding Labs is not only increasing access, but it’s building capacity that’s driving impact around the world,” says Jeffrey Whitford, Head of Sustainability and Social Business Innovation at MilliporeSigma.

Takeda and MilliporeSigma’s commitment to R&D capacity building was described in the Index as “a best practice as they have expanded their commitment to, and involvement in, [Instrumental Access] beyond donating equipment.”

Melissa P Wu

Melissa P. Wu

“Instrumental Access addresses a fundamental barrier for many institutions that struggle to build for the future: investment in research infrastructure. In recognizing Instrumental Access as a Best Practice, the Access to Medicines Index also identifies scientific capacity building as crucial for global health,” says Melissa P. Wu, PhD, CEO of Seeding Labs. “I am proud to work with our corporate partners represented in this year’s Index. Together we are shaping the future of global health by investing in scientific infrastructure today.”

Get Involved

You can join MilliporeSigma, Takeda, and our community of donors who are empowering every scientist to change the world.

Learn more about donating your surplus equipment to Instrumental Access; share your scientific tips on our TeleScience site; or send us an email to talk about ways we can partner to advance global science.

*The life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, operates as MilliporeSigma in the US and Canada.

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Kaitlin Snyder

Kaitlyn Snyder
Logistics Intern

Kaitlyn started working for Seeding Labs in 2023. She works closely with the Scientific Director in the Instrumental Access program.

Kaitlyn is currently a junior at Boston University studying Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Jennifer Raymond

Jennifer Raymond
Corporate Relations
Senior Manager

Jennifer partners with corporations, universities, and nonprofit organizations to identify opportunities to repurpose surplus scientific laboratory equipment that will in turn empower talented scientists in developing countries through the Instrumental Access program.

Prior to joining Seeding Labs, Jennifer served as a Development Officer at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, where she managed relationships with donors, foundations, and corporations to advance the groundbreaking work of research scientists.

She also directed membership programs for the Boston Symphony Orchestra and alumni relations for the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Jennifer graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in French studies and a minor in philosophy.

Manisha Patel

Manisha Patel
Scientific Director

Manisha uses her scientific expertise to implement the equipment-related aspects of Seeding Labs’ programs and plays a key role in Instrumental Access.

She provides support to Instrumental Access awardees, helping them choose the instruments that best meet their research and teaching goals. She also advises the Corporate Relations team on equipment that would be useful in our awardees’ labs.

Manisha has extensive experience in managing academic research labs with knowledge spanning lab setup, compliance, and equipment training. Most recently, she oversaw labs at Harvard University.

For the past decade, Manisha directed an undergraduate internship program focused on one of her passions:  diversity and inclusion in STEM. She holds a BS in ecology from Rutgers University and an MS in ecology from the University of Vermont.

Micaela Leaska

Micalea Leaska
Programs Specialist,
Metrics & Evaluation

Micalea works with the Programs team to develop and implement metrics and evaluation tools, and to monitor the worldwide impact of Instrumental Access. She compiles and analyzes quantitative data and qualitative stories that exemplify our mantra, “talent is everywhere.”

Her prior work experience includes consulting for the World Bank, working on Water Security Assessments for Peru and Central America, and improving access to safe water in rural Ecuadorian communities with the nonprofit WaterStep.

Micalea holds a BA from Saint Michael’s College and completed her Master’s degree in Climate Change and Global Sustainability from SIT Graduate Institute, where she studied global science issues alongside scientists, stakeholders, and community members in Iceland, Tanzania, and Ecuador.

Chiudo Ehirim

Chiudo Ehirim
Instrumental Access

After completing an Atlas Corps Fellowship with Seeding Labs, Chiudo now provides support to our Instrumental Access partners from his Rumines Ltd. office in Lagos, Nigeria. Chiudo is CEO of Rumines, an environmental technology and management consulting company.

Prior to his fellowship, Chiudo was a country manager for Nigeria with Climate Scorecard, a US-based organization that monitors how the top 25 greenhouse gas-emitting countries implement the Paris Agreement on climate change.

Chiudo earned a BS in pure and industrial chemistry from the University of Nigeria and a Master’s of Science in environmental technology and management from the University of Port Harcourt in Nigeria.

David Borman

David Borman, PhD

David works to highlight the innovation and scientific successes of Instrumental Access awardees. In telling these scientists’ stories, he helps to show the global impact of the Seeding Labs mission.

Prior to joining Seeding Labs, David worked as the alumni affairs director for Brevard College in North Carolina and managed communications for Kids Center for Pediatric Therapies, a nonprofit in Louisville, Kentucky, that provides services to children with special needs.

David earned his PhD in English from the University of Miami. He holds an MA in English from the University of Louisville and a BA in English from Bellarmine University.

Christine Srivastava

Christina Viola Srivastava

Vice President of Programs

Christina is responsible for program development, planning, and implementation at Seeding Labs. 

Christina has experience as a research program evaluator and science policy analyst. She’s held roles with the consulting firm Abt Associates, Inc. and the Science and Technology Policy Institute.

Prior to entering the consulting world, Christina worked for the Boston-area nonprofits Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics and Urban Ecology Institute. She holds an undergraduate degree in biology from Swarthmore College

Rick Sherman

Rick Sherman

Vice President of Philanthropy

Rick is responsible for the fundraising activities at Seeding Labs, engaging with corporations, foundations, and individuals to increase their financial and equipment donations to the organization.

Prior to joining Seeding Labs, Rick spent 17 years working in a similar capacity at a number of science-focused organizations, including Keystone Symposia, the Carnegie Institution for Science, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation (now the Science History Institute).

Rick earned an MS in Finance from Drexel University, and a BS in Paper Science and Engineering from State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

David Qualter

Vice President of Operations

David is responsible for global logistics at Seeding Labs, overseeing the efficient movement of lab equipment worldwide.

He joined Seeding Labs from Image Arts, a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, where he provided logistics direction for the company with $110 million in annual sales.

He brings 20 years of supply chain management experience with in-depth knowledge of international logistics, warehouse execution, and distribution center operations.

Originally an art student at Southeastern Massachusetts University, David now uses his creative talents to develop logistics strategies that produce operational efficiencies and quality customer service.

Melissa P. Wu, PhD

Melissa P. Wu, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Please direct speaking requests to

As the CEO of Seeding Labs, Dr. Melissa P. Wu connects scientists and institutions around the world to help reduce barriers to scientific discovery.

Part scientist, part engineer, and part facilitator, Melissa brings strategic insight and rigorous methodology to her work, together with a dedication to helping people.

Melissa is driven by two overarching values: that scientific research is a critical tool for improving human lives, and that research thrives and we as a community make the best discoveries when we foster diversity in perspectives, approaches, and ideas. Joining these two ideas has given her a career focus on creating opportunities for people of all backgrounds to engage in scientific research.

Prior to being named CEO of Seeding Labs in 2019,
Melissa served as Senior Vice President of Operations. She revamped Seeding Labs’ Instrumental Access program to increase its efficiency while expanding its impact.

Melissa’s previous positions at the Harvard Office for
Diversity Inclusion and Community Partnership and the BioBuilder Educational Foundation helped spread scientific knowledge to students nationwide.

She is proud to have mentored many students through
programs at the Journal of Emerging Investigators, Harvard, Boston Children’s Hospital, and MIT.

Melissa earned a PhD in Cellular and Developmental
Biology from Harvard University and holds an SB in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.