Most of us are familiar with the easy smile and outgoing nature of Terry Cater. As Director of the Lunenfeld’s Biobar—the Institute’s supply centre—Terry’s amiability is a natural ‘fit’ for supplying over 400 scientists and trainees with most commonly used lab supplies.
The Biobar distributes close to 1,000 products to our researchers, providing a fast turn-around service for the growing and changing needs of each lab. These include all lab supplies, radioisotopes, charts for cold-rooms, dark-room chemicals, as well as glass products. The day-to-day functioning of each lab hinges on the critical services provided by Terry and his team.
“We are the go-between for purchasing, receiving and all the labs,” says Terry, who works with colleagues Gerry Ines and Jose Benavides to supply labs at 600 University Avenue, 60 Murray Street and 25 Orde Street.
Terry notes that sales for lab supplies average approximately $2 million each year, for products obtained from seven key distributors. Interactions with these companies are a challenging and rewarding part of the job for Terry, who “enjoys negotiating with our customers and fostering ongoing relationships.”
But his favourite part of the job is by far the people at the Institute. “The relationships we’ve built are incredibly rewarding to me,” says Terry, who has worked at Mount Sinai for over 20 years and started in the animal colony. “I’ve seen summer students become Principal Investigators, which is wonderful to be part of. It really shows the power of mentoring students into becoming tomorrow’s leading scientists.”
Besides his work with the Biobar, Terry has been integral to other Lunenfeld initiatives. To date, he (in collaboration with Cindy Todoroff) has raised over $200,000 for the Institute’s annual symposia, and his famous 50:50 holiday raffle has raised more than $8,700 thousand dollars for the Toronto Food Bank.
Jim Woodgett describes Terry’s dedication to the Institute as one of our secret weapons. “When Terry badly broke his ankle earlier this year he was on the phone to Gerry and Jose from his hospital bed to ensure deliveries were on time. He is quite literally unstoppable!”
Team members Gerry and Jose are equally committed to the professionalism of the Biobar team, and Terry notes that “My department is a reflection of who we work and interact with. If we are doing a great job, it is because the people we work with are doing the same!”