Month: August 2020

Career Development Strategies E017 How To Jump From Pharma Industry to Academia? How To Build International Research Projects?

Dr. Jeffrey C. Glennon’s story is very different from typical career stories in academia. After completing his PhD in neurophysiology at University College Dublin, for nearly 10 years, he was working as a pharmacologist in the pharmaceutical industry post-PhD at Solvay Pharmaceuticals. He developed a successful career in this area, but decided to continue his career in academia.

In 2010, he returned to academia in the Netherlands and later in Ireland. Today, he works as a Senior Conway Fellow and Assistant Professor at the University College Dublin. He is a neuroscientist linking experimental psychology to biological mechanisms with a track record in industry and academic settings. His academic interests are in rule making / rule breaking processes in cingulate cortex that govern rational versus emotional decision making. As a translational neuroscientist, he seeks to implement basic and preclinical efforts into clinical practice relevant to patients. On a more fundamental level as an experimental neuropharmacologist interested in disease mechanisms, he has been examining the role of insulin signalling and particularly a class of potassium channels regulating insulin release in relation to behavioral inflexibility.

His interest in cross-disciplinary teams has resulted in the leadership as lead-Principal Investigator of a 5.4 mln Eur Dutch public-private consortium (funded by TI-Pharma) encompassing Dutch universities, university hospitals, and pharmaceutical partners. Further, he has led a 4.5M euro EU Commission FP7 funded consortium (MATRICS) on conduct problems. In addition, he has been involved both as work package leader and partner in six Horizon 2020 / Marie Curie ITN funded / EU Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) II consortia focused on neurodevelopmental disorders, adult psychiatry and psychiatric conditions in neurological and somatic disorders (type I myotonic dystrophy and type II diabetes).

In summary, Jeffrey is an integrator. This pertains to people, research groups, complementary expertise, research ideas, and visions. This ability to integrate across people and topics to create platforms in which they can create new research together. Today, his wide contacts in both academia and industry allow him to build international networks across a range of expertise areas both in academia, in small-medium enterprises (SMEs), and major Pharma. This has led to novel translational treatment opportunities not only in Pharma but also in robotics. On a personal level, he has an innate curiosity over science and people, what motivates them, and how to develop them both as a person and as strong members of productive, effective multi-disciplinary teams.

In this webinar, Jeffrey told us about both his transitions: to the pharmaceutical industry and back. Why did he choose academia after all? What are the pros and cons of this choice? How does he stay positive no matter what? How to create your own opportunities?

Career Development Strategies E016 How To Hop From the Bench to Science Policy as a PhD? Adriana Bankston on Science Legislation

Dr. Adriana Bankston is a Principal Legislative Analyst in the University of California (UC) Office of Federal Governmental Relations, where she serves as an advocate for UC with Congress, the Administration, and federal agencies. Prior to this position, Adriana was a Policy & Advocacy Fellow at The Society for Neuroscience (SfN), where she provided staff support for special and ongoing projects, including SfN’s annual lobby event and the society’s annual meeting. In addition to working at UC, Adriana serves as Co-Director of the Policy Taskforce at Future of Research (FoR), a non-profit organization that empowers early career scientists. She is also Chief Outreach Officer at the Journal of Science Policy and Governance (JSPG), a non-profit and interdisciplinary peer review publication serving as a vehicle for early career researchers to publish on science policy topics. More recently, Adriana became a Biomedical Workforce & Policy Research Investigator at the STEM Advocacy Institute (SAi), a think-tank building tools to expand pathways of access between science and society. Adriana obtained her PhD in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University and a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from Clemson University.

In this episode, Adriana told us about her impressive career transition, and her long way from Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology to Science Policy. What does it take to make the transition? How to build your career in Science Policy? What can you do early in your career to prepare for the industry position? Let’s find out!

Natalia-Bielczyk-PhD

Career Development Strategies E015 Natalia Bielczyk on Starting Your First Company as a PhD: Things That No One Will Tell You

Dr. Natalia Bielczyk is an entrepreneur, researcher, author, and philanthropist. She graduated from the College of Inter-Faculty Individual Studies in Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Warsaw, Poland, with a triple MS title in Physics, Mathematics, and Psychology. Thereafter, she obtained a PhD in Computational Neuroscience at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behavior in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. In 2018, she launched a public foundation, Stichting Solaris Onderzoek en Ontwikkeling, aiming to help early career researchers find new careers in industry. She also owns Odyssey Careers, a company developing new tools and practices to help professionals in navigating on the job market, and in finding/creating their dream jobs. Even though she chose to work in the open market, she is still a researcher in her free time and has a strong belief in the compatibility of science and entrepreneurship.

In this special episode of the open Sunday webinar, Natalia talked about entrepreneurship for researchers. Is setting a company as a researcher hard? Under what circumstances should you consider registering a business? What are the traps you might potentially fall into? A startup or a sale proprietorship? How was the company created? What’s the vision, and the plans for developing the company further?

Career Development Strategies E014 Vicky Sherwood on Leaving a Tenure Track: How To Start as a Freelancing Medical Writing PhD?

Dr. Vicky Sherwood holds a PhD in Biosciences from the University of Nottingham, UK. During her studies she worked on understanding the interplay between DNA tumor viruses and the host innate immune response. She then went on to do a couple of Postdoc projects, including one at Lund University in Sweden. During this time, she developed an interest in understanding the molecular basis for the development of metastatic skin tumors. This interest led her to start her own research lab in 2011 in the UK, where she ended up as a Principle investigator at the University of Dundee. Her research group worked on the development of novel therapeutic treatments for the deadliest forms of skin cancer.

Despite her academic career track, Vicky had always harbored an interest in taking the plunge to experience life beyond academia and discover what else was out there. In 2017 she went for it, and made a career transition into the medical communications field. Here, she works on developing a variety of promotional and non-promotional materials for the cancer immunotherapy market. Her experience from this transition has sparked a personal interest in career opportunities for STEM researchers.

Since January 2018, Vicky has published her own blog, BiomedBadass (http://www.biomedbadass.com/), revealing insights into the career transitions from research scientist to industry professional. The aim of the blog is to help researchers answer some of the challenging questions they face when considering an industry career. Questions such as; “What skills do I have that are useful in industry?”, “How does the work culture differ compared to academia?”, “Will I enjoy working in a company compared to academia?” and “What kind of opportunities are available to me?” to name a few. In this endeavor, she hopes this resource can provide much needed support for career planning by STEM researchers.

In this webinar, Vicky shared her impressions from leaving academia as a PI, her first steps in the field of Medical Communications, and talked about plans for her blog. She also gave us a lot of general career advice for easy career researchers.

Career Development Strategies E013 Mariam Kostandyan on Human Resources Careers for PhDs. How To Become a Coach?

Dr. Mariam Kostandyan obtained her PhD in Experimental/NeuroCognitive Psychology from Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium. In her PhD, she worked with multimodal neuro-cognitive and behavioral techniques, such as behavior studies, neuroimaging, electroencephallography, pupillometry, and brain stimulation. In the process, she became a researcher with broad expertise in behavioral and (neuro-)cognitive studies with a strong emphasis on data-driven approach and data analytics.

Yet, after her PhD she decided to step outside academia. Today, she works as a Research Consultant at a recruitment agency, Schelstraete Delacourt Associates. She is responsible for a strategic search for potential candidates on the executive level. She works with professionals across the board range of industries — from the agricultural industry to IT. Among other responsibilities, she determines the recruitment strategy based on parallels with the client or the nature of their business model, she conducts market studies to select the best candidates and conducts interviews with the candidates on the phone.

In this webinar, we will ask Mariam about her decision to switch from neurocognitive studies to recruitment. Is it difficult to make this jump? What is the most important while hiring executives? Is this true that most companies don’t trust in the management skills of fresh PhD graduates? How to increase your chances at the job interview?

In this webinar, Mariam told us about her decision to leave neurocognitive studies on behalf of the industry. How did she land a job in HR? What is the most important while hiring executives? Is this true that most companies don’t trust in the management skills of the fresh PhD graduates?