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LSN Careers

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After completing a PhD in Molecular Biology and doing a postdoc, María Carretero is now a Medical Science Liaison in Oncology for Shire. She was kind enough to share her career path with LSN and offer tips for other academics looking to leave the bench. You did a PhD in Molecular Biology at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre and a postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego. Why did you decide to move away from academia? I decided to move out of academia because the career options ahead of me weren’t appealing anymore and even though I was still as excited with good results as the first day of my postdoc, this wasn’t enough for ...
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Jeff Allen did a PhD in analytical chemistry at Arizona State University before transitioning to a career in technical marketing for several large life science companies. He left this career to found TumorGen MDx, a biotech startup with a novel cancer diagnostic platform. We caught up with Jeff to learn more about his career path and his advice to young scientists looking to transition away from the bench. You did a PhD in analytical chemistry at Arizona State University – why did you decide to leave academia? I decided to go straight into industry because I thought industry was more exciting. The job I went into right out of graduate school was ...
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Free the PhD

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The thought of transitioning to a non-academic job can be very scary for a lot of scientists. At Life Science Network, we want to make it easier by highlighting people and resources that can help you make the jump. This week I spoke with Vania Cao, founder of Free the PhD about how she can help scientists move out of the lab. What is Free the PhD? So many talented and ambitious PhDs are looking for opportunities to make an impact with their education, background and personality, yet feel stuck at the end of their training periods.  Free the PhD is a program I founded to support fellow scientists with their transitions into society after they’re ...
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This article was originally published on the  Careers blog  and is shared here with the permission from the  American Society for Microbiology . The link to the original article is found here .  Career progression in academia depends on multiple factors. Traditionally, the metrics most widely used to assess how successful a researcher is and how likely they are to progress in their academic career have been quantifiable items, such as the number of grants, publications, presentations, posters, etc. However, researchers also engage in many other, less tangible activities that are not regarded as being equally valuable to the traditional metrics. Those ...
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Highlights from the 2017 Training, Workforce and Diversity Program Director's Meeting. Talking about career development for PhDs: [View the story "Highlights from #TWD2017PDM - Talking Career Development" on Storify]
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LSN CENTRAL COMMUNITY

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This post was originally published on the   Academics for the Future of Science (AFS) blog   on July 13, 2017 . Re-posting on the Life Science Network blog with permission from AFS. At this year’s AAAS meeting Dr. Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, gave one of the meeting’s most inspirational talks; “ The Scientist as Sentinel .” This title is in itself an interesting idea. If we think about the definition of sentinel, which is “a soldier or guard whose job is to stand and keep watch,” we may wonder what it is that we should be protecting – science itself, our own right to speak up for science, or something else? ...
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Sanger sequencing using Capillary Electrophoresis (CE) has been the gold standard for sequencing for 40 years. We spoke with Kim Kelderman, vice president and general manager, Genetic Analysis for Thermo Fisher Scientific, about the recently launched SeqStudio Genetic Analyzer, a turnkey solution that employs the trusted technology of CE with a re-imagined design that reduces set-up time from hours to minutes.   Why was there a need for a new CE platform? CE has helped discover novel biological findings such as the first breast cancer gene (BRCA1) and was used to complete the Human Genome Project in 2003. Because of the technology’s excellent and ...
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This post originally appeared on the GCC Carpe Careers blog published on the Inside Higher Ed website on July 3, 2017. Re-posting with permission from Inside Higher Ed. What do you want people to know you for? Surprisingly, this is not an easy question to answer. It depends on your personal goals and motivations -- and it may not be your actual job. And while I am not an expert in this topic, I would like to share my personal perspective and advice from my own experiences. If you are an academic scientist in training and want to become a principal investigator, your main goals are, of course, for people in your particular research field ...
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Earlier this year, we conducted the Global Postdoc Working Conditions Survey, asking postdocs from around the world about the working and training conditions in their country. Here are the results. This is a long post, so if you prefer, you can download it as ebook , find the high resolution images in this powerpoint presentation or access the full raw data in this spreadsheet . Who responded? We had 178 postdocs from 24 countries respond to the survey. Nearly half came from the US and a further 10% were from Australia, 8% from Canada and 7% from the UK. While this is too few responses from too many countries to do any statistical analysis of ...
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Regulatory compliance and reimbursement are two of the biggest challenges facing medical device companies of all sizes as we heard from Jon Wilensky, CEO of the startup company Braykion. Coming up in July are a series of conferences discussing the recent regulatory changes in Europe, how to mitigate cybersecurity risk when developing your device and how to develop your reimbursement strategy. Here's some more info: European Medical Device Regulation Conference The European Medical Device Regulation Conference  will take place in Arlington, Virginia on July 13-14, 2017. The conference’s in-depth focus on the EU Medical Device Regulation will ...
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LSN Startups

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Biosignatures Ltd is a UK-based startup company developing novel protein-based diagnostics. We caught up with CEO and co-founder Will Dracup to find out more about his technology and his startup journey. What does Biosignatures do? We find new diagnostics, particularly blood tests for cancers. We have a platform technology comprising software, proteomic separation and clinical trial management that can reliably discover new diagnostic biomarkers. How does your technology work? It comes from a deep understanding of the scientific issues in this area. We spun Biosignatures out of my previous company Nonlinear Dynamics. At Nonlinear we ...
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  TumorGen MDx has created a cancer diagnostic workflow with the goal of allowing doctors to provide targeted anti-cancer therapies. TumorGen’s microfluidics chip captures live Cancer Stem Cells. Their platform then allows single-cell sequencing and drug susceptibility testing. We caught up with TumorGen’s President and founder Jeff Allen to find out more about his technology and his startup journey. What does TumorGen MDx do? We have developed a microfluidics chip designed to capture living Cancer Stem Cells (CSCs). These cells are responsible for a large percentage of metastases, cancer recurrence and acquired therapy resistance. There’s ...
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We talk to a lot of life science startup entrepreneurs for our “Startup Stories” series. Many of them tell us that being part of an incubator or accelerator can help jumpstart your company by giving you valuable business mentorship and introducing you to potential investors. Here’s a look at several accelerators around the world dedicated to helping medical device, digital health and diagnostic (MedTech) companies, several of which are confusingly called MedTech Accelerator even though they are different programs in different countries. Some offer funding, some offer business training and some offer both. MedTech Innovator The MedTech Innovator ...
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This post was originally published on the Q1 Productions blog. View the original posting here. With trends in healthcare pointing towards an increased emphasis on the patient experience, life science executives are eyeing the benefits and opportunities of embracing patient-centric approaches. Many business leaders are now wondering how, outside of focus groups and surveys, their companies can engage with patients, and what that engagement can do for both the company and the patient. Historically, customer input has been at the center of product innovation. Healthcare is no different. So, with so much at stake, we looked to 8 th Annual Life Science ...
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Louisiana-based company AxoSim has developed a Nerve-on-a-Chip platform that facilitates pre-clinical neurotoxicity and efficacy testing of drug candidates. We caught up with CEO and co-founder Lowry Curley to find out more about his technology and his journey from postdoc to startup entrepreneur. What does AxoSim do? We deliver clinically relevant results in human-predictive testing to try and improve the success of drug development. We’re focused on the nervous system – neurotoxicity, ALS and neurodegenerative diseases – which are some of the biggest unmet needs in healthcare. How does your technology work? We’ve taken a different ...
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Marketing for Life Sciences

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Three ways in which Life Science companies destroy brand value Companies invest heavily in establishing their brands yet there are 3 common ways in which they can destroy brand value, often without realising it. https://goo.gl/PLnKq
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When you have a parity or commoditised product with little differentiation from competitors, you need a profound understanding of what frustrates customers and what matters to them most before looking for ways to differentiate what you are offering. It’s only through real customer insight into the customer’s behaviour , experiences, beliefs, needs and desires that you can find a point of differentiation. Customer segmentation is one technique used by marketers to understand their customers better and develop differentiated offers for different segments. This article will focus on more general points of differentiation. If the makers of bottled ...
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The average marketing campaign for Life Science products achieves a lead to customer conversion rate of around 10–20% with similarly low conversion rates at each stage along the customer purchase journey. There is an enormous amount of attrition along the sales funnel. Sales are receiving insufficiently well qualified leads while marketing is working overtime to stuff the funnel in an attempt to meet targets. Example: Marketing campaign for an established Life Science consumable product: In this example, more than 80% of leads were not sufficiently well qualified to convert to sales. The marketing team contacted over 30,000 ...
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The barriers to technology adoption are frequently higher than marketers recognise especially when that new technology brings seemingly huge new capabilities. Marketers often don’t anticipate the level of inertia that needs to be overcome for customers to change to a new product. There are several examples where customers haven’t bought innovative new products even when they offer distinct improvements. New products almost always require customers to change their behaviour and scientists are subject to the same psychology as the rest of us when it comes to behavioural changes. However, scientists face additional barriers to change ...
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Startup entrepreneurs know that media coverage can be a powerful way to find customers or users and to gain credibility with potential partners or investors. However, it’s not always easy to get that media coverage. The first step, as science journalists will tell you, is to make sure that your news is really news . Before contacting journalists, ask yourself, “Why should their readers care about my story?”  If your news is really news, then the standard way of sharing it is in pitch emails accompanied with a press release. We asked LSN member and PhD grad turned PR professional turned startup entrepreneur Maria Angelella for some tips on how to write ...
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It’s not uncommon for R&D to develop products and then “throw them over the fence” for marketing to promote. This is a particularly common problem in Life Science companies because they are often run by scientists and engineers who focus on the technical aspects of the product, leaving the customer as an afterthought. These products have a high rate of failure in the market. Here are some of the most common reasons why products, that aren’t designed with the customer in mind, fail: The customer doesn’t perceive any need for the product; The number of customers who need the product is just too small for the product to be profitable; The product ...
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First published on Medium.com 3 April 2017 The landscape in which we as Life Science marketers are working is becoming more and more complex. The number of marketing tools available is increasing rapidly with no sign of slowing down. Below is a great infographic, produced each year by Scott Brinker of Valtech showing the marketing technology landscape (1). The number of marketing tools has increased from about 100 in 2011 to over 3,800 in 2016, thats a compound annual growth rate of 108%! Added to this, the number of social media channels available is also increasing. This infographic by Luma Partners (2) shows the increase in ...
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The explosion in marketing content has contributed little to improving the quality of sales leads. The impact on Life Science organisations is particularly visible where overstretched marketing teams are struggling under the burden of content creation while facing increasing pressure to generate more sales in a cautious funding environment. As marketing departments reach breaking point, what marketers need is a simple way to help generate less content thats more relevant. A recent poll found that less than half of Life Science marketers feel confident that they know which types of content to use at each stage of the customer purchase journey. The net ...
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Scientists of the World

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This post was written by Prakriti Sharma and edited by Holly Hamilton. To see the original posts and other stories, check out Scientist of the World . What is your aim? Or what do you want to be when you grow up? "My aim is to study more. More and more…" This was the answer I used to give when I was a kid. I even used to read many story books, comics and newspapers. Several life stories of people I looked up to inspired me to pursue what I love. Even though I knew I wanted to study more, I did not know what I would be studying. My interest built up in biology later in high school. This choice also came from my exam results where I used to score 99 out of ...
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This post was written by PJ and edited by Holly Hamilton. This post was originally featured on November 4, 2016 on the Scientists of the World  Facebook page. When you’re a little kid people always ask what you want to be when you grow up. My answer was always the same: I was going to be a lawyer and, eventually, President of the United States. I hated science when I was younger; really who wants to learn about the parts of a flower or all the different kinds of rocks? So, when asked how I ended up pursuing a Ph.D. in Biochemistry, the only honest answer is that it was an accident. I didn’t just hate science as a kid; I pretty much hated all ...
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This post was written Holly Hamilton. This post was originally featured on September 23 2016 on the Scientists of the World  facebook page.   Holly Hamilton at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Smithville, TX My path to graduate school was a straight shot. Biology was my favorite subject in high school. I aced my tests with ease and excelled beyond my classmates. I choose Microbiology as a major because I preferred viruses and bacteria to plants and animals. Plus I had what I thought was a unique experience- one that compelled me to embra ce the power of science. I found out that a 16 year old friend of ...
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This post was written by Geoff and edited by Holly Hamilton. This post was originally featured on November 11, 2016 on the Scientists of the World  facebook page. Everyone says graduate school was difficult. My experience destroyed my personal life and sunk me into clinical depression for 6 years - all because I simply love science. I spent the first 4 years of graduate school struggling to remember words, speak, pay attention, study, and be productive. I was in two car accidents. I would stop talking mid-sentence to friend s and during presentations. Tape dispensers would scare me. It would take hours to read through a single paragraph and my linguistic ...
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Irene Suarez-Martinez is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow with her own lab and a permanent research position at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. She grew up in Spain before doing a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Sussex in England and a postdoc at the Institute of Materials Nantes, CNRS (French National Research Center) in France. She then moved to Australia to do another postdoc at Curtin University before becoming an ARC Postdoctoral Fellow and then an ARC Future Fellow. We caught up with Irene to find out more about her work and why she became a scientist as part of Holly Hamilton’s ‘Scientists of the World’ series. ...
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