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LSN Careers

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Sue Pillans is a marine ecologist, artist and writer based in Brisbane, Australia. After completing her PhD in Marine Biology, she worked for several departments in the Queenland Government, managing teams and projects to protect areas like the Great Barrier Reef. She left government to pursue her dream of combining science and art and now runs her own business teaching students and helping people and organisations communicate their science through visual storytelling. We caught up with Sue to ask her more about her career path and about how other young scientists can follow in her footsteps. Why did you decide to do a PhD in Marine Science? I have ...
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We recently published some tips from Marguerite Evans-Galea on how to make best use of mentor-mentee relationships. Here are some more tips from a recent webinar hosted by the Union of Concerned Scientists .  For more career tips, join Life Science Network . [ View the story "Mentoring Tips from the Union of Concerned Scientists" on Storify ]
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Kristen Slawinski did a PhD in biology before moving into science communications. She has worked as a recruiter, a Public Relations Executive and a Marketing Specialist. We caught up with Kristen to ask her why she moved away from academia and how she landed each of her jobs. You were a Research Associate at Amgen before doing a PhD in biology at the Salk Institute – what made you decide to do a PhD? At Amgen, the people in management roles had PhDs. There seemed to be a glass ceiling for non-PhDs and I didn’t want a degree to stop me from advancing. I also wanted to become an expert at Biology. I was frustrated in my position where I was tasked ...
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Here at Life Science Network we talk a lot about the fact that not all STEM PhD graduates can stay in academia and so academic trainees should have official career development plans  and mentors who support all types of career training .  Until that happens, it is up to junior scientists to map out their own career paths and find their own training and opportunities. That is not an easy task. Whether you want to stay in academia or transition to industry, you need to be strategic, know where you want to go and what steps you need to take to get there. STEM career consultant Alaina G. Levine has helped thousands of scientists and STEM professionals ...
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WGBH and the Rita Allen Foundation have partnered to create the Rita Allen Fellowship for Science Communication — a unique, one-year opportunity for an innovative professional to study the field of science media, experiment with media formats, and work to expand science literacy among the public.  We are seeking candidates who are early-to mid-career science media producers, journalists, or working scientists with a commitment to science communication.  The goal of the fellowship is to identify ways to expand how and to whom science news and information are communicated.  It will also aim to discover new information by experimenting with best practices ...
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LSN CENTRAL COMMUNITY

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Happy Friday! Here is some fun and quirky science to celebrate the end of the week. This week it's almost all about animals - with some cartoons thrown in to mix it up. Male/female Gene Switch Different animals use different genes to determine 'maleness' and 'femaleness'. Human boys have the SRY gene on the Y chromosome which drives male sexual development. Until this month, no one has found an equivalent gene in flies. A team of Swiss, German and Dutch researchers filled that void with their Science   paper  showing that the Mdmd gene is responsible for maleness in house flies. They went one step further and showed that when  Mdmd  is turned ...
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British-based publisher Kids Future Press  creates books that use fun stories and pictures to promote the science around sustainability. We spoke with founder AB Thorpe about why she started Kids Future Press and how scientists can get involved. What does Kids Future Press do? Kids Future Press aims to reinvent a certain kind of picture book that I call ‘city-tech,’ stories that take place in and around cities, vehicles, buildings and infrastructure. There were some great books of this type produced in the 40s, 50s and 60s, and they're still popular today. But after reading them hundreds of times with my own kids, I gradually grew uncomfortable with ...
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Trump's leaked budget shows he plans to cut millions of dollars of research funding. This will not only affect research in the US but will have a flow-on affect to research around the world as many people collaborate with American labs and use NIH-funded resources such as PubMed. It is easy when faced with this news to feel a sense of despair but if instead we stand together and fight for our funding, we are more likely to convince Congress to reject this budget. Standing up for science does not have to be time-consuming or difficult. It can be as easy as sending one or two emails a year or joining in a twitter conversation. We have created the Science Advocacy ...
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Drugs & Diagnostics for Tropical Diseases (DDTD) , a non-profit biotech company in San Diego, works to create diagnostics and treatments for Neglected Tropical Diseases such as malaria, Dengue Fever and River Blindness. DDTD is supported by the Wellcome Trust, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and San Diego philanthropists. Neglected Tropical Diseases affect 1.4 billion people in developing nations around the world. However, for-profit companies are not developing many solutions to treat these diseases because these markets are not profitable. Marco Biamonte, founder and President of DDTD, is not interested in making a profit. He is interested ...
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Happy Friday! This week our fun science news is all about student inventions. World's Lightest Satellite Rifath Shaarook, an 18 year old student from India, has invented the world's lightest satellite, which weighs only 64 grams or 0.14 pounds. Shaarook made use of 3D printed carbon to build his KalamSat satellite. Despite it's tiny size, it carries an on-board computer and eight sensors to measure the rotation, acceleration and magnetosphere of the earth. Shaarook won the Cubes in Space competition with his invention and NASA has since agreed to test the device in a sub-orbital launch in Virginia on June 21, 2017.   This story is a case of history ...
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LSN Startups

Hacking Health New York

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The Hacking Health community brings together healthcare professionals, business professionals and scientists to ‘hack’ major healthcare problems and come up with new technologies to solve these problems. The movement started in Canada in 2012 and is now active in 30 different cities around the world.  We spoke with Mariam Giorgadze from Hacking Health New York about their partnership with several HealthTech startups and accelerators. Hacking Health brings a diverse team of experts into their partner organizations to tackle problems and help them to develop and absorb new technology. One of Hacking Health NY’s partners is the Bench to Bedside Initiative ...
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Ravata Solutions uses electrical engineering to scale the generation of new transgenic animal models. Their system is significantly faster and more efficient than current methods. We caught up with Ravata’s CEO and co-founder, Arshia Firouzi, to find out more about his technology and his journey from electrical engineer to life science startup entrepreneur. What does Ravata Solutions do? We produce a device that allows high throughput embryo engineering to create transgenic animal models. It is over 100 times faster than current methods. How does your technology work? Our technology uses microfluidics and electronics. It ...
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MicroSynbiotiX , an early-stage biotech company based in Ireland, is developing oral vaccines to prevent infectious diseases in farmed fish. We spoke with CEO and co-founder, Simon Porphy, about his transgenic microalgae technology and his startup journey. What does MicroSynbiotiX do? We are a synthetic biology company. We genetically modify microalgae to produce vaccines and therapeutic proteins of interest. We are first targeting the aquaculture industry and creating products to treat and prevent deadly viral and bacterial diseases in fish and shrimp. Our long-term goal is to replace antibiotics. There is currently no oral delivery technology ...
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This article is part of a series outlining dilemmas that most startup entrepreneurs must face sooner or later. We previously talked about equity and today we are discussing how to choose your company name. We threw the question out to LSN members and they told us that the name of a life science company must be memorable and reflect what your company does.  Erik Clausen , LSN founder, said, "Choose a name that can be used to tell a story. There should be a back story with any selected name and that story should map to or convey the organization's core messages or values." That approach worked for Elia Brodsky from Pine Biotech and Mark Fortner ...
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Johnson & Johnson's incubator arm, JLABs, has a series of  QuickFire Challenges , offering early-stage companies funding or lab space or both. They have launched 17 challenges so far, 10 of which are now closed, and seven of which are currently in progress or soon to open. They have awarded close to US$2.4 million in the first 10 challenges and will give a further US$1 million in research grants in the next seven challenges. All this money is non-dilutive funding which means that startups do not have to give up equity in exchange for the prize.  A number of QuickFire Challenge winners have gone on to secure other sources of funding and achieve key milestones.  ...
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Marketing for Life Sciences

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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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