The primary goal of this program is to introduce graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to diverse opportunities for careers in life sciences, thus helping them identify career paths that maximize their individual skills, training, and talents.  The core activity of the BioOpportunities program is a seminar series featuring speakers drawn from a wide range of professions with opportunities for PhDs in the life sciences.  Speakers share details of their personal career path, what they do in their position, and provide tips to students and postdocs wishing to enter that career sector.  Past topics have included careers in industry, science writing, technology transfer and patent law, forensic science, consulting, and clinical research.  Is there a particular career you would like to hear about?  Contact Pam Carpentier.

Upcoming Events

Save the Date:  August 21, for the BioProfessionals/NUPF Research Symposium:  Current Research and Future Careers

This event will include a career panel and networking lunch with various industry professionals as well as a keynote address by Meg Ruesch, PhD, Vice President at Pfizer.  Meg leads the R&D organization within the Biotherapeutics and Pharmacuetical Sciences group.  Her organization is responsible for manufacturing the clinical materials for complex biotherapeutics and vaccine products in the Pfizer pipeline.  Their work is focused on developing, characterizing, and controlling large scale processes to make these recombinant proteins and other products that are safe and efficacious.  Check back here for more information later in the summer.

Past Events

Networking Opportunity with Bhumika Sharma, PhD, and Dennis Goussetis, PhD

Bhumika is a DGP graduate, who went on to a postdoctoral fellowship at AstraZeneca and is currently a biotechnology equity research associate at JMP group.  Dennis is a former Northwestern postdoc and research assistant professor before becoming a medical science liaison at Incyte Corporation.  They will discuss their own careers, their paths to get where they are, and advice for current students and postdocs looking for non-academic jobs. 

Coffee Chat with Phil Beccue

Phillip Beccue specializes in the application of decision analysis, financial modeling, portfolio optimization, and risk analysis to strategic business problems. For over twenty years, Phil has helped companies develop corporate and asset strategies and improve portfolio management and business operations. For the past seven years, his pioneering work in the development of tools and processes has directed top executives in allocating an annual R&D investment of $500 million at Baxter Healthcare. Prior to becoming an independent consultant, Phil was responsible for building the Decision Sciences group at Amgen and played a key role in institutionalizing decision analytic processes. Before joining Amgen he was a management consultant with Applied Decision Analysis, where he helped clients in diverse industries solve challenging business problems in strategy, prioritization, and risk analysis.

Networking Opportunity with Kwame Mensah, PhD, JD

Kwame Mensah has been a practicing patent practitioner for nearly 11 years, working in various areas of biotechnology. Kwame spent seven years as a Patent Agent and then as an Associate at McDonnell Boehen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP in Chicago, and since 2013 has been an in-house patent attorney at AstraZeneca in Gaithersburg, MD. 

Careers in Life Sciences Consulting

A discussion of what consulting is and how to get into this field led by PhD consultants will be followed by a networking reception. Panelists will include
James Dolan (Navigant), Falak Shah (Exponent), and Keila Torre Santiago (Boston Consulting Group).  Co-sponsored by the Advanced Degree Consulting Alliance.

BioOpportunities with Dr. Maureen Diaz

Dr. Diaz is a graduate of the Driskill Graduate Program (Hauser Lab) and an Alumna of the Cell and Molecular Basis of Disease Training Program.  Dr. Diaz has worked at the CDC for the past 5 years, starting as a research fellow, progressing to Microbiologist and is currently Lead Research Microbiologist.   Dr. Diaz will give a research talk covering an array of projects represent the scope of her work at the CDC (9-10am, Cook Hall 3118, Evanston).  She will host discussions on both the Evanston (10-11am, Cook Hall 3118) and Chicago (2:30-3:30pm, Ward 5-230) campuses about what it is like to work at the CDC and her career path leading to her position of Lead Research Microbiologist. A limited number of students will be able to have lunch with Dr. Diaz on the Evanston campus at 11:45.

Careers in Science Policy

Monday, June 13, Searle Seminar Room (Chicago), 4-5pm

Maureen Boyle, Ph.D., Chief of the Science Policy Branch, Office of Science Policy and Communications at the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) will discuss how her PhD led her to a career in Science Policy, as well as the various roles and responsibilities associated with each phase of her career thus far.

Careers in Data Science

Friday, May 13, Searle Seminar Room (Chicago) 4-5pm panel followed by reception

Learn how your PhD in Biological Sciences can lead to a career in diverse areas of data science!  Featured panelists: Emi Giannella, Principle Data Scientist at Jawbone; Sarah Wohlman, Sports Data Scientist at Catapult Sports; and Nicholas Bowman, Analytics Consultant at CNA

Careers as a Medical Science Liaison

Thursday, December 10 4-5pm panel followed by reception in McGaw 2-322 (Kellerman classroom, Chicago campus)

What is a medical science liaison, and how do I become one?  Meet with Terra Frederick, Byron Burnette, and Michael Chen, medical science liaisons with Eli Lily and Galderma, to discuss this career path.

Careers in Medical Communications

Wednesday, November 18, 5pm, Cook 3118 (Evanston)

IBiS alumna Joy Ramos, PhD, has working in medical communications since 2008 as an Account Manager/Medical Writer for Prescott Medical Communications Group and more recently as a Scientific Team Leader for Complete HealthVizion.  Dr. Ramos will discuss a day in the life of a medical writer and the skills and experiences that are helpful in launching a career in medical communications.

BioOpportunities with Carl Peters

Tuesday, October 19, 10-11am in Morton 4-647

Carl is a graduate of the DGP.  He held a postdoctoral and faculty position at Washington State University before launching a new career as a Senior Application Scientist at BMG LabTech.

Careers in Clinical Research

Thursday, May 28 4-6pm in Ward 5-230

Featuring Richard Cutler, Director, Clinical Sciences, Puma Biotechnology; Paul Goudreau, Director, Global Market Access- Oncology, Merck & Co; Abby Fuller, Associate Director, CNS/Immunology, Early Clinical Development, Covance

Careers for Scientists in Law

April 2, 4 pm in Ward 5-230, Videoconferenced to Cook 3118

A panel discussion focused on careers for PhD scientists in law.  Featuring Dan Kolker, Senior Patent Agent at the US Patent and Trademark Office, Sharon Sintich, Partner at Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP, Sacha Patera, Director of Law-STEM Initiatives at Northwestern Law School, and Chao Zhang, Invention Manager at Northwestern Innovation and New Ventures Office.

BioOpportunities with Holly Falk-Krzesinski, Vice President for Global Academic & Research Relations at Elsevier

December 9, 2014
11-1, Searle Seminar Room, Lurie Building (Chicago)
3-5, Cook 3118A/B (Evanston)

BioOpportunities with David Anderson, R&D Recruiting Manager, EMD Serono / EMD Millipore

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Q&A Lunch 11:30-1
Seminar, Pancoe Auditorium, 4pm (Evanston)

Friday, October 10
Searle Seminar Room, Lurie Building, 2pm (Chicago)

Careers in Life Sciences Marketing

August 21, 2014 5-7pm
5-6pm Career Panel, 6-7pm Networking Reception
Ward 5-230, Chicago campus, videoconferenced to Evanston Cook 3118A/B
  • Marina Damiano, HDMZ, Scientific Communications Specialist (Ph.D., 2013, Northwestern)
  • Deepak Mistry, Panasonic HealthCare North America, Director of Strategic Marketing and Development
  • Daniel Hoexter, HDMZ, CEO
  • Ryan Ferrell, HDMZ, Director of Scientific Communications
  • Tracy Sorrentino, Communications Consultant

Careers in Science Writing

May 15, 2014 at 4pm
Daniel Hale Williams Auditorium, McGaw Pavilion
  • Jessica Reimer, Communications Consultant at INVO and NUCATS
  • Sonia Bhangoo, Medical Writer at Baxter International, Inc.
  • Stacey Tobin, Owner, The Tobin Touch, a writing, editing, and consulting service
  • Pam Carpentier, former Associate Editor at The Journal of Cell Biology