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

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Past Events

Below is a sampling of previous events run as part of this series.  We are always interested in new topics and speakers!  If you are interested in volunteering, or have suggestions of people or careers you'd like to hear more about, please contact Pam Carpentier.

BioProfessionals/NUPF Research Symposium:  Current Research and Future Careers (Keynote speaker:  Lia Haynes Smith)

Lia Haynes Smith, PhD, is the first permanent director of the U.S. National Authority for Containment of Poliovirus (NAC) located in CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response. The NAC implements the poliovirus containment plan in the United States, ensures the national poliovirus inventory is maintained, and performs audits of and certifies all poliovirus essential facilities. Dr. Haynes Smith is also the National Poliovirus Containment Coordinator for the United States.

BioOpportunities with Sheila Chari

We are happy to co-host with the Cell and Molecular Basis of Disease Training Program, Dr. Sheila Chari, Editor in Chief, Cell Stem Cell.  Dr. Chari is a graduate of the Driskill Graduate Program in Life Sciences (Winandy Lab) and an Alumna of the Cell and Molecular Basis of Disease Training Program.  Dr. Chari has worked at Cell Stem Cell for the past 8 years after completing a Postdoctoral Fellowship at University of Chicago.
Dr. Chari will host discussions about her career on both the Evanston and Chicago campuses.  The career forum will have two parts:
  1. A presentation entitled “Publishing with Cell Press: Inside the Editorial Process” focusing on a behind the scenes look at Cell Press journals.  Cell Press journals are distinct from other journals in that they employ full-time editors rather than academic editors.
  2. This will be followed by a Q&A session about her career and the publishing world. 

BioOpportunities with Rebecca Katzman

Rebecca graduated from the DGP in 2004 from the Longnecker lab.  Rebecca has worked as an editor at Cancer Cell, as a science writer at the Mayo Clinic, and is currently a medical writer at Merck.  She is happy to meet with students to discuss her career path and her job. 

Careers in Academic Administration

These are jobs within universities that keep you close to research and/or education but are not faculty roles.  If you like the academic environment and mission but don’t want to run your own lab, this type of career might be a good fit for you.  We’ll have a panel discussion followed by a reception.  Panelists will include Pam Carpentier (Assistant Director, Driskill Graduate Program), LaTanya Williams (Associate Director for STEM, Office of Fellowships), Megan Wood (Assistant Director, Undergraduate Research Office), and Nicholas Angeloni (Director, Office for Research Strategic Planning and Coordination). 

BioProfessionals/NUPF Research Symposium:  Current Research and Future Careers (Keynote speaker:  Shanthi Ganeshan)

Shanthi Ganeshan, PhD, is Vice President, Global Head of Solid Tumors & US Head of Oncology Regulatory Affairs for Novartis.  In this position she is responsible for driving the DRA regulatory strategy and implementation of development projects and new indications within the region. Key US approvals under her leadership include Kymriah, Kisqali, Rydapt, Zykadia, Farydak, Signifor LAR and multiple additional indications for previously marketed compounds. Shanthi joined Novartis Oncology in 2004 and since that time has taken on roles of increasing responsibility. Most recently, she was the Global Head of Regulatory for the Oncology Early Programs during which time her group was successful in enabling several novel combination studies. In addition to Regulatory Affairs, she has also held managerial positions in Medical Information and Office of Grants & Education at Novartis. Shanthi is committed to mentoring and developing her associates and was recognized for her efforts when she was named HBA Rising Star in 2012 by Novartis. Shanthi received a M.Sc. degree in Biological Sciences from BITS, Pilani, India and a Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.
This event also has a networking reception with a variety of professionals from outside of academics.

Careers with Proctor & Gamble

Shameika Wilmington, PhD, will be on campus to discuss PhD careers with Procter & Gamble.  Shameika is a Regulatory Affairs Scientist.  She will discuss options at Procter & Gamble and leave time for questions.  

BioOpportunities with Azurii Collier, Manager at Accenture

BioProfessionals is pleased to present a BioOpportunities seminar with Azurii Collier, PhD.  Azurii earned her PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Northwestern.  After a short postdoctoral fellowship at University of Pennsylvania, Azurii began as a consultant with Accenture, where she is now a manager.  Azurii will host a lunch discussion focused on issues of diversity in science and her experiences as a woman of color in STEM. She will also be presenting a career talk that will touch on issues of diversity, along with discussion of her career and her path to that career. 

BioOpportunities with Nina Dudnik, My Journey from Scientist to Social Entrepreneur

BioProfessionals will be hosting Dr. Nina Dudnik, the CEO and co-Founder of the non-profit organization, Seeding Labs (see below for details).  She will be giving a presentation on her career path, including translatable skills, and her current work in science diplomacy.

BioOpportunities with Sarah Paul, Senior Research Assistant at Genentech

We are happy to co-host with the Cell and Molecular Basis of Disease Training Program, Dr. Sarah Paul, Senior Research Associate at Genentech.  Dr. Paul will host discussions about what it is like to work at Genentech and her career path leading to her position of Senior Research Associate. 

Life Sciences Consulting

Co-sponsored as part of the ADCA Consulting 101 Series.  Featured Consulting 101 presentation and Q&A by Elysse Longiotti from Northwestern Career Advancement followed by presentations by consultants from Beghou Consulting and Navigant.  Networking social to follow.

BioProfessionals/NUPF Research Symposium:  Current Research and Future Careers (Keynote speaker:  Meg Ruesch)

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. 

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. 


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 and host discussions about what it is like to work at the CDC and her career path leading to her position of Lead Research Microbiologist.

Careers in Science Policy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Holly will lead a discussion about career opportunties outside academics and discuss her own career path in and outside academics.

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

David Anderson will discuss his career as a recruiter and offer tips to those seeking to move outside academics.

Careers in Life Sciences Marketing

  • 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

  • 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