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46 minutes | Jul 1, 2022
Vay Cao, Marketing Manager
In this episode, I speak with Vay Cao, Senior Marketing Manager for Natera, a molecular diagnostics company. Interested in science at an early age, Vay studied microbiology as an undergraduate at Penn State University, and then neuroscience as a graduate student at Brown University, where she earned her PhD. But her deeper interests lay more at the intersection of art and human behavior, and so although her first job was as a field application scientist, she soon transitioned into customer support, marketing, and sales. During this time she also earned an MBA from Quantic School of Business and Technology. Outside of work, Vay founded Free the PhD, which provides a variety of resources to graduate students, PhDs, and postdocs to help them find careers outside of academia. We’ll talk about all these experiences and of course find out about what her job is like.Resources:Free the PhD
34 minutes | Jun 15, 2022
Melanie Peffer, Science Communicator
In this episode, I speak with Melanie Peffer, the best-selling author of Biology Everywhere. Melanie earned both a BS and a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Pittsburgh, and was poised for a career doing academic research. While in graduate school, she began volunteering at a local zoo and became intrigued in how students learn scientific concepts, and this prompted her to switch fields for her postdoc to study educational psychology. She then landed a tenure-track research faculty position, but soon discovered that the job was not a good fit for her, and so she pivoted and became a teaching professor at the University of Colorado Boulder. Although she still holds a part time position at UC Boulder, her main focus now is using the Biology Everywhere philosophy to communicate science and scientific concepts to a variety of different audiences.
37 minutes | Jun 1, 2022
Joseph Mocanu, Global HealthTech Impact Investor
In this episode, I speak with Joseph Mocanu, Founder and Managing Director of Verge HealthTech Fund, a venture capital fund investing exclusively, and globally, in impactful healthcare technologies at the earliest stages. Joseph attended the University of Toronto both as an undergraduate and graduate student, earning a BSc in molecular genetics and molecular biology and a PhD in medical biophysics. During graduate school, he also served as Director of Research and Development for a medical device company he founded, and based on this experience he decided to attend business school. After earning his MBA, he served in various business-related roles in China, Canada, and Singapore, where he saw that start-up companies working to make healthcare more affordable and accessible were having difficulty securing funding. He founded Verge to address this need. We’ll talk about all these experiences and of course find out about what his job is like.
42 minutes | May 15, 2022
Thomas Lentz, Scientific Instructional Designer
In this episode, I speak with Thomas Lentz, Scientific Instructional Designer at Promega Corporation, a supplier of reagents and instrumentation for life science research. Growing up, Thomas had a strong interest the natural world, and, while an undergraduate at Texas A&M, discovered that he really enjoyed molecular biology and virology. He continued following these interests while a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and assumed he would eventually do research as a university professor. However, as he learned more about the academic research path while a postdoctoral fellow, his focus shifted to teaching, which ultimately led to his current position in industry. We’ll talk about how his career journey unfolded and of course find out about what his job is like.
36 minutes | May 2, 2022
Alexis Katsis, Relationship Manager
In this episode, I speak with Alexis Katsis, an infectious disease expert working freelance as a Relationship Manager. From an early age, Alexis wanted to be a scientist, and in college studied biology, earning a BS in biotechnology from Rutgers University. After working for two years, she decided to get a MS in public health microbiology to access jobs having a greater impact. Afterwards, she worked at the Centers for Disease Control, but again returned to school, this time to earn a PhD in microbiology and immunology so she could take on positions with greater responsibility. This led to jobs at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, where, among other things, she led teams investing in projects to improve child health, and to ensure the quality of laboratory data from clinical trials for HIV/AIDS and COVID19. She has recently begun working freelance to have more time to pursue creative endeavors, such as hosting a podcast called LuxeSci, which explores the science of luxury. We’ll hear about all these experiences and of course find out about what her job is like.
30 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
Lauren Shields, Professional Services
In this episode, I speak with Lauren Shields, Head of Solutions Delivery at Benchling, an R&D cloud software company headquartered in San Francisco. Growing up, Lauren always wanted to become a scientist and a professor. She majored in biology as an undergraduate at MIT, and went to graduate school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she earned a PhD in biomedical sciences. However, along the way she discovered that although she enjoyed the intellectual aspects of science, working in the lab did not resonate with her. Consequently, she began exploring career options outside of academia. We’ll talk about her experience making the transition to industry, and of course find out about what her job is like.
37 minutes | Apr 4, 2022
Myeashea Alexander, Anthropologist and Science Communicator
In this episode, I speak with Myeashea Alexander, The Rockstar Anthropologist. Anthropology and science communication and outreach have been long-term interests for Myeashea. In her role as The Rockstar Anthropologist, she writes a blog about science, culture, and anthropology; runs a mobile bone lab for schools and youth groups which provides a hands-on learning experience that includes forensic anthropology, archaeology, history, math, art, and culture; and produces a video series on YouTube called “Science and…” where she talks with scientists about their lives and hobbies. Myeashea holds an AA degree in anthropology, a BA in Culture and Media Studies from The New School in New York City, and a MA in biological anthropology from Hunter College, also in New York.Resources:The Rockstar Anthropologist"Science and..."Sneedle CreativeComSciCon
35 minutes | Mar 21, 2022
Yamilée Toussaint Beach, Dance Technologist
In this episode, I speak with Yamilée Toussaint Beach, Dance Technologist and Founder and CEO of STEM From Dance. Based in New York City, STEM From Dance gives underrepresented minority girls the awareness and preparation for a STEM education through the creative and confidence-building aspects of dance. Yamilée grew up on Long Island, and although she considered becoming a professional dancer after high school, she instead enrolled at MIT, where she earned a BS in mechanical engineering. Wanting to apply her knowledge in an educational setting, she joined the Teach For America program, and spent two years teaching high school algebra in an underserved community in Brooklyn. STEM From Dance was then born from her desire to combine her passions for STEM, education, and dance into a program that educates and excites girls of color about STEM. Learn more about STEM From DanceSTEM From Dance Summer Program (including virtual option) in New York, Atlanta, Houston, and other citiesSTEM From Dance is on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook@yamileebeach
33 minutes | Feb 28, 2022
Ro'ee Gilron, Industry Scientist
In this episode, I speak with Ro’ee Gilron, Lead Scientist at Rune Labs in San Francisco. Growing up in Israel, Ro’ee was an avid reader of science fiction and popular science literature. After graduating high school and completing his compulsory military service, he attended Brandeis University, attractive due to its focus on liberal arts, and earned a BS in neuroscience. He then returned to Israel, where he received a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Tel Aviv University, afterwards returning to the U.S. for a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. After getting job offers from both academia and industry, Ro’ee opted for industry, and is now a Lead Scientist at Rune. We’ll talk about the value of internships and having a good mentor, what he learned in graduate school, why he chose a career in industry, and of course find out about what his job is like.
30 minutes | Jan 24, 2022
Janet Chao, Ocularist and Anaplastologist
In this episode, I speak with Janet Chao, an ocularist and anaplastologist with a private practice in Las Vegas, Nevada. Anaplastologists provide custom, non-weight-bearing prostheses for patients who have suffered loss of anatomy due to injury, disease, or congenital origin, and ocularists deal specifically with the fitting and fabrication of artificial eyes. In college, Janet majored in bioengineering and minored in chemistry, but struggled to see where these would take her professionally, and so began to rethink the possibility of including her passion for arts and crafts into her work. This led her to obtain a certificate in science illustration and do a series of internships before enrolling in the Master of Science program in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois, Chicago. After graduating, she completed a 5 year apprenticeship before becoming board certified in both ocularistry and anaplastology, and going into business for herself. We’ll talk about all these experiences and of course find out about what her job is like.Resources mentioned in this episode:International Anaplastology Association (IAA)American Society of Ocularists (ASO)Please note that although contents of the interview are accurate at the time of the recording, educational pathways in ocularistry and anaplastology are constantly evolving. In fact, formal education opportunities in the field of clinical anaplastology may soon be available, for example at Johns Hopkins University
40 minutes | Jan 10, 2022
Melanie Stegman, Biochemist and Video Game Developer
In this episode, I speak with Melanie Stegman, Assistant Professor at the Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technology at Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania. Melanie was interested in biochemistry from an early age, and worked in biochemistry labs while earning an BA in political science. After college, she started writing a story about Amy the Amylase, intending to make molecular cell biology less scary for everyone. To get the biochemistry right in her stories, Melanie pursued a PhD in Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry, and Microbiology from the University of Cincinnati. During her postdoctoral fellowship at Weill Cornell Medical College, Melanie found out about an educational video game being made by a think tank in Washington, DC. Melanie then moved to DC, won a grant to study the game, and based on her research, designed and produced a new game called Immune Defense. After 5 years of trying to get a game studio off the ground, Melanie is now a professor of interactive media and science communication. She creates games about chemistry and teaches game development, while still dabbling in indie game development. Links to resources mentioned in this episodeGame Engines: Unity 3D Unreal Construct Gamemaker Scratch Other links: Blender 3D Itch.io Games for Change Science Game Center Immune Attack and Immune Defense video games International Game Developer Association Game Developer Conference
29 minutes | Dec 27, 2021
Janae Carrothers, MESA Program Director
In this episode, I speak with Janae Carrothers, MESA Program Director at Spokane Falls Community College in Washington. MESA stands for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, and is an academic preparation program that supports pre-college, community college, and university-level students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Janae has a BS in biology education and an MS in zoology, both from Washington State University, Pullman. Growing up “in the woods” in rural Washington, Janae wanted to become a field biologist like Dian Fossey or Jane Goodall. However, once in college, circumstances and personal interest nudged her towards science education, which became her primary focus following her experience as a teaching assistant in graduate school. We’ll hear about these formative events and of course find out about what her job is like.
33 minutes | Dec 13, 2021
Gaëlle Batot, Project Manager
In this episode, I speak with Gaëlle Batot, Project Manager for ARUP Laboratories, a national clinical diagnostic reference laboratory. Initially planning on going to medical school in her native France, Gaëlle didn't pass the entrance examination and so instead trained to become a laboratory technician. This lead her to graduate school in Grenoble, where she earned a PhD in structural biology, followed by postdoctoral fellowships in the United States. While volunteering for the postdoc associations at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Utah, she discovered that she particularly enjoyed the aspects of her work typically associated with project management, and this led her to learn more about engaging and motivating teams. Additional formal project management training helped prepare her for her current position at ARUP. We’ll talk about all these experiences and of course find out about what her job is like.
43 minutes | Nov 29, 2021
Mark Beaman, Winemaker
In this episode, I speak with Mark Beaman, Winemaker for Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery in Sonoma, California. After growing up on a farm in rural Washington, Mark attended Whitman College, where he focused on geology because it combined his love of science, being outdoors, and being physically active. After earning a BA in geology-environmental studies, Mark spent two years in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Needing work after returning home, he took a job as lab technician at a winery in Washington, which led to other jobs in wineries in California and Hawaii. We’ll talk about all these experiences and of course find out what his job is like.
28 minutes | Nov 10, 2021
Madison Rice, Medical Illustrator
In this episode, I speak with Madison Rice, Medical Illustrator at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Madison was life science major in college, earning a BS in microbiology from Mississippi State University. Building on her long-time interest in art, in her junior year she also began taking art classes to satisfy a minor in visual art. She then completed a two-year master’s program in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois, Chicago before beginning her current job as a medical illustrator.
35 minutes | Sep 30, 2021
Glenn Watson, Medical Science Liaison
In this episode, I speak with Glenn Watson, Medical Science Liaison at LivaNova, a medical device company. Glenn was a Psychology and Neuroscience double major at the University of Delaware, and earned his PhD in neuroscience from Pennsylvania State University. During graduate school, he had an internship in the Technology Transfer Office, and as a postdoc at Duke University had a fellowship in the Office of Licensing and Ventures. While looking into other non-academic career options, he came across a job posting for a Medical Science Liaison, and knew the position was for him. We’ll talk about all these experiences, and of course find out what job is like
33 minutes | Sep 14, 2021
Jayla King, Undergraduate Student
This episode breaks from the usual format in that I will be interviewing someone who has not yet begun their career as a scientist. My guest today is Jayla King, a senior at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. When she graduates in the spring, Jayla will be the first person in her family to have earned a four-year degree. In high school, Jayla focused on engineering, including completing college-level coursework, and presumed she would continue studying engineering in college. However, once there, she decided to study biology to ensure her scholarship would cover all four years of school. In this episode, we’ll talk about her education, what she has learned through various internships, and how she sees her future unfolding. In addition, she’ll tell us about a podcast she co-produces at Hendrix called Scientists for Social Justice, where she and her professor discuss issues of social justice in the higher education system, especially as they relate to the scientific disciplines. Scientists for Social Justice website: https://anchor.fm/sfsjHendrix College Odyssey Program: https://www.hendrix.edu/odyssey/
30 minutes | Aug 31, 2021
Mallory Mintz, Intern Scientist
In this episode, I speak with Mallory Mintz, Intern Scientist in the National Park Service’s Scientists in Parks program. A first generation college student, Mallory graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology, and then worked for several years as a research assistant at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. She left that position after the pandemic hit, and moved across the country to the Olympic Peninsula for her current internship. In this episode, we’ll talk about her passion for science, desire to use her education to make an impact in the world, her thoughts on how she sees her career progressing and whether to go to graduate school, and of course find out about her current work with the National Park Service.
34 minutes | Aug 12, 2021
Morgan Merriman, Instructional Designer
In this episode, I speak with Morgan Merriman, Instructional Designer at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences at the National Institutes of Health. Interested in science at an early age, in high school Morgan became particularly intrigued by research and the scientific method, which led to her studying biology and working in a lab in college. She went to graduate school expecting to earn a PhD in Neurobiology, but ultimately decided that she was more interested in educational processes than research, and left with a master’s degree to become a high school science teacher. She then transitioned into her current role as an instructional designer. We’ll talk about all these experiences and of course find out what her job is like.
33 minutes | Jul 21, 2021
Katherine Lynch, Research Technologist
In this episode, I speak with Katherine Lynch, Research Technologist 3 in a biology laboratory at Washington State University, Spokane. Growing up facing the challenges of poverty and domestic violence, Katherine was the first person in her family to graduate college, earning a BS in microbiology from WSU Pullman. During college, she worked part-time as a clerical assistant, which provided some of the skills, experience, and contacts that led to a full-time job as a biology research intern after she graduated. She then moved to her current position a few years later. Katherine is the founder and president of Science Speaks Spokane, a STEM education nonprofit for youth and adults in the Inland Northwest, and participates in other science outreach efforts as well. We'll talk about all of these experiences and of course find out about what her job is like.
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