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117: Bridging The Gap as a Medical Science Liaison

For most graduate students, the list of potential careers runs something like this:

  1. Research Faculty
  2. Teaching Faculty
  3. Industry Researcher
  4. Science Writer
  5. …. ummmm…

But the truth is that there are other, less talked-about careers that can be a perfect fit for scientists who may love learning but not working at the bench.

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107: Industry Insights – Career Evolution at 23andMe

When you’re a graduate student, your conception of ‘industry’ has a lot in common with your understanding of a black-hole.

First, you’ve been told it’s a scary and unpredictable place. (“Did you know they can just change your project or fire you at will?”)

Second, it’s a one-way trip. (“Once you step off the tenure track, there’s no going back!”)

And finally, information doesn’t escape its gravitational pull. You get plenty of visits and seminars from academic postdocs and PIs, but how many times has your department invited an industry scientist?

This week on the show, we escape the industry event-horizon by interviewing three very real, and very successful PhDs currently working at 23andMe.

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100: The One Where We Celebrate

Graduate training has many milestones, but a few stand stronger in memory due to their importance.

You may remember the day you passed your comprehensive exams, officially becoming a ‘PhD Candidate.’ Or maybe you’ll remember the day you saw a paper you co-authored published in your favorite journal. 

And of course, every PhD remembers their defense – presenting years worth of work to an audience and receiving the committees’ blessing to graduate.

After each event, it’s important to take a moment to celebrate the achievement before pushing toward the next goal.  Maybe that means gathering with friends, popping a bottle of bubbly, and remembering the road that brought you to this point.

Well, at least that’s what we do with a milestone.  This week, we celebrate 100 Episodes of Hello PhD with a few of the friends we’ve met along the way.

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099: Skype a Scientist with Sarah McAnulty

“I was observing that there was this growing mistrust in science, and I couldn’t really understand why. I think that people just don’t trust scientists anymore, or at least not as much as they used to.”

As a graduate student at the University of Connecticut, Sarah McAnulty was struck by the anti-science and pseudoscience she saw in the news and in friends who trusted their internet-inspired juice cleanse more than they trusted medical research.

“It’s discouraging to see them not trusting us as a group, so  I looked to see where people could access scientists in their daily lives.  It looks like most of the pop culture references they have for us are either evil or socially awkward.  And even when scientists have noble intentions, you end up with Jurassic Park!”

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