Day: August 26, 2020

E017 How To Jump From Pharma Industry to Academia? How To Build International Research Projects?

Dr. Jeffrey C. Glennon’s story is very different from typical career stories in academia. After completing his PhD in neurophysiology at University College Dublin, for nearly 10 years, he was working as a pharmacologist in the pharmaceutical industry post-PhD at Solvay Pharmaceuticals. He developed a successful career in this area, but decided to continue his career in academia.

In 2010, he returned to academia in the Netherlands and later in Ireland. Today, he works as a Senior Conway Fellow and Assistant Professor at the University College Dublin. He is a neuroscientist linking experimental psychology to biological mechanisms with a track record in industry and academic settings. His academic interests are in rule making / rule breaking processes in cingulate cortex that govern rational versus emotional decision making. As a translational neuroscientist, he seeks to implement basic and preclinical efforts into clinical practice relevant to patients. On a more fundamental level as an experimental neuropharmacologist interested in disease mechanisms, he has been examining the role of insulin signalling and particularly a class of potassium channels regulating insulin release in relation to behavioral inflexibility.

His interest in cross-disciplinary teams has resulted in the leadership as lead-Principal Investigator of a 5.4 mln Eur Dutch public-private consortium (funded by TI-Pharma) encompassing Dutch universities, university hospitals, and pharmaceutical partners. Further, he has led a 4.5M euro EU Commission FP7 funded consortium (MATRICS) on conduct problems. In addition, he has been involved both as work package leader and partner in six Horizon 2020 / Marie Curie ITN funded / EU Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) II consortia focused on neurodevelopmental disorders, adult psychiatry and psychiatric conditions in neurological and somatic disorders (type I myotonic dystrophy and type II diabetes).

In summary, Jeffrey is an integrator. This pertains to people, research groups, complementary expertise, research ideas, and visions. This ability to integrate across people and topics to create platforms in which they can create new research together. Today, his wide contacts in both academia and industry allow him to build international networks across a range of expertise areas both in academia, in small-medium enterprises (SMEs), and major Pharma. This has led to novel translational treatment opportunities not only in Pharma but also in robotics. On a personal level, he has an innate curiosity over science and people, what motivates them, and how to develop them both as a person and as strong members of productive, effective multi-disciplinary teams.

In this webinar, Jeffrey told us about both his transitions: to the pharmaceutical industry and back. Why did he choose academia after all? What are the pros and cons of this choice? How does he stay positive no matter what? How to create your own opportunities?

E016 How To Hop From the Bench to Science Policy as a PhD? Adriana Bankston on Science Legislation

Dr. Adriana Bankston is a Principal Legislative Analyst in the University of California (UC) Office of Federal Governmental Relations, where she serves as an advocate for UC with Congress, the Administration, and federal agencies. Prior to this position, Adriana was a Policy & Advocacy Fellow at The Society for Neuroscience (SfN), where she provided staff support for special and ongoing projects, including SfN’s annual lobby event and the society’s annual meeting. In addition to working at UC, Adriana serves as Co-Director of the Policy Taskforce at Future of Research (FoR), a non-profit organization that empowers early career scientists. She is also Chief Outreach Officer at the Journal of Science Policy and Governance (JSPG), a non-profit and interdisciplinary peer review publication serving as a vehicle for early career researchers to publish on science policy topics. More recently, Adriana became a Biomedical Workforce & Policy Research Investigator at the STEM Advocacy Institute (SAi), a think-tank building tools to expand pathways of access between science and society. Adriana obtained her PhD in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University and a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences from Clemson University.

In this episode, Adriana told us about her impressive career transition, and her long way from Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology to Science Policy. What does it take to make the transition? How to build your career in Science Policy? What can you do early in your career to prepare for the industry position? Let’s find out!

Alessandro-Montalto-PhD

E012 How To Become a Life Coach PhD? How To Deal With Pains and Struggles While Leaving Academia?

Dr. Alessandro Montalto holds a PhD degree in Statistical Data Analysis applied to neuroscience awarded by the University of Gent, Belgium. Before his PhD program, he completed his Master’s degree in Physics at University of Federico II in Naples, Italy. During his PhD, he developed a Matlab toolbox called MuTE to detect directed dynamical links among brain regions.

After the successful project in Gent, Alessandro moved to Sydney for a Postdoc project dedicated to complex systems. A few months into the project, he was hit by an overwhelming epiphany: he was pursuing an unfulfilling life, and the academic path wasn’t for him. He went through a tough time during which he came out of burnout and depression. Alessandro then decided to quit academia and start doing what he really loves: connecting, sharing, and helping. Thus, he went through an inner journey that led him to a certification in life coaching.

Alessandro envisions his life as a promoter and a facilitator of change. That’s why, after 15+ years of working remotely, Alessandro now helps other fellow remote workers create the most burnout-free and fulfilling remote work experience as a freelancer (https://www.alemontalto.com/). He shares his own life journey in combination with CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy) coaching tools. Furthermore, Alessandro freelances as a marketing consultant to help companies engage with their clients in a more human and team-oriented fashion.

In this episode, Alessandro told us about his long and painful transition beyond academia, his personal strategies to deal with pain, and about his approach as a Life Coach. He also explained how to become a Life Coach, and which qualities you need in this profession.