Describe your job and what you do on a day-to-day basis.
I help early stage biomedical companies develop and strategize around their patent portfolios and technology. My days mostly consist of client work, including determining patent filings and/or business strategy, writing patent applications, meeting with clients, analyzing and responding to office actions (communcations from the United States Patent and Trademark Office), and performing and analyzing technology searches. Since we are a start-up, I also have some administrative responsibilities and assist with business development (seeking new clients).
How did you get your first job out of academia?
I decided early on in my Ph.D. that I likely did not want a career in academia, so I decided to diversify my Ph.D. To diversify my Ph.D., I took translational research courses, obtained my teaching certificate, was an associate editor for Faculty of 1000, and was a Technology Transfer fellow. My supervisor in the Technology Transfer Office connected me with and recommended me to Jessica Hudak, my current employer. Jessica was willing to mentor me in patent law while I worked at her company. Needless to say, the rumors are true, networking is essential throughout your career.
Tell us about your academic background (describe your science at an undergraduate level)
I studied microbiology (bacteria) in my undergraduate career and immunology (immune system) in graduate school. I studied the immune-mediated disorders, Multiple Sclerosis (immune cells attacking nervous system) and Graft-versus-Host Disease (immune cells attacking healthy tissue after bone marrow transplantation). We found that inhibiting Notch signaling significantly reduced the severity of both diseases.
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone looking for a job now?
Attend as many networking events as possible and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. You would be surprised by how many professionals would love the opportunity to mentor you, discuss career options with you, and connect you with additional people.
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