Career Profile: Michael Kachala, Global Head of Data Science at Bayer Consumer Health

DPhoto of Michaelata science is a career area that has exploded in the last years and offers many opportunities for scientists whose projects involved analysis of large datasets. We recently spoke to Michael Kachala, an EMBL alumnus who is now Global Head of Data Science at Bayer Consumer Health, about his career path and suggestions for aspiring data scientists. He advises that data science is a great career for people who love to learn new things, and recommends taking up pet projects and Kaggle competitions to demonstrate your acquired skills. In addition to technical skills, Michael reports that communications skills are key to success in this field.

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Career Profile: Jordi Xiol, Senior Associate at Ysios Capital

Venture capital companies employ life scientists to help them make investment decisions concerning life science start-ups.  We recently spoke to EMBL Alumnus Jordi Xiol about how he moved from fundamental research to a venture capital role. He advises that – in addition to solid scientific knowledge, some knowledge of biotech / drug discovery, and ability to make quick decisions – interpersonal skills are really important for venture capital: your network will be very important to your work. Jordi developed his knowledge of biotech & drug discovery using Twitter and the stock market, and built his network by reaching out to people for a coffee.

Please find the full interview below.

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Career profile: Dr. Gary Kusdian, Account Manager

Have you interacted with sales representatives during your PhD? If yes, most likely you told yourself that you would never be working in such a career area. Job opportunities in sales are usually underestimated by PhD holders, but this career path offers a variety of opportunities for scientists to use their technical knowledge and connect to the scientific community. In today’s interview, Dr. Gary Kusdian, a molecular biologist based in Germany talks to us about his career path in sales while giving more insights to the key skills and factors to take into consideration.

You can find the full interview below and if you are interested in this career area, you can find additional information on:

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Career profile: Erin Tranfield, Head of the Electron Microscopy Facility

Core facilities are becoming a crucial component of modern research institutions. They provide scientists with access to cutting-edge instrumentation and expertise in a cost-effective way. Always driven by her curiosity, EMBL alumnus Erin Tranfield built an international career at the interplay of biological and space research which ultimately took her to Portugal where she is the Head of the Electron Microscopy Facility at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência. In today’s interview she navigates her career path while discussing what working in a core facility looks like, the skills needed and academic culture issues. Continue reading “Career profile: Erin Tranfield, Head of the Electron Microscopy Facility”

Career profile: Laura Cortesi, Senior Operational Study Manager

We recently met with Laura Cortesi, who is a Senior Operational Study Manager working in the area of clinical trials management. In addition to talking about her career path, passion and motivation for this career area, Laura explains how parenthood prepared her to work in a role that requires coordination of tight timelines, different needs and unexpected events. She also shares advice for those applying to such roles. Continue reading “Career profile: Laura Cortesi, Senior Operational Study Manager”

Career profile: Radhika Patnala, Founder and Director of Sci-Illustrate

Scientific illustration is a well-established career path in the USA but lesser-known in Europe. Radhika Patnala, a neuroscientist by training now based in Germany and founder of Sci-Illustrate, decided to start her own scientific illustration company two years ago to help researchers and institutions to communicate science in a more visual and comprehensible way. In today’s interview she shares her experience as an entrepreneur in scientific illustration. Continue reading “Career profile: Radhika Patnala, Founder and Director of Sci-Illustrate”

Career profile: Vicente Tur, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Asphalion, Spain

Our latest career profile is Vicente Tur, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Asphalion, a scientific and regulatory consultancy with offices in Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom

Regulatory affairs is one of many non-research professions tightly linked with pharma and biotech industries. Roles in this area may be in-house, in the pharma industry or at consulting firms; their focus is on keeping up-to-date with industry regulations (at the national and international level), working with scientists to ensure that R&D is completed and documented in a way that will enable a product to be authorised at the end of the development process – including that the active substance and finished product are manufactured with the controls required by the Regulatory Authorities. It also involves preparing and submitting administrative documentation for the regulatory authorities.

In the interview, which can be found below, Vicente tells us more about this profession, how he moved into this area, and what he is looking for when hiring for his team.

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Career profile: Aidan Budd, Node Coordinator, ELIXIR-UK

Photocredit: Tom Grace & Chloë Cross

Aidan Budd is a former researcher whose love of community-focused work led him from an EMBL PhD to project management work in bioinformatics teaching, service, and research with a focus on community building. He’s previously described to the EMBL alumni team how this initial transition occurred.  He’s since continued in this area, initially joining The Earlham Institute as Senior Community and Business Development Manager (explained here), and now as Node Coordinator for ELIXIR-UK. Here we talk to him in more depth about his current role at ELIXIR-UK and what advice he’d give to young scientists interested in working with scientific communities.

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Career profile: Ioannis Legouras – Vice Head, Department Strategic Cooperations and Research Funding; Head of International Programs, Max Delbrück Centre

Science administration is a broad career area encompassing many roles. Ioannis Legouras, an EMBL alumnus working in the area of strategic cooperation and research funding, shared his experience of moving into this career area along with his tips to those interested in following a similar path.

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Career profile: Sandra Caldeira – Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission’s Joint Research Centre

Sandra Caldeira is “Deputy Head of Unit, Health in Society” at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. In her current role, Sandra provides high-level support to a range of projects that use science to inform European policy and thus potentially impacting millions of lives. She talked to us about the JRC, her role, and how she ended up supporting European policy making – after completing a PhD and postdoc in molecular biology and working for several years as a journal editor.

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