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.

Continue reading “Career profile: Vicente Tur, Director of Regulatory Affairs at Asphalion, Spain”

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.

Continue reading “Career profile: Aidan Budd, Node Coordinator, ELIXIR-UK”

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.

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

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.

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

Career profile: Barbara Tizzano, Clinical Trial Manager

During a recent visit to EMBL Hamburg, we met EMBL alumna Barbara Tizzano, who shared her experience of moving into clinical trial management. This is a career area that may be attractive for people who love coordinating projects and bringing people together to solve real-life problems.

The full interview is below. You also can find out more about the clinical research area in the following resources:

  • Article from science careers outlining some of the roles linked to clinical research.
  • Overview of clinical research associate role from new scientist careers (a career option related to trial management, more closely linked to clinical trial sites).

Continue reading “Career profile: Barbara Tizzano, Clinical Trial Manager”

Career Profile: Ami S. Lakdawala, Director in the R&D Strategy, Portfolio and Operations Team, GSK

Ami S. Lakdawala shared details of her career in pharma Research & Development, which has taken her from computational chemistry to overarching roles in strategy and operations. Ami stresses that most PhDs and postdocs enter pharma in research roles but that there is support to then develop your career in many directions – including roles where you stay very close to the science.  She advises PhDs and postdocs considering a career in the pharmaceutical industry that pharma is really interested in their scientific expertise, and that you also need communication and team-work skills to succeed in industry. You can find the full interview below.

Continue reading “Career Profile: Ami S. Lakdawala, Director in the R&D Strategy, Portfolio and Operations Team, GSK”

Career profile: Tobias Maier, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Science Communication

©NaWik / Tim Wegner.

Tobias Maier became involved in science communication while a postdoc at the CRG, starting a successful German-language blog. After leaving the lab, he briefly explored entrepreneurship, before founding his own science communication agency. The network he’d built in science communication then led to a position at the National Institute for Science Communication in Karlsruhe, where he is now Deputy Director.

For those who are interested in science communication, Tobias recommends starting to communicate your science and attending science communication events. He also describes how difficult the decision to leave the lab can be and how he found a value-based decision-making process, supported by a career counselor, really helped with this transition.

You can find the full interview below, and a video version is also available on Tobias’ blog.

Continue reading “Career profile: Tobias Maier, Deputy Director of the National Institute for Science Communication”