Working Lives
Emma Pewsey
Curated by
Emma Pewsey

Working Lives: A Series of Interviews

People with a PhD in the life sciences answer questions about their life and work.
Collection

The skills and knowledge gained during a PhD open up a wide range of career possibilities, including many outside the lab. In this series of interviews, we explore some of these possibilities.

Collection

  1. Interview: Taking perspective

    Ryan Hum’s scientific training has proven valuable to his career in government and policy.
  2. Interview: Wearing many hats

    Maintaining academic software is just one part of the role Computational Scientist Tom Burnley performs for the electron microscopy community.
  3. Editor’s choice: an interview with Yaiza del Pozo Martín

    When she realised that reading papers and discussing science was just as enjoyable as doing research, Yaiza del Pozo Martín decided to move away from a career as a postdoc to try something different. She now works as an Assistant Editor for BMJ Open.
  4. In the laboratory of science policy: an interview with Richard Aragon

    A “completely random” encounter with a former classmate propelled Richard Aragon from a postdoc to the world of science policy. He now works for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as the Chief of the Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS).
  5. Core strengths: an interview with Diana Ordonez

    Of all the tools that Diana Ordonez used to study populations of immune cells during her PhD and postdoc research, flow cytometry was the most important. Now she uses her experience and skills to advise and support other researchers as a Flow Cytometrist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany.
  6. Genomics in industry: an interview with Yilong Li

    After finishing his PhD in cancer genomics, Yilong Li felt that most academic labs did not have the computational infrastructure needed to tackle clinically relevant questions in genomics. He is now a Principal Scientist at a company called Seven Bridges Genomics.
  7. Illustrating science: an interview with Leslee Lazar

    Neuroscientist Leslee Lazar has always been interested in design and art. Now, as a freelance graphic designer, he creates visual aids that communicate complex scientific information – especially biomedical research – to the right audience.
  8. Less writing, more industry: an interview with Dennis Breitsprecher

    After completing a PhD in biochemistry, Dennis Breitsprecher was sure that he wanted to pursue an academic career. However, he grew bored of constantly writing papers and grant applications as a postdoc, and is now Head of Biochemistry R&D at NanoTemper in Munich.
  9. Professional development: an interview with Maria Fernandes

    While doing a PhD in Pharmacology at King’s College London (KCL), Maria Fernandes seized a number of opportunities – setting up the KCL Pharmacological Society, organising events and sitting on committees – to gain enough experience to move into a career outside of research. She is now the Professional Development Manager at the Microbiology Society.
  10. The natural history of a curator: an interview with Ben Price

    Growing up on a game ranch in Zimbabwe stimulated Ben Price’s fascination with insects – “the sheer diversity of insects makes it impossible to not be interested once you start looking”. He continued to explore nature during a PhD on the evolutionary history of cicadas, and two postdocs. Now, he is the senior curator of Odonata and Small Orders, an eclectic group that includes land-based and aquatic insects, at the Natural History Museum in London.
  11. Intellectual property for everyone: an interview with Monica Alandete-Saez

    For many years plant scientist Monica Alandete-Saez assumed that she would spend her whole career in academic research, but a desire to interact more directly with other sectors of society led her to explore other options. She now works for PIPRA, a small not-for-profit technology commercialization organization based on the campus of the University of California Davis.
  12. Back to school: an interview with Jenni Sanderson

    After six enjoyable years as a PhD student and postdoc studying the breeding behaviours of banded mongooses in Uganda, Jenni Sanderson felt the urge to move into a career where she could do “something useful”. She currently teaches science at a secondary school in Bristol in the UK.

Contributors

  1. Emma Pewsey
    Emma Pewsey
    Associate features editor