Physiological Sciences GIDP
My time at Experimental Biology was very successful. I attended with the goals of presenting my work and to network with other scientists at the meeting to discuss potential post-doctorial opportunities. Additionally, I also took the time to attend career development seminars and distinguished lecture talks during my down time at the meeting.
Before attending EB I identified two labs where I would be interested in doing a post doc and reached out to those PI’s to set up a time to get together at the meeting. These PIs were Dr. Joanne Wang from the University of Washington and Dr. Bruno Hagenbuch from the University of Kansas. Their labs are involved in the study of multidrug transporters and their roles in the elimination of drugs from the body. Their research interests overlap with mine as well as my technical skills and, as a result, I feel like I could be a potentially good fit in their labs. I met with Dr. Wang on the last day of the meeting. We spent this time discussing our work and her expectations if I were to work in her lab. She emphasized the importance of securing funding during my post doc as this is becoming an increasingly important skill for tenure track professors. We agreed to keep in touch and she would let me know in a few months if there would be a job available to me in her lab.
I met with Dr. Hagenbuch on the second day of the meeting. We also spent time discussing our work and he expressed interest in having me work in his lab. He gave me a copy of his most recent research proposal to look through to help me decide if his research is something that I would like to be a part of. He let me know that I have a few months to decide whether or not to join his lab after I graduate. I am pretty excited for this opportunity as I feel like I would be very successful in Dr. Hagenbuch’s lab.
During my downtime at the meeting I attended various career seminars and lectures. I found the career seminars to be the most helpful. I attended three different seminars that discussed how to find careers in industry and how to interview for these jobs successfully. The key points that I took from these seminars was to start looking for jobs early, to try and network and make as many contacts possible so your CV ends up in the right place, and to be persistent and not discouraged when turned down for a job. I also attended a seminar on that discussed the basics of K-awards and how to submit a competitive proposal. Again some of the key points discussed are to start early and, additionally, to work closely with your postdoctoral advisor.
I presented my poster on the last day of the meeting. While there wasn’t a lot of traffic to my poster I was visited by both Dr. Wang and Dr. Hagenbuch. I was also visited by Dr. Bill Smith who is a Senior Director at Gilead Sciences Inc. We discussed some of the worries in the pharmaceutical industry regarding substrate dependence at drug-transporters. Additionally, he expressed interests in using our fluorescent substrate NBD-MTMA in his work and asked for a copy of my poster. Overall, I am very happy with how EB turned out and that it was time well spent in advancing my career.