Life Sciences Career Day 2016 logo

Life Sciences Career Day 2016

Saturday, April 30

Microbial Sciences Building, Ebling Auditorium

REGISTER (deadline April 22) / BIOSKETCHES

Feel free to stop by at any time, but complementary lunch will be provided to those who register
A sign language interpreter will be available for the speakers’ presentations


8:15-8:45 am Registration & Welcome outside Ebling Auditorium

8:50 -10:10 am Session I (click for video)

Introductory Remarks & Career Perspective
Paul Ludden, Professor Emeritus UW-Madison Biochemistry, Former Provost at SMU, and co-founder of LSCD

Research & teaching at a primarily undergraduate institution
Melanie Barker Berkmen, Associate Professor, Suffolk University, Boston (pdf of slides)

Careers in education outside the lab, but within the university
Kelley Harris-Johnson, Biology Program Manager, UW-Madison (pdf of slides)

Careers in Laboratory Medicine
Lars Westblade, Assistant Professor, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Associate Director Clinical Microbiology Lab Director, NY Presbyterian Hospital, NYC (pdf of slides)

10:15 - 11:00 am Coffee Break & Breakout Sessions (see program for rooms)

11:05 -12:25 pm Session II

Science and the Law
Anne Readel, Intellectual Property Lawyer, Promega, Madison (click for video)(pdf of slides)

Careers in Government
Samantha Arnett, Counterproliferation, U.S. Special Operations Command, Department of Defense (pdf of slides)

Science Policy
Andrew Miklos, Program Analyst, National Institute of General Medical Sciences, NIH (click for video)(pdf of slides)

Medical Writing
Debbie Capes, Medical Writer, Covance, Madison (click for video, starts at 25:00)(pdf of slides)

12:30 - 1:40 pm Lunch & Breakout Session with speakers (see program for rooms)

1:45 - 3:05 pm Session III (click for video)

Interface between science and computing
Steve Giles, Founder, Big Rose Web Design, Madison

Combining Science with Business in a Large Life-Science Industrial Setting
Ryan Raver, Global Product Marketing Manager, Millipore-Sigma, St. Louis (pdf of slides)

Research in a medium-size biotech company
Mehmet Berkmen, New England Biolabs, Ipswich MA (pdf of slides)

Pharmaceutical/biotech strategy consulting
Elizabeth Hines, Consultant, bioStrategies Group, Chicago (pdf of slides)

3:10 – 3:55 pm Breakout Session with speakers
Room 1520: Mehmet Berkmen & Ryan Raver
Room 2511: Melanie Barker Berkmen & Kelley Harris-Johnson
Room 1420: Samantha Arnett & Andrew Miklos
Room 2530: Steve Giles & Anne Readel
Room 2301: Lars Westblade & Debbie Capes
Room 1510: Paul Ludden & Elizabeth Hines

4:00 – 5:00 pm Networking Mixer (lobby outside of Microcosm café, 2nd floor)


Paul Ludden Ph.D., Professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus, UW-Madison.  Dr. Ludden received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the UW and was a member of the Biochemistry Faculty for 21 years.  While on the faculty, he directed graduate admissions for the Biochemistry Department and co-founded Life Sciences Careers Day.  He has held a number of administrative positions including Executive Associate Dean in CALS at UW, Dean of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley and Provost at SMU in Dallas where he is also professor of Biology. At SMU, he developed an “Emerging Leaders” seminar to better prepare faculty for leadership roles in the university and he established “Big iDeas,” a grant program for entrepreneurial undergraduates.  Over the course of his career, he was worked with grade schools in Madison, Oakland, Omaha and Dallas to bring science to the 3rd grade classroom.  His research interests have been in the areas of biological nitrogen fixation, microbial C-1 metabolism and enzyme regulation

Melanie Barker Berkmen, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry, Suffolk University. Melanie received her Ph.D. in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at MIT prior to joining the faculty of Suffolk University, a private university in the heart of Boston. Since Suffolk does not offer graduate programs in the sciences, faculty members are fully focused on training undergraduates. Melanie embraces a “teacher-scholar” model that recognizes that student learning and faculty scholarship are mutually sustaining and synergistic endeavors. She has incorporated authentic research activities into several of her courses and her research focused on bacterial conjugation is funded by a National Science Foundation grant. Since joining Suffolk eight years ago, Melanie has mentored over two dozen undergraduate research students, resulting in several publications with student co-authors.

Kelley S. Harris Johnson, Ph.D., serves as the Biology Major Program Manager where she manages the largest undergraduate academic program at UW-Madison in addition to supervising professional academic staff.  In her current role, she is responsible for and oversees academic advising, student services, communication, and curriculum management.  Prior to joining the Biology Major, Kelley was a faculty associate in the Department of Biochemistry at UW-Madison where she taught a 500-level introductory biochemistry course, a freshman seminar, and supervised staff.  Kelley received an undergraduate degree in Biology from Xavier University of Louisiana, a Ph.D. in Genetics from UW-Madison, and postdoctoral training in Biochemistry.  Her research and teaching interest include developmental biology, molecular genetics, and regulation of metabolism.

Lars Westblade, Assistant Professor, Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College; Associate Director, Clinical Microbiology Laboratory, New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center. Lars received both his B.Sc and Ph.D in biochemistry from the University of Birmingham, UK, and was a Postdoctoral Associate at The Rockefeller University. He completed a two-year American Society for Microbiology Committee on Postgraduate Educational Programs-approved Postgraduate Fellowship in Medical and Public Health Laboratory Microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, and is board certified by the American Board of Medical Microbiology. Medical and Public Health Microbiology is a field that focuses on the application of diagnostic tests to assist the clinical management of infectious diseases. Clinical Microbiologists are engaged in a number of activities: direction of Clinical Microbiology Laboratories (either in academic medical centers, private hospitals, government institutions, or industry), consultation with physicians, interpretation of laboratory results, and test development/implementation. Furthermore, Clinical Microbiologists typically conduct research focused on bridging the basic and clinical sciences, so-called “translational research”. Lars’ research is focused on the description and characterization of emerging antibiotic resistance profiles in the animal and human populations, and the development of non-antibiotic-based treatments for multi-drug-resistant organisms.

Anne Readel, JD/PhD., is Associate General Counsel at Promega Corporation.  At Promega, Anne assists with a variety of intellectual property matters ranging from patent litigation, freedom to operate, and licensing.  Prior to joining Promega, Anne Readel was a patent litigator at Perkins Coie, one of the largest patent litigation practices in the country. As a patent litigator, she specialized in the life sciences.  Anne also has extensive experience in federal law and policy.  At the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Washington, D.C., she helped transfer government science and technology to companies involved in the commercialization of offshore wind energy. In the Patent and Licensing Program of the U.S. Forest Service in Madison, Wisconsin, Anne advised federal scientists on the commercialization of novel technologies related to forest products.

Samantha Arnett, Ph.D. is a counterproliferation professional with the U.S. Special Operations Command, Department of Defense.  Arnett received a B.S. in chemistry from Vanderbilt University, her PhD in Bio-organic Chemistry from The Johns Hopkins University, and was an NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellow at The Scripps Research Institute.  During her postdoc, Arnett explored alternative science careers and was awarded a National Academy of Science Mirzayan Science and Technology Fellowship in the Institute of Medicine.  Arnett began her career in government as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Diplomacy, Development, and Security Fellow in the Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) at the U.S. Department of State.  Arnett spent over four years in CTR as a Fellow, government contractor, and then a full-time Federal Employee overseeing the Biosecurity Engagement Program (BEP) and Special Projects Team (SPT).

Andrew Miklos, Ph.D., is  a program analyst at the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) at the National Institutes of Health. Within the Office of Program Planning, Analysis, and Evaluation, Andrew performs analyses to inform grants and funding policies at NIGMS. In this capacity, he has used both his prior scientific training in biochemistry and biophysics, and trained in qualitative research methods and programming to help strengthen the data-driven decision-making process in the Institute. Andrew entered federal government via the Science & Technology Policy fellowship program of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, after a postdoctoral fellowship at Florida State University. He earned his A.B. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Brown University, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Deborah Capes, Ph.D., received her Ph.D. from UW-Madison’s Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Program. Following graduation, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Harvard Medical School’s Neurobiology Department for 1 year. She returned to Madison and took a second position as a postdoctoral fellow in UW-Madison’s Cardiovascular Research Center. She joined Covance as a Medical Writer in 2014. As a Medical Writer, she writes protocols, clinical study reports, and narratives and she also aids in clinical study design, data presentation, and interpretation. She loves her position as a Medical Writer because it allows her to be on the front lines in new drug development. Every day as a Medical Writer is different and there is always something new to learn.

Ryan Raver, Ph.D., is currently a Global Product Marketing Manager for MilliporeSigma (formerly Sigma-Aldrich) Corporation in St. Louis, MO. He manages the Functional Genomics product portfolio (CRISPR, RNAi, miRNA, LentiORFs), and has held this position since 2013. His main role is to create and launch innovative products into the Applied Solutions market, with a focus on Emerging Technology. Previously, he interned for Promega Corporation in Madison, WI, as an Associate Product Manager in Proteomics during the last 8 months of his Ph.D. He earned his Ph.D. from UW-Madison in 2013 in Cellular and Molecular Pathology, with a focus on Molecular Virology (Epstein-Barr Virus) under guidance of Dr. Shannon Kenney, before joining MilliporeSigma. Ryan also currently runs The Grad Student Way (founded in 2012), which is geared toward providing grad school and post-doctoral advice, solutions, and insights with a focus on Ph.D. Career and Professional Development. The Grad Student Way receives nearly one million views worldwide each year, and has helped thousands of Ph.D's (in addition to free professional resume correction, negotiation tips, and career coaching). Ryan has also authored two books (both are free), one of which provides Ph.D. advice on how to network while in graduate school in order to gain and leverage crucial, marketable skills. Dr. Raver's hope is that no matter what stage you are at in your academic career, you will benefit from his advice to ultimately achieve success.

Mehmet Berkmen, Ph.D., Senior Scientist at New England Biolabs (NEB). Dr. Berkmen received his B.Sc. from Imperial College London, UK and his Ph.D. from University of Vienna, Austria. During his postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Prof. Jonathan Beckwith at Harvard Medical School, he gained experience in E. coli genetics and protein folding. After his postdoctoral training, Dr. Berkmen became a research scientist at NEB, a mid-sized biotechnology company in the Boston area. NEB sells over 500 different enzymes, most of which are expressed in E. coli. His lab therefore conducts research on optimizing the folding of recombinant proteins within E. coli. One current research project focuses on the expression of full-length antibodies in the cytoplasm of genetically engineered bacterial cells. Along with the labs focus on protein expression, Dr. Berkmen is passionate about bioart. Together with the artist Maria Peñil, Dr. Berkmen’s lab has produced living art using bacteria painted on an agar canvas.

Steven Giles, Ph.D., is the founder of Big Rose Web Design. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and did his postdoctoral studies at Duke University. In 2010, Steven declined a tenure track faculty position and founded Big Rose Web Design. Big Rose builds custom laboratory information management systems for academic clients ranging in size from single investigators to multiple investigator projects.

Liz Hines, Ph.D. is a Consultant at bioStrategies Group, a boutique strategy consulting firm in Chicago, IL. In her current role, Liz is responsible for designing and executing market research activities to derive insights for clients in the biotech and pharmaceutical sector. Leveraging findings from market research along with literature analysis, Liz works directly with firm partners to develop actionable strategies for clients who are faced with investment or commercialization business decisions. In her two years with the firm, Liz has worked across a variety of therapeutic areas including in-depth work in pulmonary disease and in vitro diagnostics, two areas of interest stemming from her graduate research. Prior to joining the bioStrategies team, Liz studied as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow in the UW-Genetics departments, earning a Ph.D. for her work on the genetic control of embryonic lung patterning in the laboratory of Xin Sun Ph.D. Liz also holds a BA in genetics and molecular biology from Northwestern University where she worked in the laboratory of Carole LaBonne researching the genetic control of neural crest cell differentiation./p>