GSC Committee & Club Updates: November 2016

Tufts Biomedical Queer Alliance (TBQA)

by Laura DarniederNRSC, Amanda GrossPPET

TBQA-oSTEM Joint Networking Mixer and Panel
We are having our TBQA-oSTEM Joint Networking Mixer and Panel on Friday, 11/18 from 6:00-8:00pm in the Crane Room on the Medford Campus. Food will be provided!

TBQA Transgender Health PanelDecember 1, 3pm, Sackler Auditorium

The Tufts Biomedical Queer Alliance (TBQA) invites you to come learn about the current state of transgender healthcare. We are pleased to welcome Dr. Anne Koch, DMD, to share her personal experiences of the healthcare system as both a patient and provider. A professional panel composed of Dr. Julie Thompson (Primary Care, Fenway Health); Dr. Stephanie Roberts (Endocrinology, Boston Children’s Hospital); and Cei Lambert (Trans Patient Advocate, Fenway Health) will join Dr. Koch in a panel discussion of the services they provide from both medical and social perspectives. A complimentary reception will follow.

Please register at: https://goo.gl/sCCmbT


Tufts Biomedical Business Club (TBBC)

from Aaron BernsteinCMP

Upcoming Events

TBBC Case Study Group – Mondays — 5-7PM, Jaharis 508

Practice solving cases, gain insight and tips, and learn more about the field of consulting.

TBBC Tufts Biomedical Data Science Club: Information Session – Tu Nov 29 — Time and location TBA

The Tufts Biomedical Data Science Club is a resource for students wishing to learn and apply programming techniques in order to tackle big data problems in the biomedical sciences. No programming experience required! The club hosts bi-monthly meetings, works on group projects, and provides opportunities to hear invited speakers and network with others interested in big data. Please email Matt Kelley at matt.kelley@tufts.edu with any questions.

TBBC Seminar Series: Liz O’Day, Founder and CEO of Claris Therapeutics – Tu Dec 6 — 5:30PM, Sackler 216A

Olaris is a venture-backed drug discovery company that uses a proprietary NMR-metabolite profiling platform to unlock aspects of human metabolism that could never before be analyzed. Focusing on diseases with limited to no treatment options, Olaris uses their technology to uncover previously unknown biomarkers and molecular targets to develop breakthrough therapies that fundamentally alter how these diseases are diagnosed and treated.

TBBC Consulting Seminar Series: Peter Bak, PhD – Tu Dec 13 — 5:30-7:30 PM, Sackler 221

Join us for a discussion with Peter Bak, Manager at Back Bay Life Science Advisors. Dr. Bak will talk about transitioning from a PhD program to life sciences consulting and career opportunities at BBLSA.

Recent Events

TBBC Health Advances presents, “Diagnostics Commercialization Challenges”

Th Oct 6: TBBC hosted Sackler alum and Partner at Health Advances, Dr. Donna Hochberg (SK03), who discussed the career path that led her from the bench to her current role as the leader of the firm’s Diagnostics and Life Science Tools Practice. She also led the group through a business case study exploring the challenges of bringing diagnostics to market. 

TBBC Biotech Buzz with Hannah Mamuszka

F Oct 21: Hannah Mamuszka, picked by Future of Biopharma as one of 5 women to watch in Boston, and founder and CEO of Alva10, a company specializing in precision medicine, joined us for an informal conversation about the future of diagnostics, the latest news in biotech, her career, and Alva10. 

TBBC, GSC, and the Sackler Dean’s Office Career Exploration Panel

Th Nov 3: A panel of senior graduate students provided insight about steps that newer students can take to prepare themselves for a variety of career paths, including: academic/industry science, teaching, entrepreneurship, science communication, policy, data science, venture capital, and consulting. (For a more in-depth recap, read the Insight article here!)


Tufts Mentoring Circles (TMC)

from Daniel WongCMP

This year, the graduate student and post-doc mentoring circle programs have merged together to form a larger, single Tufts Mentoring Circles program that started for the 2016-2017 academic year with a kick-off event on Thursday, October 6. In total, 71 people are participating in the Mentoring Circles program this year: 24 mentors, 21 graduate students, and 26 post-docs between the Boston and Medford campuses. These mentors, who are faculty, post-docs, senior graduate students, and industry and non-traditional professionals working in different fields, will be working in pairs to advise and facilitate discussions with small groups of post-doc and graduate student mentees over the course of this year.  Mentors and mentees were matched together based on their personal and professional development interests indicated in the registration survey that was available online in September. Each group, or circle, will meet monthly on their own schedules to have discussions as they see fit on topics they choose. A closing event will be held toward the end of the academic year, likely in May or June 2017. Registration is now closed for the year, but for more information and to be notified when registration opens next year, contact us at tuftsmentoring@gmail.com.

The graduate student-focused Tufts Mentoring Circles program was founded in November 2014 through the Sackler GSC as a peer mentoring program to serve the professional and personal development needs of graduate students, and also facilitate inter-program and -department communication and collaboration. Tufts Mentoring Circles is based on the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) Mentoring Circles program.

Dr. Tyler Jacks to deliver Charlton lecture, following poster competition

The 41st annual Charlton lecture will be held on Wednesday, November 30, 4-5.30 pm, in the Sackler Auditorium. The lectureship, established in 1975 in honor of Mr. Earle P. Charlton, has since evolved to include a poster competition that serves as a platform to recognize outstanding research work performed by graduate and professional students on the medical school campus. This year, the poster competition will be held on Tuesday, November 29 and Wednesday, November 30 in Sackler 114. Details regarding participation, eligibility and review criteria can be found here – http://sackler.tufts.edu/Student-Life/Student-Awards/Charlton-Poster-Award. The deadline for submitting abstracts for the competition is Thursday, Nov. 9, 5 pm. Please submit your abstracts electronically to Rachael Bailey at Rachael.Bailey@tufts.edu.

The keynote lecture will be delivered by Dr. Tyler Jacks, Professor of Biology at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Director of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research. His talk is titled “Engineering the Cancer Genome”. 

Mr. Earle P. Charlton was a renowned entrepreneur and a social benefactor, as exemplified by his legacy, the Charlton Trust. Mr. Charlton established a chain of stores throughout Massachusetts back in 1890, before merging with the Woolworth company and expanding to the west and Canada. The Woolworth company would later go on to acquire several brands throughout the twentieth century. However, due to increased competition in the retail sector, the company chose to focus on a select brands and is today represented by the Foot Locker stores. Mr. Charlton passed away in 1930, and is commemorated by the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, MA, a town which benefitted greatly from his entrepreneurship and generosity. (Source – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._P._Charlton_%26_Company)

About the Speaker

Dr. Tyler Jacks is the Professor of Biology at MIT, the Director of the David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research and a Howard Hughes Medical Investigator. He has served on public and private advisory panels on cancer research and also sits on the board of directors for Aveo Oncology and Thermo Fisher, Inc. His expertise in the field is of no surprise given his pedigree – Dr. Jacks completed his PhD under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Dr. Harold Varmus at University of California, San Francisco, and went on to do his postdoctoral work with Dr. Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute, both of whom were pioneers of the field. His work has earned him prestigious awards including the Paul Marks Prize for Cancer Research and other accolades.

Dr. Jacks’ research focuses on the “genetic events contributing to the development of cancer” using mouse models that have been engineered to carry clinically relevant mutations. His lab works on a number of different cancers that range from lung, pancreatic and ovarian cancers to peripheral nervous system tumors, astrocytoma and retinoblastoma. A major focus of his current research is to develop more powerful and accurate mouse models of cancer using cutting edge genetic technology.

More detailed information regarding his work can be found on his lab website.

Top Techniques: NMR

What is NMR?
Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, or NMR spectroscopy, is a powerful technique that uses the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei to elucidate the chemical and physical properties of the atom or its molecule. The nuclei of certain atoms, such as 1H or 13C, align themselves with magnetic fields in nuclear energy levels known as ‘spin states.’ When molecules are placed in an external magnetic field and irradiated with radiofrequency (RF) waves, certain atomic nuclei present in the sample absorb energy. These RF waves flip nuclei from one spin state to another. If the RF is turned off, the nuclei relax, releasing energy in the form of RF waves, which are measured as the decay in signal intensity over the course of a few seconds. The time domain of these signals is converted to the frequency domain to produce a spectrum, what we normally think of as the output of an NMR experiment.

But what can you actually do with NMR? Traditionally, the technique has been used to identify molecules and determine their 3D structures. It can certainly do this; however, the actual range of applications for this technique is much wider. With metabolomics approaches, you can quantify biofluids and tumor and tissue extracts. Binding events, even very weak ones, between two proteins or between protein and DNA can be detected. You can also determine the stoichiometry of these binding events. Trying to compare a wild-type protein to its mutant variant? Characterizing the active site of your protein of interest? NMR can handle both of these tasks, and measure dynamics of the protein in its active conformation as well. To that end, NMR can also be used in live-animal imaging. If you’ve ever had an MRI, you may know that the technique is actually based on the science of NMR!

Figure 1. 1H-15N 2D spectrum of BPV-1 E2 DBD (310-410). Resonances of the DNA-bound protein (red) show chemical shift differences relative to the DNA-free sample (black) (taken from Veeraraghavan et al. Biochemistry (1999) 38: 16115-16124).
Figure 1. 1H-15N 2D spectrum of BPV-1 E2 DBD (310-410). Resonances of the DNA-bound protein (red) show chemical shift differences relative to the DNA-free sample (black) (taken from Veeraraghavan et al. Biochemistry (1999) 38: 16115-16124).

What facilities does Tufts have for NMR spectroscopy?
The Tufts NMR Center currently has 3 NMR spectrometers, all located in an environmentally controlled laboratory on the 6th floor of M&V.

The Bruker DRX-600 spectrometer used for structure determination of large protein domains and small proteins, as well as metabolomics experiments. It offers the highest resolution and sensitivity of the three instruments.

The Bruker AMX-500 spectrometer is good for examining peptides and small protein domains.

The Bruker DPX-300 spectrometer is useful if you need to check the identify or purity of products of organic synthesis. The system is set up to look at nonstandard nuclei, such as 11B.

The NMR Center is also in the process of upgrading the Bruker DRX-600 by replacing the console electronics. With this upgrade, features such as non-uniform sampling and cryogenic cooling, which can double the sensitivity of 2D and 3D experiments. Other upgrades to the hardware will increase the reliability, ease of use, and speed of data collection for this system. Users will be able to study the structure and dynamics of proteins and protein complexes with high molecular weights and limited solubility, which is limited by the current sensitivity of the instrument.

Information about the spectrometers available in the NMR Center can be found at the following website: http://medicine.tufts.edu/Faculty-and-Research/Core-Research-Facilities/Tufts-NMR-Center. With questions or for help planning an NMR experiment, please email Dr. Jim Baleja at Jim.Baleja@tufts.edu.

If you are interested in reading more about NMR spectroscopy, Bothwell and Griffin wrote a straightforward but in-depth article (Biological Reviews (2011) 86: 493-510).

On Unity Found in Biomedical Research

The Diversity and Inclusion page of the Tufts website includes colorful bar graphs on the university population. Sackler is 62% female and over 15 different countries are represented. Much beauty can be found in exploring our diversity, but much can be also gained from learning what unifies. Here at Sackler, many of us study this unity.

My research focuses on the disease of epilepsy, but I find the work rewarding and worthwhile because of the potential to find common mechanisms on how human brains work. Many unifying discoveries on the human system have come from study of disease. Take the textbook case of Patient HM, who had both sides of his temporal lobe surgically reduced to cure his epilepsy. Through studying him during learning tasks, Dr. Brenda Milner demonstrated in the 1950s the existence of episodic and procedural memory. In neuroscience today, cognition and consciousness are two remaining Holy-Grails, and both are affected in epilepsy. Epileptic individuals often suffer from cognitive disorders. In studying consciousness, investigators such as Dr. Hal Blumenfeld at Yale have used the transient impairments of consciousness observed in epilepsy to discover a “consciousness system” network in the functioning brain. The study of disease unveils the nature of the working machine.

Many different diseases are studied at Sackler, but looking at the big picture, what many of us are engaged upon is a search for unifying truths about the human condition. We are creating knowledge of what unifies. If you discover one truth, one singular truth of how the human body works, it is a truth that applies to all, to every group represented on the Tufts Diversity and Inclusion page. This is an empowering thought.

Take Part!

Remember student council elections in high school? Typically the most popular student running would win, but everyone was full of enthusiasm and excitement to attain those coveted positions! Fast-forward a decade or so to filling positions in organizations like the student council during graduate school and the picture looks dramatically different. We each take a turn, but we tend to do so grudgingly. High school was grueling, don’t get me wrong, but as the years progress the demands on our time change, the expectations are different, and the student body is less diverse (no more Poli Sci majors to eagerly take on the class president position).

Organizations that support fellow trainees and coworkers are typically run by volunteers. Each year we need people with a fresh perspective to step up and help with maintaining organizations such as the Graduate Student Council, the Sackler InSight, the Post-Doc Association, and, up here in Maine, the Research Fellows Association. There are so many important career and social events that just would not happen if these organizations were to disappear, not to mention how much smaller our voice within the school would be.

Teamwork

If you find yourself holding back from taking part in one of these community serving groups because you simply don’t have time between experiments, think of participation as a convenient way to get some career development in. Those of us who have been shoehorned into leadership positions can tell you firsthand how much rigorous practice we get in using the “soft skills”. In the business vernacular these include but are not limited to social and emotional intelligence, ability to develop people, delegation, structure and tactile development (how you get stuff done and how you tweak things to make sure it keep s getting done), style flexibility, and focus1.

Experience on a leadership team will create a tangible CV bullet that is particularly important for anyone interested in going into industry, but such experience will also be very helpful for people staying in academia (think committee and ancillary duties). It’s all in how you frame your skills to your audience.

Any of the students currently serving on committees or volunteering in other capacities will be more than happy to share their experiences, what their responsibilities and time commitments have been, contacts they have made, and what they have gotten out of their service in terms of personal and professional development.

  1. For a more in depth explanation on these soft skills, see SciPhD competencies and SCIPHD.com

PubMed Tip of the Month: Finding Information on Drug Action

The Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) vocabulary includes headings for the pharmacologic actions of drugs.  Each drug and chemical in the MeSH vocabulary is assigned one or more of these headings.  The pharmacologic action headings can be used to find information on the action of a drug or class of drugs.

  1. Find articles in which a specific action of a drug is discussed: Combine the MeSH heading for the drug or chemical with the MeSH heading for the pharmacologic action of interest.

For example, to find articles on the antipyretic action of acetaminophen, enter: “Acetominophen”[MeSH] AND “Antipyretics”[MeSH]

In order to use this method, you need to know which pharmacologic action headings have been assigned to the drug or chemical.  This information can be found in the MeSH record for the drug.  To search the MeSH database, choose ‘MeSH’ from the dropdown menu to the left of the PubMed search box.

MeSH record for cyclosporine
MeSH record for cyclosporine, showing pharmocologic action terms
  1. Find articles in which any drug or chemical exhibiting a certain action is discussed: Use the pharmacologic action field tag, [Pharmacologic Action] or [pa]. This search would likely be added to another, using ‘AND’.

For example, to find articles on platelet aggregation inhibitors and heart attack, enter: “Platelet aggregation inhibitors”[pa] AND “Myocardial infarction”[MeSH]

  1. View a list of drugs and chemicals identified as having a certain pharmacologic action: Find the record for the term, labeled [Pharmacologic Action], in the MeSH database.

For example: “Antirheumatic agents”[Pharmacologic Action]

MeSH records for 'antirheumatic agents'
MeSH records for ‘antirheumatic agents’

On the Shelf

Two for one this month…

Natural Medicines

Electronic resource: Natural Medicines

Location: Search for ‘Natural Medicines’ in Databases search box on the HHSL homepage (http://hirshlibrary.tufts.edu/).

Natural Medicines is a collection of databases and tools that provide evidence-based information on dietary supplements, natural medicines, and complementary and alternative therapies.  Databases in this collection include: Food, Herbs & Supplements, which has monographs for vitamins, herbs, minerals, non-herbal supplements, naturally sourced chemical compounds, and foods; Health & Wellness, which has monographs for complementary and alternative therapies; Sports Medicine, which has monographs for substances or exercises that may affect athletic performance; and Commercial Products, a comprehensive list of manufacturers and the products they make.  You can search across all databases, or choose to search a particular database.  Monographs have sections on safety, effectiveness, dosing and administration, and adverse effects, with links to published literature.  Natural Medicines also has tools for evaluating interactions, nutrient depletion, and effectiveness.

ICYMI: Career Exploration Panel

In this month’s edition of ICYMI, I’ll be giving you the low-down on a career exploration panel that took place on November 3rd in Sackler 114, sponsored by the GSC, TBBC, and the Sackler Dean’s office. Like every great event at Tufts, there was plenty of cheese, crackers, and booze to go around. Aaron Bernstein (CMP) took the stage as emcee and introduced the eight panelists and their intended career paths, which ranged from teaching to healthcare consulting.

I’ve made you all a little cheat sheet that summarizes the main takeaway for each career path and some of the great resources provided by the panelist that can help you learn more about and prepare for the job. Hopefully one or more of these professions spark your interest and inspire you to join a club, participate in an event, or simply give you something new to think about!

  1. Joslyn Mills-Bonal (CMP), teaching

Inspired by her great experience at a small liberal arts college, Joz participated in the panel as an advocate for a teaching-heavy career at a community college, liberal arts college, or university.  

Teaching experience, which might seem hard to find at Sackler, is critical for preparing you for this job. Take advantage of student seminars and treat them as an opportunity to practice teaching. You can work on your curriculum design skills by getting involved in behind the scenes efforts for the various teaching opportunities you participate in. For example, if you get involved with Biobugs you can also take part in designing the labs.

It’s important to think about what kind of institute you want to work for- a liberal arts college? A state university? A research I institute? These decisions will inform the steps you take during and after graduate school as you work towards your career as a teaching professor. For example, a postdoc is usually required for a job at a liberal arts school and above, whereas community college professors don’t need a PhD. Also keep in mind that if you don’t want to continue to do research, your publication list isn’t so important. If you do want to continue to do research, however, you need to keep in mind that prolific publishing is paramount.

Opportunities/resources of interest:  

If you’re interested in any of the above opportunities or simply want to learn more about this track, feel free to contact Joz!

  1. Laura Stransky (CMP), academic/industry science

In academia we aim to better understand some disease or mechanism, whereas those in industry work to make some therapeutic or drug that can be marketed and sold. For both jobs, however, Laura loves the fact that you get the luxury of thinking for a living!

As a graduate student at Tufts, you’re already actively in training for a career as a scientist! To make the most of your time in graduate school, go to seminars as often as possible and learn from how other people present. Remember that for many of the visiting speakers there is a lunch you can attend with the speaker at which you can network and learn about their career path. Take any and all opportunities to write! There are plenty of grants travel awards, abstracts, and conferences that give you the chance to practice writing. By taking mentoring opportunities—volunteering to work with rotating students, for example—you can develop the management skills that are critical to being a good scientist, regardless of whether you’re in industry or academia.

After graduate school you must become a postdoc if you intend to get a job in academia. You need to demonstrate your ability to accrue funding and publish high impact papers. If you’re leaning more towards becoming a scientist in industry, a postdoc isn’t absolutely essential but can certainly get you started a little higher on the ladder. Furthermore, a postdoc before industry can help you expand your skills, fill in any gaps that you may have, and perhaps give you the opportunity to get involved in more translational research and develop project management skills.

  1. Kayla Gross (CMDB), science communication

This field encompasses more than just one kind of job—you can be a medical writer, a publisher, a communicating officer at a brand, or even a journalist. While at Tufts, find ways to improve and practice your writing and communication skills! Look for as much feedback as you can on your manuscripts, abstracts, posters, presentations and even committee reports to help you sharpen your skills and hone in on what needs to be improved. You need to practice adaptability to different scientific fields, since as a writer you are unlikely to be limited to just one topic. Furthermore, you need to be able to speak to those who aren’t well versed in the field you are writing about.

For a job in science writing, there is no hard and fast rule on whether you need to postdoc or not. The only track in which working as a postdoc is encouraged is in being an editor. If journalism is your goal, keep in mind that making the shift from grad school to journalism can be tricky—you may have to do some freelance writing for a while to build up your portfolio and break into the field.

Opportunities/resources of interest:  

  • Join the INSIGHT newsletter/blog! You can participate as much or as little as your time permits, and it’s a great opportunity to practice your writing and communication skills. Contact Kayla to join!
  • Tufts also has a collaboration with Emerson College in which you can work with an undergraduate communications student whose project is to assemble a science-centric media piece in which your research is explained to the general public. This is a great way for you to practice making the science that we think so deeply about a digestible subject for the general public!
  1. Andrew Hooper (Neuro), science policy

A job in science policy often involves advising policy makers on important scientific matters. This is a great way to have impact on our government and every day lives by helping educate people, especially politicians, who often have very minimal science knowledge. Because part of the job also often involves putting budgets together, it’s important for you to have some financial savvy. Finally, communication skills are essential, as you’ll be translating complicated scientific concepts to people completely untrained in the field.

There are many organizations that offer policy fellowships that can support you while you work in D.C. and learn the ropes, most of which require a postdoc. Applications are usually due in January and start dates are in the fall.

Andrew suggested you contact him if you’re interested in science policy!  

  1. Matthew Kelley (Neuro), data science

Data science merges statistics, math, and programming to help get insight from large databases, generate correlations, and make predictive models.

Hard skills you need for a job in data science include statistics, programming—many things you are already doing regularly as a PhD student. It’s important to learn how to code, which you can do on your own! While you’re at Tufts, try to integrate data science in your PhD project to practice applying your skills.

Opportunities/resources of interest:  

  • The Insight Science Data Fellowship, designed to bridge the gap between a non-computational graduate degree and a career in health data science (http://insighthealthdata.com/). In this program, you’re funded for 7 weeks to learn from industry leaders and even interview with some of the top companies in the industry!
  • Check out the newly formed Data Science Club—there have only been two meetings so far so get in early! The club plans on bringing in speakers and learning applicable skills together.
  • MIT edX has a course on analytics: https://www.edx.org/course/analytics-edge-mitx-15-071x-2
  1. Jaclyn Dunphy (Neuro), entrepreneurship

A job as an entrepreneur is exciting because it involves brainstorming and sharing ideas with other people to start something completely novel. A job at a start-up company might seem high risk, but it offers the opportunity to make a big impact, as teams are usually small. If you’re interested in being a “big piece of a small system,” this field might be for you!

Firstly, to be more proactive, reach out to others—contact experts who can assess your idea and help you decide how feasible it is. Secondly, demonstrate leadership skills! Take the lead with rotation students and get involved in student-run groups where you can take some charge! Thirdly, practice your interpersonal and networking skills. You must practice the formula to successful networking: reaching out to your person of interest the day after meeting them, be it via e-mail or LinkedIn, and setting up a time and day for a coffee meeting where you can learn more about their job and solidify your professional relationship. To get started as an entrepreneur, the best thing you can do is… be an entrepreneur! Think of an idea and start a company!

Opportunities/resources of interest:  

  • Cross register for classes in the entrepreneurial management program at the Medford campus
  • Engage in IDEAS competitions
  • Participate in Mass Challenge!
  • Venture Café: A networking event that happens every Thursday evening at the Cambridge Innovations Center (1 Broadway, Kendall Square, Cambridge MA) where you can have a (free!) drink and socialize with other entrepreneurial-minded people. This can be a great opportunity to find collaborators or just bounce your ideas off other people in a social and friendly environment.
  1. Michaela Tolman (Neuro), healthcare consulting

Michaela aptly nicknamed healthcare consulting “rent-a-brain”—a perfect summary for a job in which you are hired to consult non-experts in a healthcare related venture. Many of us are in biomedical research because we want to help people, but as we all know, research can be slow and it might take years or even decades before a discovery you make in lab actually benefits someone in the clinic. As a consultant you are involved in helping bring people the best healthcare much more rapidly.

It’s extremely important to develop interpersonal and networking skills for a successful career in consulting! The job involves a lot of interactions with non-scientists and you need to be able to fit in and make them feel comfortable. It’s also important that you have business acumen and learn the jargon of the business world. Do you know what people are talking about when they say percent market share, market size, or competitive landscape?

To go on consulting interviews, you have to be able to say that you can graduate within a year. Postdocs are not recommended as consulting firms are typically looking for someone fresh out of graduate school. It’s also critical that you know how to do a case interview, which typically the process one goes through before getting a consulting job.

Opportunities/resources of interest:  

  • Join the case study groups, which take place every Monday!
  • Participate in TUNECC- this is a highly attended case-competition event at which you can show off your consulting skills and get the attention of potential hirers!
  • Come to Biotech Buzz and Tufts Advisory Partners (TAP)!
  • Michaela also had some book recommendations, including Case Interviewing Secrets and Case In Point.
  • A website that might interest you is Seeking Alpha.
  • The “Mini MBA” program at Harvard can be great for your resume
  • Just like for any other career path, network, network, network!
  1. Christina McGuire (Biochem), venture capital

Though there are venture capital firms that solely exist to provide funding for start up companies that already have a formulated product or idea, Christina’s goal is to find a job in a venture capital company that creates ideas in-house. To get that kind of position, you need to have a deep understanding of science and you definitely need good analytical skills. Continue to practice reading primary literature to develop these skills and also keep in mind the importance of acquiring business acumen. Often times, to get a job at a VC firm, you need to get involved in business or consulting first. Demonstrate your entrepreneurial abilities by getting involved in successful projects and familiarizing yourself with the business world, much like when you are preparing for a career in entrepreneurship and consulting!

Opportunities/resources of interest:  

  • Tufts Biomedical Business Club (TBBC) and Biotech Buzz.
  • Christina’s book recommendations: Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson.
  • Subscribe to: Fierce Biotech and XConomy

Overall, the event was a great success and attendees walked away with a wealth of knowledge and tips for how to better prepare for a slough of career options. A major recurring theme throughout the night was the importance of networking, so as intimidating as it may seem, the next time you hear about a networking event, grab a friend and go! You never know if the next person you meet will help open the door to your dream career.

Notes from the Library…Finding Chemical & Drug Information: Part II

Last month, I wrote about methods and resources for finding chemical information; this month, I will do the same for drug information.  All the resources listed below are accessible from the ‘Find Chemical & Drug Information’ page in the Sackler School Biomedical Sciences Research Guide.

The following resources provide information on the clinical use of drugs (enter your Tufts username and password for off campus access):

AHFS Drug Information: From the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, this book offers evidence-based information on the therapeutic use of drugs.  The entry for each drug covers topics ranging from dosage and administration to lab test interference, and provide pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic information.

DynaMed Plus: This point-of-care resource provides evidence-based summaries for thousands of clinical topics.  It includes drug monographs with detailed information on dosing, interactions, toxicology and pharmacokinetics.

Lexicomp Online: A point-of-care resource dedicated to drug information.  Monographs have information on: dosing and administration; warnings and precautions; pharmacogenomics; and pharmacology.  Lexi-Tox, a separate database within Lexicomp Online, provides information on the presentation, treatment and pharmacology of a variety of toxins.

For U.S. regulatory information:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration: The agency responsible for ensuring the safety and efficacy of drugs, vaccines and other biological products.  Search Drugs@FDA to find official information, such as active ingredients, marketing status and approval letters, about approved drugs and biological products.  The Orange Book, also known as Approved Drug Products with Therapeutic Equivalence, is an easy way to view a list of equivalent approved drugs.  Entries have a link to patent and exclusivity information.

For information on the toxicology of drugs and chemicals:

TOXNET: Collection of databases from the National Library of Medicine.  Two TOXNET databases, TOXLINE and Developmental and Reproductive Toxicology (DART), index the scientific literature on the biochemical, pharmacological, physiological and toxicological effects of drugs and chemicals.  The suite of TOXNET databases also includes the Hazardous Substances Data Bank and the Comparative Toxicogenomics Database.