BECOMING AN INDUSTRY PI
Postdocs are traditionally trained to develop skills necessary for securing a job as a faculty member in an academic institution. More frequently, and especially in Boston, postdocs transition to industry positions that often lead them to being Industry PIs (i.e group leads, directors, senior investigators), but the pathway to this career can seem unclear. This panel will focus on which abilities and expertise are prioritized for hiring in these roles, how funding and operational structures are organized, and will broadly illustrate day-to-day life and similarities/differences comparing industry with academic research settings.
Matthieu Delince has a bachelor and master’s degree in bioengineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). He subsequently completed a PhD at EPFL investigating the role of cellular individuality during infection by developing a microfluidic device to do long-term single-cell time-lapse microscopy. He then joined the lab of Tomas Kirchhausen at the Harvard Medical School, where he worked on an in vitro blood-brain barrier model to characterize the transport of antibodies by transcytosis using high spatio-temporal microscopy. Matt is currently a Group Leader at HiFiBiO Therapeutics leading the single-cell screening efforts in Cambridge.”
Isaac Stoner is the co-founder and COO of Octagon Therapeutics, a drug development company focused on autoimmune disease and resistant infections. He has been in technical leadership roles at a variety of early stage life sciences startups including Firefly BioWorks (acquired in 2014) and Ion Torrent (acquired in 2010), and gained venture capital experience at GlaxoSmithKline, PureTech Health, and KdT Ventures. Isaac earned an MBA at MIT and a degree in biomedical engineering at Brown University."
Magdalena Kasendra is an Associate Director at Emulate Inc., where she is leading the effort to develop and qualify the primary Intestine-Chip model to be applied for the evaluation of safety and efficacy of new therapeutics, discovery of new biomarkers and drug candidates, and for uses in the field of precision medicine. Throughout her career Magdalena has gained research experience in world renowned academic and industrial research institutions in United States and Europe, including Lund University (Sweden), Novartis (Italy), Insitute Pasteur (France), Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard (USA). She perfomed her PhD at Novartis focused on on the development of vaccines against several human pathogens, including Clostridium difficile, Neisseria meningitidis and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli, which are all common infectious diseases with high mortality rates. She spent almost a year at Institute Pasteur mastering the use of intestinal organoids and their application into the studies of host-pathogen interactions. As a postdoctoral fellow at Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard, she established a novel Intestine-Chip model that uses intestinal epithelium isolated from human biopsy and recreates the complex, dynamic microenvironment of the human intestine. She has successfully executed FDA and DARPA funded research projects and helped to secure the funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the use of Intestine-Chip technology in studies of malnutrition and enteric dysfunction in rural African children. Magdalena has authored several research manuscripts and patents and received multiple awards including a Marie Curie Fellowship, one of the most prestigious and competitive fellowships in Europe.
Mariela completed her undergraduate studies in Rosario, Argentina. She received a PhD in Biomedical Sciences from UMass Medical School, where she studied chromatin-remodeling complexes with Dr. Craig Peterson. In 2004, she started her postdoctoral studies at DFCI in Ron DePinho’s lab, focusing on telomere dynamics in breast cancer and aging. In 2011, Mariela joined the Oncology Department at NIBR. She currently holds the title of Senior Investigator I, working as Project Team Leader for a drug discovery program and supporting various early discovery and translational Oncology programs. Her main interest is non-traditional mechanisms of kinase inhibition. Mariela is the proud mentor of >15 scientists (students, postdocs, associates, junior lab heads), an active member of the Novartis Cambridge Women Support Group (CWRG) and mom to two children and one dog.