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Science PhD Students Discover Career Opportunities at Symposium

Research symposium1
Keynote speaker P. Roy Vagelos (seated, left) and SBU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. (seated, right) with the event organizing committee, top row (left to right): Nadine Dalrymple, Peter Chahales, Krithika Venkataraman, Mahalakshmi Ramadass, Mel Pilar Espaillat, Alfreda James, Azeez Aranmolate, Ellie Ivanova, Nikki Evensen and Peter Tonge.

Stony Brook University, in collaboration with Brookhaven National Laboratory, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, held an all-day career symposium on March 19 in the Charles B. Wang Center. The Research Your Future Career Symposium was sponsored by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (ASBMB) for graduate students and postdocs at the participating institutions.

This event was run by Stony Brook University graduate students and postdocs, and included a series of panel discussions by professionals in the areas of academia, biotech and finance, industry and government, and patent law. Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, gave the welcome address. The day also included lunch and an afternoon networking session with local businesses from the tri-state area, including Pall Life Sciences, forteBio (a division of Pall Life Sciences), Regeneron, Hoffmann & Baron LLP, Advanced Microscopy Group (a part of Life Technologies), The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, Merck Inc., Mirimus Inc., Molecular Medicine, New York Genome Center and North Shore LIJ.

P. Roy Vagelos, MD, retired Chairman and CEO of Merck Inc. and Chairman of the Board at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., gave the keynote address.

“This is the first time we held this career and networking symposium and it was a huge success,” said Nadine Dalrymple, postdoctoral associate in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, who helped organize the event. “The main organizers of the event submitted a proposal to ASBMB and won support to bring the event to Stony Brook. We then received a number of sponsorships, which allowed us to open this event up to more than 300 grads and postdocs. We had the chance to showcase a variety of career options available to those with a science PhD.”

The event organizers, all from Stony Brook University, included faculty advisor Peter J. Tonge, a professor in the Department of Chemistry; PhD students Peter Chahales and Krithika Venkataraman; and postdoctoral associate Nadine Dalrymple. The organizing committee, also from Stony Brook University, included Lynn Allopenna, Assistant Dean in the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs; Alfreda S. James, Assistant Director in the Career Center; and PhD students Azeez Aranmolate, Mel Pilar Espaillat, Nikki Evensen, Ellie Ivanova, Mahalakshmi Ramadass and Perry Y. Woo.

Vendor tables featured Biotix Inc., Enzo Life Sciences, Eppendorf, VWR and WorldWide Medical Products Inc. and were displayed throughout the Wang Center.

About Keynote Speaker P. Roy Vagelos
Dr. Vagelos served for 10 years as a young researcher at the National Institutes of Health’s National Heart Institute as a clinician and a biochemist. He then transitioned to academia to serve as chair of the Department of Biochemistry at Washington University. He then accepted a position as head of the Merck Research Laboratories, re-strategizing the company’s approach to drug discovery. His application of biochemistry to the discovery of novel therapeutics elevated him to CEO and chairman, and grew the company to one of the largest pharmaceuticals in the world Merck has became the standard for drug development and discovery throughout the industry. Retiring from his post at Merck in the mid 1990s, Dr. Vagelos went on to his current position as chairman of the board at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. His dedication to education is unparalleled, providing opportunities to countless students seeking higher education, as well as to advancements in the math and sciences.

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