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BioPerspectives

How Scientists Can Make a Successful Transition from the Academic World to a Career in the Biopharmaceutical Business

  • John Sterling

While much is written about the difficulties people may encounter when they move from one corporate business culture to another, there are probably even greater obstacles facing individuals wishing to leave the academic research laboratory for a job in the bioindustry. More than involving distinct cultures, this type of career change can be viewed as a journey between different worlds.

This week's podcast interviewee has been very successful in both worlds. Gail Naughton, Ph.D., talks about the main obstacles facing scientists when they make the transition from academia to the bioindustry. She discusses the specfic hurdles she had to overcome to commercialize her laboratory-discovered tissue engineered products, TransCyte and Dermagraft. Dr. Naughton dissucces how scientists can learn to become effective marketeers for their companies and about how important is it for scientists to have an industry mentor to help them find their way in a non-ivory tower career in business. She also addresses the issue of why there are so few women running biotech and pharmaceutical companies and makes some suggestions on what can be done to move more women into upper echelon management levels. Dr. Naughton points out that traditional sciences does not train its students in the practicalities of business and management and offers advice on how academic researchers can get a better handle on these practicalities.

Be sure to listen to this important and provocative podcast the return to the blog and give your thoughts on the following question:

What do you see as major obstacles to scientists who are trying to move from the research laboratory to the business world as an employee at a biotech or pharmaceutical company?