GRADUCon 2018 - Careers in Science Writing

About

Science writing encompasses an incredibly diverse career trajectory for graduate students and postdocs seeking to disseminate scientific information to various audiences – through formats such as journalism, marketing, multimedia, policy, education outreach, medical writing, and editing to name a few.  As trainees, how do you effectively transfer the written communication skills developed during your coursework, lab training, dissertation and manuscript writing to the workplace? Join us for this panel and learn how our alumni have utilized their research background and training to succeed in several avenues of science writing.

Panelists

Ana Mrejeru, Senior Medical Writer, AbbVie (PhD Neurobiology 2009)

Ana graduated with a Ph.D. from the UChicago Neurobiology program in 2009, and then completed her 5-year postdoc in Neurology at Columbia University (focused on dopamine and neurodegeneration). She was a writer for 2 medical communications agencies prior to starting at AbbVie in 2017. She now writes the clinical trial data publications for oncology pipeline products.

Rob Arthur, Journalist/Consultant, Five Thirty Eight/Freelance (PhD Ecology & Evolution 2010)

I graduated from the University of Chicago as a student in Ecology and Evolution in 2010, having focused on genomics/bioinformatics. (I worked in the labs of Kevin White and Ilya Ruvinsky.) After graduation, I did a one-year postdoc with Megan McNerney, and then started writing full-time, primarily at FiveThirtyEight. Since then I’ve continued writing at FiveThirtyEight, freelanced at Vice, the New York Times, and others, and consulted for baseball teams and other companies.

Apurva Davé, Associate Scientific Director, Nucleus Global (PhD Chemistry 2008)

Are you rethinking your future in academia? I’ve been in your shoes. After attending a job fair in April of 2008, I was offered a job in the world of medical communications. I had no idea that such a job existed nor what it entailed. I hope to share my honest, unvarnished perspective on my 10 years in medical communications. Let’s talk.

Carolina Mora Solano, Public Relations Account Executive, GC Life (PhD Pathology 2017)

Carolina graduated with a B.A. in Biology from Macalester College in Saint Paul, MN. She worked for a year as a technician in an immunology laboratory at University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and took a gap year spending time with family in Costa Rica before graduate school. She received her doctorate from the Molecular Pathogenesis and Molecular Medicine PhD program at Uchicago in August of 2017, after defending her thesis in “Peptide Supramolecular Materials”, while working in the laboratory of Dr. Joel Collier. She is currently a Public Relations Account Executive for various Life Science and Healthcare clients, at a middle size marketing agency called CG life, located in Chicago’s West loop.

Moderator

Matt Wood, Senior Science Writer, Media Relations, UChicago Medicine & Biological Sciences (MA Northwestern University)

Matt Wood is a Senior Science Writer for the University of Chicago Medicine & Biological Sciences. He covers basic science, neuroscience, the microbiome, paleontology, ecology and evolution, and is the editor of The Forefront, the science, health and wellness news website for the UChicago Medicine and the BSD (uchicagomedicine.org).