GRADUCon 2019 - Industry Research Careers for Scientists Panel


How does research in industry differ from the research you do here as an academic scientist? The world of industrial research companies often seems mysterious to PhD students and postdocs, but all of their scientists were once in academia and made a successful transition. This panel will provide a peek behind the proprietary curtain of industry research as these UChicago alumni share their own experience as well as tips for landing your first industry job.


Pavel Elkin, Sr. Scientist 1, AbbVie (PhD Chemistry 2018)

I obtained my B.S. degree in synthetic chemistry D. Mendeleyev University of Chemical Technology of Russia and moved to US to attend grad school at the University of Chicago, where I joined the group of Prof. Rawal. During my Ph. D. studies I was lucky to be a part of several research projects in total synthesis of complex natural products, synthetic organic chemistry and methodology and medicinal chemistry. Upon completion of my PhD program in June 2019 I obtained a scientist position in the oncology department at AbbVie. At the present moment I’m working in Oncology Synthesis Group, which specializes in designing and executing efficient and scalable synthetic route towards potent drug-like molecules and medicinal chemistry.

Pauline Fujita, Bioinformatics Scientist 2, Illumina (PhD Ecology & Evolution 2007)

Pauline Fujita got her Ph.D. in the Department of Ecology and Evolution, working with Greg Dwyer studying the host-pathogen dynamics of the Gypsy Moth and its viral pathogen, LdNPV. She went on to work with the UC Santa Cruz Genome Browser group, focusing on tools for the analysis and display of genomic data. Seeking to refocus her work on disease and clinical applications, she took a position at the Institute for Human Genetics at UC San Francisco where she helped develop their bioinformatic processes for analyzing clinical samples. Pauline is currently a senior bioinformatics scientist with the Clinical Genomics research group at Illumina where she coordinates the development of bioinformatics software for clinical applications.

Endre Szuromi, Research Scientist, Dow (Postdoc Chemistry 2007)

Endre is a research scientist in the Process & Catalysis R&D group within the Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP) division at The Dow Chemical Company. He joined Dow in late 2007 and worked in several business R&D departments (Hydrocarbons, Epoxy and Oil, Gas & Mining) as part of the Research Assignments Program before joining Core R&D, where his work focused on the development of a number of early-stage projects directed at novel polymer architectures and new catalyst systems for olefin polymerization. He joined P&SP in 2018, where he continues to work on polyolefin development projects closer to commercialization. Endre was born and raised in Hungary. After receiving his MS degree in chemistry from the University of Debrecen, Hungary, he came to the US to join the PhD program of the University of Missouri – Columbia. He studied the chemistry of Pt(II) oxo-complexes in Paul Sharp’s group. After obtaining his PhD, Endre explored palladium-catalyzed olefin polymerizations as a postdoctoral fellow in the research group of Richard Jordan at the University of Chicago. He is an author on 8 publications and an inventor on 5 granted patents as well as 17 patent applications.

Agnes Hyde, Senior Process Scientist, Abbott (PhD Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 2014)

Agnes Misiura Hyde received her PhD from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago, studying in the Rice lab the mechanism of site-specific recombination in pathogenic MRSA strains and dissemination of antibiotic resistance genes. After completing her PhD in 2014, Agnes joined Therapeutic Proteins International (now Adello Biologics) as a process development scientist where she helped establish production processes for biosimilars. In 2016, Agnes joined Abbott Diagnostics Division as a senior R&D scientist in biologics design group and currently she is a senior process scientist working on improving manufacturing processes for diagnostic products.


Tony Kossiakoff, Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Institute for Biophysical Dynamics, The University of Chicago (PhD Physical Chemistry 1972, University of Delaware)

A principle research interest of the Kossiakoff Lab centers on studying at atomic resolution the structural and functional properties that define molecular recognition systems that activate and regulate biological properties. In particular, these studies focus on delineating the energetics of hormone-induced receptor activation and regulation of growth hormone and its receptor using X-ray crystallography, site-directed mutagenesis, phage display mutagenesis and biophysical analysis. His group has pioneered with the Koide group the Chaperone-Assisted Crystallography technique. In complementary studies the Kossiakoff group is developing semi-synthetic cytokine receptor systems to study the role of protein dynamics on signaling function.