9th Annual myCHOICE-BSD Alumni Career Forum
Saturday, October 29th: In-person panel & career path roundtable discussions
November 1st – 5th: Virtual one-on-one informational interviews
The myCHOICE-BSD Alumni Career Forum is an annual event sponsored by UChicagoGRAD, myCHOICE, and the University of Chicago Medical & Biological Sciences Alumni Association. The Career Forum provides the opportunity for BSD graduate students and postdoctoral scientists to engage with alumni from a broad range of career paths to share their perspectives and advice through panel discussions and industry-specific roundtables. This year’s myCHOICE-BSD Alumni Career Forum includes an in-person event on Saturday, October 29th, and virtual Zoom 1:1 chats that will occur Tuesday, November 1st to Saturday, November 5th.
There’s no one better than a UChicago alum to provide advice about how to grow your career. Take advantage of this opportunity and register to attend in-person now!
NOTE: Registration for ALL one-on-one informational interviews (in-person and virtual) will close on Monday October 24th, 11:59 pm. Register NOW to book slots with the alumni of your choice.
Registration for the in-person Forum panel and lunch will remain open until Thursday, October 27th, 11:59 pm.
Saturday, October 29th, 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Gordon Center for Integrative Science
9:45 – 10 am — Event check-in
10 – 10:10 am — Welcome from BSD Dean of Students, David Kovar, Professor, Molecular Genetics and Cellular Biology
10:10 – 11:15 am — Panel Discussion
“Keeping Your Feet Beneath You in the Changing Hiring Landscape”, featuring:
- Courtney Burrows (PhD’15 Human Genetics) Marketing Manager, AbbVie
- Jeffrey Goodenbour (PhD’09 Human Genetics) Principal, Corsica Life Sciences Consulting
- Colles Price (PhD’15 Cancer Biology) Principal Scientist, Takeda Oncology
- Sapana Vora (PhD’14 Cancer Biology) Senior Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Defense, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction/DoD CTR Policy
11:15 – 11:30 am — Break
11:30 am – 12:30 pm — Career Path Roundtable Discussions, featuring the following alumni guests, in addition to the panelists above:
- Michael Burrows (PhD‘15 Immunology) Vice President, Aspire Capital Partners, LLC
- Daniil Gataulin (SM’18, PhD’18 Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology) Sr. Equity Research Analyst- Biotechnology, Chardan
- Alex Le (PhD’12, Pathology; MBA’21) Associate Principal- Financial Institutions Consulting, IQVia
- Folabomi Oladosu (PhD‘16 Neuroscience) Senior Medical Writer, AMICULUM
- Carol Olson (PhD‘82 Biochemistry, MBA‘86) Senior Vice President and Head of Global Product Development, Pharmaceutical Product Development
- Lindsay Stolzenburg (PostDoc‘19 Neuroscience) Scientist, Exicure
- Becky Toroney (PostDoc’16 Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology) Senior Scientist- R&D, Abbott Diagnostics
12:45 – 2:25 — One-on-one Chats with Alumni (by advanced registration only)
Tuesday, November 1st through Saturday, November 5th
Virtual 1-on-1 chats. Once you register for this part of the program you will receive an invitation to sign up for meetings with specific individuals.
- Alexandria Bobe (PhD’17 Molecular Metabolism & Nutrition) Director- Scientific Communications, Tempus
- Erin Boyle Anderson (SM’19, PhD’19 Developmental Biology) Patent Agent, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
- Andrea DeDent (PhD’08 Microbiology) Associate Director, Cleveland Clinic Innovation Technology Department
- Andrew Hack (AB’95, PhD’00 Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology, MD’02) Managing Director, Bain Capital Life Sciences
- Dan Leventhal (SM’13, PhD’16 Cancer Biology) Senior Scientist and Lead Immunologist, Generate Biomedicines
- Ben Marcus (PhD’16 Neurobiology) Public Affairs Specialist, The Smithsonian
- Jennifer McPartland (PhD’08 Microbiology) Director of Safety & Stewardship, Beautycounter
- Mark Reppell (Postdoc’17 Human Genetics) Principal Research Scientist, AbbVie
- Corey Smith (PhD’20 Medical Physics) Senior Data Scientist, Epsilon
- Andy Vo (SM’19, PhD’19 Developmental Biology) Senior Scientist II- Head of Computational Toxicology, AbbVie
Alumni Biosketches – Panel & Roundtable Facilitators (in-person)
Courtney Burrows (PhD’15 Human Genetics, MBA’17)
Dr. Burrows is part of the Commercial Leadership Program at AbbVie. Burrows has marketing and commercial experience on multiple brands including VENCLEXTA, HUMIRA, SKYRIZI, and ORIAHNN. She received her PhD from the University of Chicago in human genetics and went on to get her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. During her PhD, she was a Chicago Innovation Mentors fellow, president of the UChicago Biotechnology Association, Innovation Fund Associate, and helped create the myCHOICE program. During her MBA she co-founded a women’s health company, 4Women, that placed fifth in the New Venture Challenge and first in the Forté Power Pitch Competition.
Michael Burrows (PhD’15 Immunology)
Vice President, Life Sciences
Aspire Capital Partners, LLC
After completing his PhD in immunology at the University of Chicago in 2015, Dr. Burrows joined Aspire Capital as a healthcare analyst where he now holds the position of Vice President, Life Sciences. Aspire Capital is a Chicago based investment fund that focuses on public biotechnology companies. Burrows’ interest in the biotech industry came from previous work at an immuno-oncology startup, and while at UChicago where he educated himself on the many career paths open for scientists. This exploration involved several programs including: myCHOICE, the UChicago Biotech Association, the Chicago Innovation Mentors fellows program, and the Innovation Fund Associate program. Each of which allowed Burrows to better understand what he might enjoy doing as his career developed.
Daniil Gataulin (SM’18, PhD’18 Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology)
Senior Equity Research Analyst
Dr. Daniil Gataulin joined Chardan in the summer of 2021 as a Vice President, Senior Research Associate covering Biotechnology and transitioned to a Senior Analyst role in the beginning of 2022. Prior to Chardan, Dr. Gataulin held a Senior Research Associate position at Raymond James, where he covered SMID biotech companies with the focus on neurology, hematology, and gene therapy. Dr. Gataulin received his PhD in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology at the University of Chicago, where he conducted his thesis research in the laboratory of Dr. Doug Bishop. He also holds a Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Illinois Institute of Technology and BS in Cell Molecular Biology from Grand Valley State University.
Jeffrey Goodenbour (PhD’09 Human Genetics)
Corsica Life Sciences Consulting
Dr. Goodenbour is an experienced biopharma consultant utilizing analytical rigor, creative analysis, and strategic insight to help clients advance commercial strategy in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. He has over seven years experience in fast paced commercial strategy consulting covering launch strategy, strategic planning, market access and reimbursement, and orphan drugs. His highly accomplished background in genetics provides the scientific and analytical basis for evidence based insight synthesis and decision making.
Alex Le (PhD’12 Pathology, MBA’21)
As a scientist-business professional hybrid, Dr. Le thrives on creating values in the life science industry with 15+ years of experience in innovation, strategy, and leadership Currently, as an Associate Principal at IQVIA Financial Institutions Consulting, Le leads projects and participates in business development activities, advising private equity and strategic investors on M&A in biopharma. Prior to IQVIA, as an Associate Director in Corporate Strategy at Baxter, he led numerous initiatives to support senior executives in operational planning, corporate development, and commercial strategy. Le also spent 5 years working in management consulting, providing strategic insights and recommendations to clients across the life science sectors. Prior to his career in industry and consulting, Le completed a PhD in Pathology at the University of Chicago, under Dr. Geoffrey Greene’s mentorship. As a hobby outside of work, Le cofounded ReconBio, a research start-up collaborating with the University of Chicago to develop an innovative platform for on-demand medication removal. He currently lives in the Chicago metropolitan area with his wife, two daughters, and his mother; whenever he can find some down time, he enjoys playing videogames but is increasingly terrible at most of them.
Folabomi Oladosu (PhD’16 Neuroscience)
Experienced Medical Writer
Dr. Oladosu is an experienced medical writer with over 4 years of experience in science communications, including working on fast-paced publications, managing multiple project deadlines across different time zones, and effectively liaising with clients and medical experts. She also worked in a variety of therapeutic areas including pain, women’s health, immunology, and oncology.
Carol Olson (PhD’82 Biochemistry, MD’86)
Senior Vice President and Head of Global Product Development
Pharmaceutical Product Development
Dr. Olson serves as senior vice president and head of Pharmaceutical Product Development’s (PDD) global product development department. The department is comprised of physicians with expertise in developing products for cardiovascular, critical care, metabolism, general medicine, women’s health, infectious and respiratory diseases, vaccines, oncology, rare diseases, and pediatrics. Olson is a member of the PPD Pandemic Response Committee, a member of the Human Subjects Committee, chairs the Clinical Oversight committee for Accelerated Enrollment Solutions, and a member of the board of directors for the PPD branch of the Women’s Empowerment Network. She consults with industry and government sponsors for drug and vaccine development programs. Olson is an infectious disease physician with more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, holding positions of increasing responsibility in senior management throughout her career. She has expertise in antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic drug development, as well as experience in vaccine development. Prior to joining PPD in 2012, Olson was a principal at Sapphire Oak Consultants, where she provided strategic medical guidance on a variety of programs, specifically anti-parasitic drug development. Before that role, she was senior vice president of pharmaceutical development and chief medical officer at Immtech Pharmaceuticals. Olson also served in various roles of increasing responsibility in anti-infective and gastroenterology product development and medical affairs at Abbott Laboratories.
Colles Price (PhD’15 Cancer Biology)
Dr. Price is a scientist with over ten years experience in cancer biology and oncology. As a scientist Dr. Price has been using functional genomics as a tool for cancer target discovery leading to novel drug therapies. He is skilled in multiple in vitro and in vivo molecular approaches and assays and has extensive knowledge in oncogenic signaling pathways, epigenetics, genomics, immunology and computational analysis.
Lindsay Stolzenburg (PostDoc’19 Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology)
Dr. Stolzenburg received her Bachelor’s in Molecular Genetics from the University of Rochester (2012) and her PhD in Human Molecular Genetics from Northwestern University (2017). During graduate school, she studied the impact of genetic modifiers on lung disease severity in cystic fibrosis. Following graduate school, she completed an academic postdoc at the University of Chicago in the Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology studying transcriptional regulatory functions of a non-coding RNA. Stolzenburg then transitioned to an industry postdoc at AbbVie in the Genomics Research Center, where she worked to functionalize genetic variants associated with Alzheimer’s Disease in human induced pluripotent stem cell models. In May 2021, she joined Exicure as a Scientist, where she led R&D efforts to screen, chemically optimize, and biologically characterize nucleic acid-based therapeutics aimed at correcting mutations found in rare neurological disorders. Stolzenburg is particularly passionate about mentoring women in science, and in her spare time she enjoys being outdoors and spending time with pets and family.
Becky Toroney (PostDoc’16 Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology)
Senior Scientist, R&D
Dr. Toroney leads an assay development team in R&D at Abbott Diagnostics. She received her PhD from Penn State in Chemistry, followed by a post doc at The University of Chicago in Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, both positions focused on RNA-protein interactions. Her professional career has spanned R&D in very large to very small companies. At Abbott Molecular (Des Plaines), she worked for several years as a research scientist developing molecular assays for infectious diseases and cancer as part of the development of a fully automated diagnostic platform run by large hospital systems. Currently, she is a project manager at the Abbott Lake County site leading a research team as part of a program to develop a new assay technology and instrument platform for detection of pathogens in blood. She also spent time working for a small development-stage company in Oklahoma focused on developing new clinical tools for identification of detection-triggered autoimmune encephalopathies in pediatric patients. During her time at UChicago, she both met her husband and had the informational interview that led to her first industry job at MyCHOICE events.
Sapana Vora (PhD’14 Cancer Biology)
Senior Policy Advisor
U.S. Department of Defense, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction/DoD CTR Policy
Dr. Vora served in the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) as a AAAS science and technology policy fellow and deputy team chief from 2015–2021. CTR’s mission is to reduce the threat of state and nonstate actors acquiring, developing, or deploying weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against the United States and its allies. In August 2021, Vora joined the U.S. Department of Defense where she continues to work on CTR and WMD nonproliferation issues as a senior bio analyst.
Alumni Biosketches – Virtual 1-on-1 Chats (only)
Alexandria Bobe (PhD’17 Molecular Metabolism & Nutrition)
Director of Scientific Communications
Tempus Labs, Inc.
Dr. Bobe is a biomedical scientist by training with experience in translational research and scientific communications. She is a proactive leader with a passion for driving patient impact and innovation in science, healthcare, and tech. Over the last 15 years, Dr. Bobe has co-founded and/or supported several organizations related to diversity, equity, and inclusion in STEM, biomedical research, and patient care. She enjoy making valuable contributions in a team setting. Dr. Bobe built and currently lead the Scientific Communications Team at Tempus Labs, Inc. – a data-driven precision medicine company bringing the power of data and AI to healthcare across disease areas.
Erin Boyle Anderson (PhD’19 Organismal Biology and Anatomy)
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Erin Boyle Anderson got her PhD in Development, Regeneration, and Stem Cell Biology at the University of Chicago in 2019. After graduation, she worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati as a patent agent.
Andrew Hack (AB’95 Biology, PhD’00 Molecular Genetics & Cell Biology, MD’02)
Bain Capital Life Sciences
Dr. Hack is a managing director of Bain Capital Life Sciences, a private equity fund that invests in biopharmaceutical, specialty pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics, and enabling life science technology companies globally. Before joining Bain Capital, Hack was the chief financial officer of Editas Medicine (Nasdaq: EDIT). Previously, Hack served as a portfolio manager at Millennium Management, where he ran a healthcare hedge fund focused on biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies. Prior to Millennium, he was an analyst at HealthCor Management as well as at Carlyle-Blue Wave Partners, and a principal of the MPM BioEquities Fund. He started his investment career as an equity research analyst covering the biotechnology sector at Banc of America Securities after serving as director of life sciences at Reify Corporation, a life science tools and drug discovery company. In addition, Hack is a member of the Board of Directors of Affinivax, Dynavax Technologies (Nasdaq: DVAX), Imperative Care, JenaValve Technology, Mersana Therapeutics (Nasdaq: MRSN), Nuvalent (Nasdaq: NUVL), and Xilio Therapeutics.
Andrea DeDent (PhD ’08 Microbiology)
Associate Director, Innovation Technology Development
Dan Leventhal (SM’13 Translational Sciences, PhD’16 Cancer Biology)
Associate Director and Head of Immunogenicity
Dr. Leventhal is currently working as an associate director and head of immunogenicity for Generate Biomedicines, a startup based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At Generate, Leventhal is helping to create new methodologies and approaches to developing protein-based therapeutics using computational modeling and artificial intelligence. Prior to Generate, Leventhal worked at Synlogic where he created and evaluated immune-modulating and engineered strains of bacteria to treat cancer and autoimmunity. Leventhal has degrees in translational sciences (SM’13) and cancer biology (PhD’16) from the University of Chicago where he worked in the laboratory of Peter Savage, PhD, studying the development and antigenic specificities of tumor-associated regulatory T-cells. During his time at the University of Chicago, Leventhal was also heavily involved in the University of Chicago Biotechnology Association, Chicago Innovation Mentors, and myCHOICE.
Ben Marcus (PhD’16 Neuroscience)
Public Affairs Specialist
Dr. Marcus received his PhD in neuroscience at the University of Chicago in 2016. While in school, he developed a passion for science communication, which led him to teach science to middle-schoolers, speak to addiction counselors about the neurobiology of addiction, and develop Science Unsealed, the blog for the Illinois Science Council. After graduating, he spent more than six years at life science-focused business-to-business marketing agencies, specializing in media relations and content writing on behalf of biotechnology companies. Recently, he took a position at the Smithsonian where he engages in public affairs on behalf of its science museums, research programs, and zoo.
Jennifer McPartland (PhD’08 Microbiology)
Director of Safety & Stewardship
Dr. McPartland is the director of safety & stewardship for Beautycounter, a beauty and personal care brand whose mission is to get safer products into the hands of everyone. Prior to joining Beautycounter, McPartland advanced policy, market, and science solutions to protect human health and the environment from harmful chemical exposures at the Environmental Defense Fund. She serves on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Environmental Health Matters Initiative and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Board of Scientific Counselors. She was a congressional science policy fellow in the office of Congresswoman Diana DeGette. McPartland earned her PhD at the University of Chicago in Dr. Rothman-Denes’s lab, and her bachelor of science in biochemistry from the University of Virginia.
Mark Reppell (Postdoc’17, Human Genetics)
Principal Research Scientist
Dr. Reppell is currently Principal Research Scientist, Head of Population Cohorts at AbbVie Inc. Previously he was Senior Scientist II, Computational Genomics at AbbVie Inc. Reppell received his PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Michigan. After completing his PhD, Reppell went on to become a postdoctoral scholar in Human Genetics at the University of Chicago.
Corey Smith (PhD ’20 Health, Medical Physics)
Senior Data Scientist, Decision Sciences
Dr. Smith earned his Ph.D. in Medical Physics from the University of Chicago. His doctoral research focused on model-based image reconstruction for multi-view light microscopes. After graduating, Smith started a career in data science. He currently works as a senior data scientist at Epsilon on an R&D team that helps identify clients’ advertising audiences.
Andy Vo (SM ’19, PhD ’19 Developmental Biology)
Senior Scientist II, Head of Computational Toxicology
Dr. Vo earned a Bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology from the University of Michigan and a doctorate in developmental biology at the University of Chicago. During his doctoral training in Elizabeth McNally’s lab, he investigated genetic modifiers relating to muscle and heart by integrating large genomic datasets and various computational methods. He obtained his postdoctoral training at AbbVie where he was focused on the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning methods together with bioinformatics and cheminformatics to evaluate drug toxicity. He has presented his research findings at multiple scientific conferences and has published over 20 peer reviewed manuscripts.