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Career Development Symposium

This unique annual symposium, organized by the Postdoctoral Association (PDA) since 2017 and now in collaboration with the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA), gathers postdocs and grad students from across the greater Chicago area and country to connect, network, collaborate and learn about different PhD career paths. The goal of this event is to educate postdocs and grad students about careers in academia, industry, communications, business, and beyond. We bring in outstanding speakers and panelists to come share their experience to inspire budding postdocs and graduate students into fulfilling careers.

2023 Career Development Symposium Heading link

The 2023 Career Development Symposium was held on Friday, September 15, 2023 from 11:00 am-6:30 pm celebrating National Postdoc Appreciation Week. The event featured a keynote address by Dr. Azurii Collier, Director of Portfolio Innovations at AbbVie; Career Track Panels including outreach & communication, industry & academic research, and business & administration, as well as professional headshots, networking, interactive workshop, talking with recruiters, and more!

The 7th Annual Career Development Symposium was held Friday, September 15th, 2023 in the Thompson Rooms at UIC Student Center West.

CDS 2023 Agenda Heading link

10:30-11:00 amRegistration and check-in
11:00 am-12:00 pmOpening Remarks: Dr. Joanna Groden - Vice Chancellor for Research at UIC

Keynote Address: Dr. Azurii Collier - Director, Enterprise Innovation at AbbVie
12:00-1:00 pmLunch
12:00-5:00 pmProfessional headshots for 50 attendees. Slots will be given on a first come, first served basis at check-in!
1:00-2:00 pmPanel 1: Careers in Science Outreach and Communication

Kate Golembiewski, MS - PR and Science Communications Manager at The Field Museum
Dr. Priya Mathur - Senior Publications Manager at AbbVie
Dr. Rob Mitchum - Director of Research and Science Communications at UIC
Dr. Alexandra “Sasha” Prokuda - Executive Director of the Chicago Council on Science & Technology (C2ST)
Dr. Mohana Ray - Associate Director, Scientific Communications at HDMZ
2:00-3:00 pmPanel 2: Research Careers On and Off the Bench

Dr. Mitch Connolly - Data Bioinformatician at ACL Laboratories
Dr. Carrie Franzen - Principal Scientist, Head of Modeling Lab Biorepository at Tempus Labs Inc.
Dr. Elizabeth Glover - Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at UIC
Dr. Shrikant Pandya - Data Scientist and Machine Learning Engineer at Ascension Data Science Institute
3:00-4:00 pmPanel 3: Careers in Business of Research

Dr. Brian Bunker - Staff Data Scientist at Intelligent Medical Objects
Dr. Michael Fitzsimons - Director of Research Programs and Business Development, Center for Translational Data Science at The University of Chicago
Dr. Elizabeth McMath - Senior Director, New Program Innovation & Entrepreneurship at Chicago Biomedical Consortium
Dr. Amanda Schalk - Co-Founder and COO of Enzyme By Design and Research Assistant Professor at UIC
4:00-5:00 pmInteractive Workshop-Interviewing for Industry Positions: Dr. Afrida Rahman-Enyart - Product Manager at Proteintech
5:00-6:30 pmNetwork Reception with CHIentist

Thank You to Our Sponsors! Heading link

UIC Office of Technology Management Logo
UIC Office of Technology Management
Office of Technology Management—UIC's Tech Transfer Office. Our mission is to encourage innovation, enhance research, and facilitate economic development through the transfer of intellectual property.
New England BioLabs Logo with Monarch Butterfly
New England Biolabs
Founded in the mid-1970s as a collective of scientists committed to developing innovative products for the life sciences industry, NEB is now a recognized world leader in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications.
Proteintech Logo
As a company founded by scientists, Proteintech Group recognizes the tireless efforts and sacrifices made by researchers to advance scientific discovery.
Medical Affairs Professional Society (MAPS) Logo
Medical Affairs Professional Society (MAPS)
MAPS is the premier non-profit global Medical Affairs organization FOR Medical Affairs professionals BY Medical Affairs professionals across all different levels of experience/specialty.
CHIentist Logo
CHIentist is a grassroots initiative that seeks to create a sense of community and build new connections among life scientists and professionals in the Chicago area by encouraging networking on a regular basis.

Past Symposia Heading link