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biotech postdocs

Karen Lona Allendoerfer ka143 at columbia.edu
Fri Apr 10 15:57:56 EST 1998

Denise wrote:

>Karen's "thoughts" got me thinking more about the idea of trying to do a
>in small biotech company.  Does anyone have any opinions/experience on this?  

Hi Denise,

        Two more "thoughts:"  first, you don't have to have a postdoc in
biotech to get a job in biotech. Most people in biotech still seem to be
coming from academic postdocs.   I'm not even sure that it's considered an
advantage.  Postdocs in biotech seem to be relatively rare.  On the other
hand, it seems to me that if one is not sure what one wants to do, an
industry postdoc would be a good way to get experience in the millieu.
     I know two former Genentech postdocs who now have permanent jobs at
the company.  I think the most fruitful postdocs are at places like
Genentech:  stable companies that maintain an academic-type atmosphere in
certain departments. Part of what I mean by "academic-type atmosphere" is
being allowed (or, better, encouraged) to publish.   Other companies that I
personally know of that have this sort of atmosphere are Amgen, Regeneron,
and the Genetics Institute.  Some scientists at Bristol Myers Squibb and
Merck also seem to have good publications, but I know less about how much
it's encouraged at large companies.
        Another possibility would be to get an academic postdoc in the lab
of a person who is on the scientific advisory board of a biotech company. 
Companies publish these lists on the web or in their annual reports. 
You'll usually get to hear about what that company and its competitors are
doing scientificallly, and might be able to ask your PI more specific
questions about industry once you're looking for a job.


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