Thursday, February 13th
11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Sign up for an appointment
Mon. Feb. 3rd– Tues. Feb. 11th 11-1pm
in the medical school lobby
or visit redcrossblood.org
For more information or to submit a poster abstract or workshop proposal visit: http://www.bumc.bu.edu/jmedday/
Science is a booming, vibrant industry in the city of Boston. Between the universities, research institutions and biotechnology companies that pepper the city blocks, it isn’t any wonder why Boston is sometimes referred to as the “Athens of America”. While a typical career path may pursue the direction of academic research, there are also many alternative careers that go beyond the bench.
In an effort to bring these alternative careers in science to the forefront, the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) in conjunction with the BUSM Office of Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs (OPDPA), the BUSM Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS) and the Cambridge Science Festival, is hosting a speed networking event Alternative Careers in Science. This event, open to the BUMC community, will provide the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of career paths across the STEM fields from mid to late-career professionals in a fun, low-pressure environment.
This two-and-a-half hour event will be held in a speed networking fashion where participants will interact with more than 20 experienced panelists who will give insight into their chosen professions. The event will open and conclude with a half hour of networking and light refreshments. There will be five 15-minute sessions during which participants can learn about a different field of expertise, including:
- Academia and Teaching
- Business Development
- Competitive Intelligence
- Consulting, Engineering
- Human Resources
- Medical Affairs
- Medical Writing
- Patent Law
- Product Management
- Project Management
- Research and Development (R&D)
- Regulatory Affairs
- Science Policy
- Social Enterprise
- Technology Transfer
Alternative Careers in Science will take place on Tuesday, April 22 from 6:30-9 p.m. in the BUSM Instructional Building, 14th Floor, Hiebert Lounge. A light dinner will be provided. Register for the event here.
The Master of Arts in Medical Sciences is hosting an Open House on Friday, January 17, 2014 from 3-6PM at Boston University School of Medicine, Room L-211.
The Master of Arts in Medical Sciences (MAMS) Program introduces students to a broad range of topics in the medical sciences while strengthening their academic credentials for admission to medical and other professional schools. It is a 32-credit program, with a required thesis, that can be completed in one or two calendar years. All coursework is taken in the first year but many student elect to use the second year to gain valuable research and volunteer experience at Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center or off-campus.
Please RSVP to:
Dr. Gwynneth Offiner
Fadie Coleman, PhD Candidate
Department of Microbiology
Not all people are lucky enough to find a career they are passionate about, but Fadie Coleman, PhD candidate in the Department of Microbiology, has found two. A researcher and a teacher, she pursued a doctorate degree to combine both her career interests into one. Actively involved in the GMS community, she serves as a positive role model for what happens when you reach for your goals.
What brought you to BU?
I started at BU as an undergraduate student. It was in undergrad that I came to realize my penchant for research and teaching, which has provided me with a great and lasting experience. Through a listing at BU, I discovered a college summer internship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After getting a taste of doing research, I found myself drawn to academic medicine. Taking the information gleaned from a senior-year career-counseling survey, I found myself drawn to teaching, and I became a classroom science teacher straight out of college. I taught middle school chemistry and physical science, and a few years later I taught high school biology, physical science, and an advanced elective in animal behavior that I designed. However, in between my teaching middle and high school, I actually did an extensive stint in biomedical research at the Channing Laboratory of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It was at this point that I started to consider graduate school because I knew that I wanted to continue to pursue my education in the sciences, academia in particular. When I spoke to my mentor and friends in the field about my decision, they all said the same thing: “make sure you go to a school/program that will prepare you to become an independent scientist and where mentoring is a main focus.” I explored my alma mater, Boston University, because I heard great things about their graduate program. On my interview day, it did not take long for me to appreciate and admire the collegiate atmosphere among the researchers and faculty. But, what stood out for me that day was that the graduate program is student-driven and matched my learning style perfectly. I could remember saying to myself, “I can tell that I am going to get an excellent training here.”
What program are you in?
I am a PhD graduate student in the department of Microbiology, fulfilling my thesis work in the Pulmonary Center under the mentorship of Joseph Mizgerd, ScD. I am very interested in infectious disease, immunology, and host-pathogen interactions. My graduate thesis work is on the study of pneumonia, with a specific focus on pneumococcal pneumonia (a bacterial pneumonia), which is a major cause of disease worldwide and causes significant morbidity and mortality in the U.S. I study pulmonary immunity and its critical role during bacterial lung infection and host defense. Currently, my focus is on the macrophage-pneumococcal interaction during pneumonia. We are working on designing a tool that would allow for a way to predict which bacteria in the community are more likely to cause disease as well as come up with therapeutic approaches to help protect against infection.
What do you hope to do after you earn your degree?
After completing my PhD, I plan to continue my research training by doing a postdoctoral fellowship focusing on lung immunity and host-pathogen interactions. I have aspirations of being a contributor to the advancement of science and making a mark as an independent researcher. They say that you can do anything with a PhD degree and I plan to do just that by looking for ways to weave my love for research, teaching/mentoring and writing into a career.
You recently helped with Program in Biomedical Sciences (PiBS) Recruitment Day. How was that experience?
Helping with PiBS Recruitment Day was really a great experience! PiBS is just another reason why I believe BU is truly a unique place to study. I was very happy to serve as a volunteer for Recruitment Day because I felt it would provide me with the perfect opportunity to share with prospective students all of what BU has to offer. There are some things that are not easily communicated through the literature and statistics, and it takes one-on-one conversations to fully convey. An example of this is what I believe is one of the graduate program’s major strengths—mentoring/individual attention. The PiBS Recruitment Day was different from past years, and really embraced the idea of an umbrella program. It was good to be able to talk to candidates, even if they ultimately end up in a department outside of Microbiology. I think this program sets up a greater collegiate environment and encourages collaboration beyond specific disciplines.
Are you involved in any other activities on campus?
This year, I am serving as a Microbiology Department student representative, which is a student-elected position that I consider a true honor. My role is to represent the Microbiology student body as one cohesive voice and to serve as a conduit between the students and faculty/staff. I also serve as a student representative on the Graduate Medical Sciences Student Organization (GMSSO) and as an academic tutor for the Dental Microbiology course. Between these roles and my research, I am kept very busy.
What do you enjoy doing outside of BU?
My family means everything to me. My daughter and husband and extended family and friends are my biggest support system and they are the people I surround myself with when I am away from the lab/school. A lot of our family activities revolve around the arts, and Boston readily provides opportunities to enjoy an array of diverse performance and visual events. My husband is a musician, and my nine-year-old daughter is very involved in dance, music, and theatre. Musicals, concerts, museums, and plays are regular events for my household. We’re so excited about the upcoming spring and summer days. Now that the weather is starting to get nice, we’ll be able to spend a lot more time outdoors and playing in the park.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Take the time as a graduate student to learn about what motivates you—your passion. Use these years to develop your work ethic and challenge yourself to always reach for the stars. Look to your classmates, peers, faculty, mentors, and staff for support and remember to return the favor. Remember that it is okay to strive for the big things, but make sure to appreciate the small along the way. It’s the little things/moments in lab and life in general that will carry you through the graduate experience.
What brought you to Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM)?
I came to BUSM in 1998 as a doctoral student in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology. Prior to this, I spent ten years at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) working as a physical therapist and five years teaching in the Physical Therapy Program at Simmons College where I received my Bachelor’s degree. Additionally, I participated in clinical research in the Physical Therapy Department at MGH as part of my Master of Science degree program. As high school student I took a course call “Medical Biology;” it sparked my interest in human anatomy and physiology. I also wanted a career path that allowed me to work with others. Pursing a degree in physical therapy allowed me to study subject areas that interested me and was a career that allowed me to work with people.
Although I enjoyed my work and the clinical research I participated in, I craved being involved in basic science research and wanted to expand my role in an academic setting. As I researched Ph.D. programs, the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at BUSM stood out; it strongly matched my interests. I was particularly interested in the research on neuronal response to axonal injury and the effects of advancing age on this process. I was also excited by the course offering and felt right at home with the Department’s teaching mission.
After completing my Ph.D. in 2005, I was offered a faculty position. It was an easy decision to stay. A major component of this new role included assuming responsibility for teaching the DMD-I students at the Goldman School of Dental Medicine. Teaching professional students was something I had previously enjoyed at Simmons College; taking on this role was a great fit. The students are motivated and engaged in their education; they are a great group to work with.
What is your role within your department?
Most of my time is spent in formal teaching activities and working with students. I am fortunate to work with the DMD-I students at Goldman School of Dental Medicine during their entire first academic year. During the fall semester, I serve as the Course Director for Anatomical Sciences-I, a course that covers the topics of Histology and Neuroanatomy. During the spring semester, I work with these same students in Anatomical Sciences-II, a course that covers the topics of Embryology and Gross Anatomy.
At the Medical School, I teach in the Medical Gross Anatomy course. I give several lectures and assist students in the laboratory during the Back & Limb and Head & Neck sections of the course. This year I also stepped-in and served as the Graduate Director of the M.A. Vesalius Program. In this role, I assumed a number of responsibilities including advising and mentoring students, curriculum review, student issues, and admissions. In the Department, I also serve as a member of the Graduate Education Committee
Are you involved in any research at the moment?
I was initially interested in axonal injury and regeneration and the effect age has on the neuronal response, but I ended-up taking a very different research path. My research efforts have predominantly focused on the study of the neuropathology in autism and its relationship to the developmental timing of this disorder. Along with prior research documenting the timing and sequence of key developmental events such as neuronal proliferation, migration and synapse formation, our data has been useful in gaining insight into the timing of the pathology in the autistic brain. In recent years, however, teaching and advising responsibilities have filled my days. I have, however, begun work on two anatomically based research projects. Both of these projects integrate nicely with my interests and content that I am currently teaching.
What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of this job is spending time with and getting to know students. I teach about 300 students per year and, although I do not get to know each one, I really enjoy working one-on-one with students in the laboratory and during office hours. It is a bit cliché, but it is exciting to see a student finally “get it.” It doesn’t get old seeing students achieve and understand something that was once confusing and difficult to comprehend. I also love that every year brings a new group of students excited to be here and eager to learn. The students at BU are extremely hard working and dedicated to their studies; I think that is what any instructor hopes for.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Time! To balance teaching, advising, research and committee work is a challenge. It is great that there are so many opportunities to use different skill sets, but like many of my colleagues, I sometime have too much on my plate. On the positive side, however, I appreciate the flexibility of my work. I have the ability to prioritize and manage my time to meet the demands of my career and family life.
How do you like to spend your time outside of BUSM?
I love spending time with my family. My husband and I have nine- and eleven-year-old boys who both love sports. Thus, much of each weekend is spent on various sport fields: soccer, lacrosse and baseball. As a family we enjoy skiing, hiking and camping. When I have time to myself, I like to sneak out for a run.
Do you have any advice for current students or prospective students?
Enjoy the experience! I came back to school after several years of being in the work force and I brought with me new appreciation for learning. After spending years focusing on patient care and teaching, I was grateful for my “student status.” It afforded me time – lots of time – to read, study, explore new material, and challenge myself to think in a new way. There are many opportunities at BU, both academic and community involvement. Use your time as a student to explore, and then dive-in! Take advantage of opportunities for collaborative relationships with faculty on research efforts, teaching experiences and community efforts. Students will get out of their experience what they put into it.
Director of the Genetic Counseling Program in the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS)
What do you think of when you think of your dream job? For MaryAnn Campion, Director of the Genetic Counseling Program in the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences (GMS), it is leadership, healthcare, and teaching. An active member of the GMS community, she continually influences her students to pursue successful careers in an evolving field while setting an example for her colleagues on various administrative committees with her dedication and warm personality.
What kind of career did you have before coming to BUSM?
Before starting at Boston University, I worked as a prenatal genetic counselor at the Greenwood Genetic Center in South Carolina. My work involved prenatal testing and patients with high-risk pregnancies. I enjoyed my job, but ultimately, I wanted to be the director of a graduate program, where I could continue seeing patients in the clinic, but also begin teaching. A few years ago, GMS wanted to start a genetic counseling program, and a position opened that would allow me to expand into a teaching/director role.
Can you tell me about the genetic counseling program?
The GMS Genetic Counseling program is one of thirty-two programs in the country, and the only program in New England offered on a medical campus. We receive around 150 applications a year and are fortunate to have access to exceptional and dynamic students. Throughout the two year program, students take courses, complete research projects, and train through fieldwork experience so that they have a smooth transition into the workforce. Through surveys and interviews, we are continuously asking current students what is and is not working and asking alumni about their post-grad experience. This open-door policy really allows students to shape the program and influence the curriculum.
Besides director of the Genetic Counseling program, what other roles do you have at BUSM?
Approximately twenty percent of my time is spent at Boston Medical Center working in the OB/GYN department. The other eighty percent is divided between the students, teaching, and my administrative roles. I work primarily with the students in my program, but I have also served as a thesis reader for students in other programs and give lectures for the Mental Health Counseling and Behavioral Medicine program. There are numerous committees that I serve on both within GMS and nationally. Recently, I collaborated on a grant with the School of Public Health that developed a tool for tracking patients’ family histories.
What are the most challenging and the most rewarding parts of your job?
The most challenging job is trying to stay up-to-date with all the advancements in my field. Genetic and genomic medicine is constantly changing. I often feel like I am teaching a “moving target” because a method or concept I explain today may be obsolete by the time my student graduates. When teaching, I focus on telling the students where and how they can find an answer, which will help them more in their careers than simply memorizing facts.
The most rewarding part of my job is definitely the students. They are my extended family. Every morning, I find that I am excited to go to work because I feel that I am making a difference in the lives of my students.
How do you like to spend your time outside of BUSM?
I am so grateful for my family. We have a “live in the moment” perspective, and appreciate the little things that balance out our lives. We enjoy being outdoors, and we do a lot of cycling, running, and camping together. I have two young children, so there is never a dull moment!
Do you have any advice for current students or prospective students?
I am currently working on my doctorate, and I wish I had the following advice when I was working on my Masters: Be present and engaged, and try to not lose sight of what matters most in life. Whether in your studies or personal life, it is important to remember not to sweat the small stuff. This time around, I can truly appreciate my graduate program for what it is, and not just the degree I will receive. Putting aspects of your life into perspective can really help you see the bigger picture.