Broadening Experience in Scientific Training was an NIH funded program open to all Boston University biomedical trainees, doctoral students and postdocs, on both the Charles River and Medical campuses. The main goal of the program was to expose trainees to a variety of career paths they might not have even considered. By identifying the needs of the biomedical workforce, providing workshops on professional development, connecting trainees with field-specific mentors, and helping them match with an engaging and satisfying career.
Due to the success of the BEST program, GMS has now expanded these efforts under the Professional Life office to include all graduate students, trainees, and postdocs. If you have any suggestions for professional development events or would like more information, please contact the Community Catalyst Center (email@example.com) or Kimberly Arena at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BU’s BEST began in 2014, view the summary of BU’s BEST at: The BEST Five Years
As one of only 17 Broadening Experience in Scientific Training (BEST) schools chosen by the National Institutes of Health, Boston University is enhancing biomedical career development curricula for Ph.D. and postdoctoral trainees in a way that explores careers both inside and outside standard academic research.
At Boston University, our curriculum is informed by market needs. We work closely with industry partners to align our course of study with actual industry demands, ensuring you’re trained for both jobs that are open now and future careers that might not even exist today.
Prior BEST team
BU’s BEST Staff
Deborah Fournier, Ph.D., M.S.
Assistant Provost of BUMC Institutional Research & Evaluation
Dr. Fournier performs the evaluation and assessment for BU’s BEST. She works to help innovate and improve programming for BU’s BEST.
Dr. Fournier received her Master’s and doctoral degree from Syracuse University.
Jean L. Spencer, Ph.D.
Instructor of Biochemistry
Dr. Spencer performs the data analysis for BU’s BEST. She generates the trends in biomedical workforce needs using software from Burning Glass Technologies, and she tracks the career outcomes for GMS graduates.
Dr. Spencer received her bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Pennsylvania State University and her doctoral degree in chemical engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University. Before joining the Department of Biochemistry at Boston University, she worked in industrial research for 4 years at General Motors Research Laboratories and for 16 years at The Gillette Company.
BU’s BEST PIs
BU’s BEST employs a multi-PI leadership team with each PI bringing unique talents and perspectives to the table.
Linda E. Hyman, Ph.D.
Associate Provost, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences
Professor of Microbiology
Dr. Hyman is responsible for the administrative elements of the program including managing the budget, serving as the point of contact for the NIH, supervising support personnel, and representing the program to stakeholders outside of BU’s BEST program. Dr. Hyman earned her undergraduate degree at the State University of New York at Albany, followed by a master’s and doctoral degree at Brandeis University. She also completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Tufts University School of Medicine. She began her professional career at Tulane University School of Medicine, where she became a tenured associate professor in 2003. Dr. Hyman assumed the position of Associate Provost for the Division of Graduate Medical Sciences in 2009.
Barbara M. Schreiber, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Director of Graduate Studies
Dr. Schreiber serves as the contact for all curricular activities, coordinates all efforts on the development of software with Burning Glass Technologies, and aides in managing and coordinating all workshops and seminars. A longtime member of the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Schreiber is well positioned to serve as the face of the alumni mentoring network. Dr. Schreiber earned her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Buffalo, NY followed by her doctorate at Boston University in the department of Microbiology.
BU’s BEST Past Directors
Amanda Bolgioni-Smith, Ph.D.
Director, Professional and Career Development, Graduate Medical Sciences
Assistant Professor, Medical Sciences & Education
Chelsea Barbercheck, Ph.D.
Program Director, BU’s BEST
BU’s BEST Steering Committee
The Steering Committee guides operational and strategic decision-making for BU’s BEST. The steering committee provides administrative oversight and integrates all resources needed to make BU’s BEST impactful, transferable, and sustainable for Boston University biomedical trainees.
- Lauren Celano, M.B.A., Co-founder and CEO, Propel Careers, Boston, MA
- Deborah M. Fournier, Ph.D., M.S., Assistant Provost for Institutional Research and Evaluation, Director BU-CTSI Evaluation, Boston University School of Medicine
- Sarah Hokanson, Ph.D., Assistant Provost, Professional Development & Postdoctoral Affairs, Boston University
- Farrah A. Belizaire, M.S., Associate Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Boston University Graduate Medical Sciences
- Kimberly A. McCall, Ph.D., Professor of Biology, Boston University
- M. Isabel Dominguez, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
BU’s BEST Internal Advisory Committee
The Internal Advisory Committee guides strategic decision-making by assessing the overall effectiveness of ongoing and emerging opportunities that may arise during program implementation.
- Beverly Brown, Ph.D., Director of Development, Industry, School of Public Health, Boston University
- David Center, M.D., Professor of Pulmonary Medicine, Medicine, and Biochemistry; Chief of Allergy, Pulmonary, and Critical Care Medicine, Boston University School of Medicine
- Jennifer Grodsky, Vice President, Federal Relations, Boston University
- David A. Harris, Ph.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry, Boston University School of Medicine
- Sarah Hokanson, Ph.D., Assistant Provost, Office of Professional Development and Postdoctoral Affairs
- Elissa Everton, Doctoral Student Representative, Boston University
- Daniel Kleinman, Ph.D., Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs, Professor of Sociology, Boston University
- Kristyna Kotynkova, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Representative, Boston University
- Julie H. Sandell, Ph.D., Professor of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs, Office of the Provost, Boston University
- Marc Scatamacchia, MBA, Associate Vice President, Industry Engagement, Boston University
- Tom Tullius, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry, Boston University
- Joyce Y. Wong, Ph.D., Professor of Bio-medical Engineering, Boston University
- Alex Bloom, Ph.D., Past Doctoral Student Representative, Boston University
- Sarah Mazzilli, Past Postdoctoral Representative, Boston University
BU’s BEST External Advisory Committee
The External Advisory Committee helps steer the direction of BU’s BEST program by providing insight to program end users, those who represent the areas of the workforce that our trainees hope to enter.
- Susan Doctrow, Ph.D., Research and Development Consultant to Biotech/Pharma Companies
- Amy Donner, PhD, Associate Director, Strategic Scientific Publications at Wave Life Sciences
- Erika Ebbel Angle, Ph.D., CEO and Co-founder of Ixcela and founder of Science from Scientists
- Eric Furfine, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Ohana Biosciences, Inc.
- Anne Granger, Ph.D., Head, Postdoctoral Program at Novartis Institues for BioMedical Research (NIBR)
- Magdalena James-Pederson, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Biology, Associate Professor of Biochemistry, Stonehill College
- Daniel J. Pomeroy, Ph.D., Program Manager, International Policy Lab, Center for International Studies, MIT, Cambridge, MA
- Dominic Yee, Ph.D., J.D., Corporate Counsel, Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Boston, MA
- Karla Talanian, MS, MBA, Manager of Labor Market Research Development, MassBioEd
- Kathy Williams, PhD, JD, Partner, Co-Chair Life Sciences, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
- Vanderbilt University ASPIRE Program
- University of Chicago myCHOICE
- University of North Carolina ImPACT
- Rochester URBEST
- University of California, Irvine GPS
- Rutgers University iJOBS
- MSU BEST: Integrated Biomedical Training for Multiple Career Options
- Cornell University BEST Training Program
- University of Massachusetts Medical School BEST Program
- Wayne State University BEST
- The Atlanta BEST Program
- University of California, Davis FUTURE
- New York University STEP
- University of California, San Francisco MIND
- VirginiaTech BEST
- University of Colorado-Denver BEST
BEST Panel Discussions
BU’s BEST held a variety of panel discussions with GMS alumni and scientific experts on topics like biomedical careers, science policy and more. Check out the links below to learn more about the speakers’ various career paths in science and medicine.
- Dr. Suzanne Kijewski; Technology Licensing Officer, Penn State University
- Dr. Danielle Gross; Patent Agent, Volpe Koenig
- Dr. Hicham Naimy; Scientific Publications Senior Manager, Takeda
- Dr. Madhurima Das; Consultant, Simon-Kutcher & Partners
- Dr. Amanda Bolgioni-Smith; BUSM Associate Director for Program Evaluation, Clinical and Translational Science Institute; Assistant Professor, Medical Sciences & Education
- Dr. Anna Belkina; BUSM Director, Flow Cytometry Core Facility; Assistant Professor of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
- Dr. Daniel Starczynowski, Professor, University of Cincinnati; Professor, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Department of Pediatrics; Member, Division of Experimental Hematology & Cancer Biology; Co-Leader, Hematologic Malignancies Program, Cancer and Blood Diseases Institute; Katherine Stewart Waters Endowed Chair of Hematologic Malignancies
- Dr. Chadene Tremaglio; University of Saint Joseph, Assistant Professor, Biology
- Dr. Jacqueline (Bouchard) Loud; AbbVie Senior Scientist II, Immunology Pharmacology; Culture Ambassador
- Dr. Lisa Rice; Scientist, Moderna Dr. Robert Buehler; Consultant Bottom; pictured left to right
- Dr. Erika Ebbel Angle; CEO, Ixcela, Inc.; Founder & Executive Director, Science from Scientists
- Dr. Rebecca Kusko; Chief Strategy Officer, Immuneering Corp.
- Dr. Larry Luchsinger; Principal Investigator, Assistant Member at New York Blood Center
- Dr. Shefali Soni; Program Officer, Crohn’s Disease at The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust
- Ms. Jennifer Grodsky; BU Vice President for Federal Relations
- Dr. Naomi Webber; Senior Principal Consultant, Lewis-Burke Associates, Washington, D.C.
- Dr. Libby O’Hare; Senior Principal Consultant, Lewis-Burke Associates, Washington, D.C.
Visit our Alumni Mentoring Program to connect with GMS alumni and learn more about their career journeys.