/////Students Consider Future at Biomedical Career Day
Students Consider Future at Biomedical Career Day 2018-01-05T09:16:53+00:00

NOV. 15, 2006 | How about a career path in private industry or academia? Should I teach or focus on research? How will a graduate degree help me?


The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Graduate School hosted its annual Career Day for Biomedical Sciences on Nov. 2 with a series of presentations offering possible answers to those questions. The daylong event drew more than 100 undergraduates, graduate students and faculty members from more than 14 schools.


The day featured speakers covering some of the career choices available to graduate students. Booths also were set up with information on each of the 16 programs in the Graduate School.


“The idea behind Career Day is twofold,” said Graduate School Dean Robert McGehee, Ph.D. “For undergraduates, we want to introduce them to the UAMS Graduate School and the outstanding programs we have.


“For graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, we have career advice and a slate of speakers representing some of the career paths available.”


Speaker Larry Suva, Ph.D., an associate professor of orthopaedics and physiology and biophysics in the UAMS College of Medicine, has worked for giant pharmaceutical companies, including Merck. He also has spent more than one stint on the faculty at universities including UAMS and Harvard.


“There is no right or wrong answer, only that which is right or wrong for you,” he said of the question of a career in the private sector versus academia.


Suva advised students to get their doctorate degree, develop their CV (“It represents you to the scientific community.”), find a good mentor and “trust your gut.” When it comes to a choice between industry and working at a university, he said, one must weigh the importance of factors that vary with each, including money, independence, responsibility and stress level.


Joseph Underwood, Ph.D., J.D., a patent attorney with the Williams and Anderson law firm in Little Rock, was one of three UAMS graduates among the day’s speakers. Fellow UAMS Graduate School alumni were Stanislaw Zakharkin, Ph.D., a senior research statistician at Solae Co. – a St. Louis-based manufacturer of soy-based products, who talked about bioinformatics, and Hollye Garner, Ph.D., regional director of scientific affairs for pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca, who talked about her work as a medical science liaison.


For Underwood, an interest in patent law arose out of working for Tim O’Brien, Ph.D., then director of UAMS BioVentures, the state’s first biomedical business incubator, while in graduate school. Underwood said that at the time, O’Brien’s lab was involved with identification of genes associated with cancer. The researchers applied for patents, or exclusive rights, for their discoveries.


After graduating in 2000 with his doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology, “I didn’t know what I wanted to do,” he said. He decided to take the law school admissions test and while in law school he remembered his interest in patent law.


Andrea Duina, Ph.D., an assistant professor in biology at Hendrix College, talked about teaching as a career choice. Discussing the advantages and disadvantages, he mentioned a more consistent schedule for teaching than the often long lab hours required for research. There is still time for research, he said, but it must be worked in around classes.


To find out more about the UAMS Graduate School, call 501-686-5454, or visit http://www.uams.edu/gradschool/. Kristen Sterba is the coordinator and recruiter for graduate students. She can be reached at 501-526-7396.


Links on This Page

UAMS Graduate School
: http://www.uams.edu/gradschool/


Graduate School programs: http://www.uams.edu/gradschool/programs/

CV – curriculum vitae or resume: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%A9sum%C3%A9


Bioinformatics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bioinformatics


Medical science liaison: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_science_liaisons