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First Annual Presidential Career


your PhD Career
June 5, 2012
Onstead Auditorium

Hosted by: BCM & The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Postdoctoral Associations
Spnsored by: BCM Presidents Circle & MD Anderson Trainee & Alumni Affairs

Symposium Agenda

11:30 a.m.
12:30 p.m.

12:45 p.m.

1:25 p.m.

Paul Klotman, M.D., BCM President

Jane Chin, Ph.D., Founder of Medical Science
Liaison Institute
Closing Remarks

Oliver Bogler, Ph.D., The University of Texas
MD Anderson Cancer Center Senior VP,
Academic Affairs and Global Academic Programs
Break and prize drawing

1:30 p.m.

Breakout Sessions

Attendees should transition over to the room with the topic

of their choice
Breakout Session #1

1:45 p.m.
3:30 p.m.

3:15 p.m.
4:30-6:00 p.m.


Breakout Session #2
Networking reception

Clinical Coordinator/Medical Science Liaison
Regulatory Affairs
Scientific Writing/Editing


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Jane Chin, Ph.D.

Keynote Speaker

Founder of Medical Science Liason Institute

University of Buffalo at Roswell Park Cancer Institute Ph.D.,
Cornell University, B.S., Biology
Bio: Jane Chin, Ph.D. is founder of Medical Science Liaison (MSL)
Institute, the founding publisher of MSL Quarterly, a management journal
for field-based medical science liaisons, and the creator of
niche job board. Dr. Chin currently leads healthcare consulting initiatives
with Mike Haynes & Associates. She is the author of Practical Leadership
for Biopharmaceutical Executives (2011) and PhD [alternative] Career Clinic
(2011). Dr. Chins pharmaceutical industry functional experience spanned
research and development (R&D), sales, and medical affairs. For her contribution to the medical science liaison profession, Dr. Chin was named one
of 100 Most Inspiring People in Life Science by readers of PharmaVoice
magazine in 2006.

Paul Klotman, M.D.

BCM President
Dr. Paul Klotman began serving as president and CEO of Baylor College
of Medicine on Sept. 1, 2010. He received his B.S. degree in 1972 from
the University of Michigan and his M.D. from Indiana University in 1976.
He completed his medicine and nephrology training at Duke University
Medical Center.
Dr. Klotmans research has been a blend of both basic and clinical research
in molecular virology and AIDS pathogenesis. He is the author of more
than 200 publications and he has been a visiting professor and lecturer
internationally in the field of HIV pathogenesis. He has been elected to
both the American Society of Clinical Investigation and the Association of
American Physicians.
He currently leads the Association of Professors of Medicine efforts in
improving the training and mentoring of Physician Scientists.

Oliver Bogler, Ph.D.

University of Texas MD Anderson Senior VP, Academic Affairs
Dr. Oliver Bogler is a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery at
MD Anderson Cancer Center. He directs basic research in Neurosurgery
as well as the Brain Tumor Researcher Centers Laboratory Research
Sub-Committee and is co-principal investigator for the MD Anderson
SPORE in brain cancer. As Vice President of Global Academic Programs,
Dr. Bogler has been working with the other two leaders in the Center for
Global OncologyVP for Global Clinical Programs and the VP for Global
Business Developmentto advance MD Andersons mission and enhance
our position as the world-wide leader in cancer care, research, prevention
and education. He has provided the primary oversight, direction, strategic
planning and management of the development and delivery of academic
relationships and programs at locations external to MD Anderson.
Additionally, Dr. Bogler is the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
where he develops, implements, evaluates and maintains programs,
policies and procedure that support and enhance the academic life and
career development of Faculty, students, and trainees.

Panel of Speakers:
Clinical Coordinator/
Medical Science Liaison
Wanda Vila-Carriles, Ph.D.
Melanie Dujka, R.N., Ph.D.
Heather Handl, Ph.D.
Melissa Yang, Ph.D.

Wanda Vila-Carriles, Ph.D.

Senior Medical Science Liaison, Sanofi Oncology
Baylor College of Medicine Ph.D., Physiology and Biophysics
University of Puerto Rico B.S., Biology 19941998
Bio: Dr. Vila-Carriles was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She was a
recipient of NSF Minority Graduate Research Fellowship 1998-2001,
NIH NRSA Pre-doctoral Individual Fellowship 2002-2004, and Young
Investigator Award, FEBS 2003. She was an award winning MSL for
Genzyme in 20082011.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Experience delivering scientific presentations to different audiences.
Excellent planning, organizational, and problem-solving skills.
What I love most about my job:
It gives me the opportunity to identify, cultivate, and maintain relationships
with key opinion leaders in the field. I can identify, submit, initiate, and
evaluate, clinical and preclinical trials.

Melanie Dujka, R.N., Ph.D.

Medical Science Liaison, Incyte Corporation
UT-GSBS, Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences 20032009
Baylor University, B.S., Nursing 19982001
Bio: Dr. Dujka was originally trained as an RN at Neonatal ICU. She has
studied the DNA damage response pathway in lymphomagenesis for her
graduate work. She has been an MSL with Dendreon 2009-2011, and
was involved in the launch of the first FDA approved immunotherapy for
prostate cancer. She is currently a MSL with Incyte, which developed ruxolitinib (JAK 1/2 inhibitor), a recently FDA approved first in class therapy
for myelofibrosis.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Analytical thinking/problem solving.
What I love most about my job:
No day is the sameconstantly meeting new people, visiting different
locations each week, projects vary week by week.

Heather Handl, Ph.D.


Sr. Medical Science Liaison, Biogen Idec

The University of Arizona, Ph.D. in Biochemistry/Molecular & Cellular

Biology 2000-2005
Furman University, B.S., M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry 1999-2000
Bio: Dr. Handl is a biotechnology professional with 5 years of MSL
experience in hematology/oncology and neurology therapeutic areas.
Prior to becoming an MSL, she worked as a bench scientist developing
bioassays to support on-going clinical trial initiatives.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Communication and interpretation of scientific data, critical thinking,
flexibility and time management.
What I love most about my job:
Convergence of scientific and clinical data and experiences
Cross-functional internal and external interactions.
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Qi Melissa Yang, Ph.D.

Principal Clinical Scientist, Department of Clinical Development,
Lexicon Pharmaceuticals
The University of Texas-Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at
Houston Ph.D., Microbiology and Molecular Genetics 19931999
Wuhan University, P. R. China. B.S., Biochemistry 19881992
Bio: Dr. Yang joined Lexicon Pharmaceuticals in 2001 and has
been involved in drug target identification, preclinical pharmacology
studies, and Investigational New Drug filings to the FDA. Recently, her
responsibilities have been to assist the Medical Director in clinical trial
designs, companion diagnostics, patient-reported outcomes, and life cycle
management of investigational drugs.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Literature review, experimental design, data analysis and trouble shooting
skills. Presentation and critical thinking skills.
What I love most about my job:
Opportunities to work and learn in multiple areas of drug development.

Panel of Speakers:
Denise Croix, Ph.D.
Omar Duramad, Ph.D.
Gustavo Rodriquez, Ph.D.
Amanda Ward, Ph.D.

Denise Croix, Ph.D.

Cellular Analysis Sales Specialist at Roche Diagnostics
The University of Texas at Austin Ph.D., Microbiology 19881993
Trinity University B.S., Biology 19831987
Bio: Dr. Croix completed her postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins
SOM studying innate immunity. She subsequently did a second fellowship
at the Univ. of Pittsburgh SOM in the development of NHP model of
tuberculosis. Since then she has transitioned from basic science to become
an FAS and further transitioned into sales to learn the business side of
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Critical thinking & data analysis, organization & presentation skills, ability
to interact with scientists at all levels.
What I love most about my job:
Exposure to cutting edge research on a daily basis & the ability to impact
scientific research & ultimately patient care.

Omar Duramad, Ph.D.

Director of Immunology at REGiMMUNE

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Ph.D.,

Immunology 20032007
University of California, San Diego B.S., Biochemistry & Cell Biology

Bio: Dr. Duramad leads groups responsible for Discovery and Preclinical
Research in the area of Immunology at REGiMMUNE. Previously at
Dynavax Technologies, he identified novel Toll-like Receptor inhibitors for
autoimmune diseases such as lupus. He was a recipient for the Schissler
Foundation Fellowship in Cancer Research.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Development of independent & critical scientific thinking.
Broad cross-discipline technical background.
What I love most about my job:
Taking scientific discoveries into the clinic to potential help patients and
meeting people from across the industry & academic spectrum.

Gustavo Rodriquez, Ph.D.

QC-Bioassay Associate II at Dendreon
Purdue University Ph.D., Pharmacology 1998-2004
University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez B.S., Chemistry 1994-1998
Bio: Dr. Rodriquez was a former President of the BCM Postdoctoral
Association and organizer of two Alternative Career Symposiums. He
was a speaker at the 1st Sao Paulo School of Translational Science in
Sao Paulo, Brazil. He has completed the Life Science Entrepreneurship
certificate program at Rice University Jones Graduate School of Business.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Communication and leadership skills.
Problem-solving skills.
What I love most about my job:
The direct impact on human lives. Manage and train colleagues.

Amanda Ward, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow at Isis Pharmaceuticals
Baylor College of Medicine Ph.D., Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of Oklahoma B.S., Biochemistry 20032007
Bio: After completing her graduate degree in Molecular & Cellular Biology
last summer, Dr. Ward decided to accept a postdoctoral fellowship in the
Core Antisense Research group at Isis Pharmaceuticals. She is currently
investigating the potential to use antisense oligonucleotides to target
non-coding RNAs.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Ability to identify and experimentally test open and interesting questions
in the field.
What I love most about my job:
Freedom to choose the direction of my research projects and foster new
ideas at the company.

Panel of Speakers:
Regulatory Affairs
Daryl Basham Ph.D., J.D.
Sean L. OConnor, Ph.D., RAC
Brian J. Phillips, Ph.D.
Tiffany Weksberg, Ph.D.

Daryl Basham J.D., Ph.D.

Patent Law Partner at MDIP LLC
The George Washington University Law School J.D., 2004
Howard University Ph.D., Biochemistry 19841989
Howard University B.S., Microbiology 19781982
Bio: Dr. Basham specializes in the preparation and prosecution of
patents in the biotechnology and organic chemistry arts, including
prosecution of trademarks. He is also an Adjunct Professor in the Natural
Sciences Department at Houston Community College (Biology).
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
As a former scientist, my background in biochemistry is essential to
understanding various new technologies.
What I love most about my job:
I really love learning about new technologies and how complex systems
work in a legal context.

Sean L. OConnor, Ph.D., RAC

Senior Project Manager, Investigational New Drug (IND)
Office at MD Anderson
The University of Wisconsin Ph.D., Genetics 19881993
University of California at Berkeley B.S., Biology 19831987
Bio: Dr. OConnor has been employed at MD Anderson for 13 years.
His past roles were supervisor of a flow cytometry core laboratory and
quality assurance coordinator for a cGMP facility. He is currently one of the
senior project managers in the Investigational New Drug Office (IND) at
MD Anderson.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
I found the transition from a research field to regulatory affairs required
being able to handle a steep learning curve. To succeed in a regulatory
affairs related field requires flexibility, timeliness, and precision.
What I love most about my job:
I think the most rewarding aspect of my job is the productiveness, the
team approach, and the closeness to the human condition.

Brian J. Phillips, Ph.D.

Licensing Associate II at Baylor College of Medicine
The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at
Houston - Ph.D., Biochemistry 20012007
University of Houston - B.S., Biology 19962001
Bio: Dr. Phillips works with the Baylor Licensing Group as a
licensing associate II. His role is to assist in evaluating, protecting, and
commercializing novel technologies which are developed out of BCM
research labs. He has five years experience in technology
commercialization while working at Rice University and The Texas
A&M University System and has helped establish seven new start-up
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Independent research and critical thinking skills. Patience.
What I love most about my job:
Working with people and solving problems.
Helping to spin-out new companies and create jobs.

Tiffany Weksberg, Ph.D.

Patent Agent at Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P.

Baylor College of Medicine Ph.D., Structural and Computational

Biology and Molecular Biophysics 2001 2008
University of California, Santa Barbara B.S., Biochemistry and
Computer Science 19962001

Bio: Dr. Weksberg works with the intellectual property practice at

Fulbright & Jaworski, L.L.P. as a patent agent assisting them in matters
in the biotechnology, biochemistry, computer science and electronics
industries. Tiffany has prosecuted patents through all aspects of
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Critical thinking and perseverance.
What I love most about my job:
Learning new technology and science.

Panel of Speakers:
Scientific Writing
M. Zouhair Atassi, Ph.D.
Susan Marriott, Ph.D.
Kate Newberry, Ph.D.
Stephen Palmer, Ph.D.
David M. Wildrick, Ph.D.

M. Zouhair Atassi, Ph.D.

Welch Professor, Depts. of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology,
Pathology & Immunology at BCM
University of Birmingham, Ph.D., Chemistry 19571960
University of Birmingham, D.Sc., Chemistry 1973
Bio: Dr. Atassis many research interest s include: 1) correlation of
protein structure with function, 2) protein-receptor/protein-protein
interactions, 3) conformation of proteins and peptides, 4) immune
recognition of proteins by antibodies and by T cells, 5) manipulation of
the immune response, 6) antigen presentation, 6) design and synthesis of
peptide vaccines to neurotoxins and viral pathogens.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
To continuously update my knowledge, to learn from any source and analyze information critically and scientifically.
What I love most about my job:
I enjoy research enormously. It is most rewarding to train young scientists
and see them blossom to leadership positions.

Susan Marriott, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Molecular Virology &
Microbiology at BCM
Kansas State University Ph.D., Virology 19811986
Iowa State University B.S., Microbiology 19771981
Bio: Dr. Marriott has been a part of the BCM Virology and Microbiology
Department since 1991. She is the founder of BioScience Writers, LLC and
currently the director of the Interdepartmental Cell and Molecular Biology
Program at BCM. She has also earned a Life Science Entrepreneurial
Management Certificate from Rice University Graduate School of
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Think deeply and broadly on all topics.
Knowledge is of no value unless it is communicated effectively.
What I love most about my job:
New challenges everyday.
Flexibility and opportunity for creativity.

Kate Newberry, Ph.D.

Program Manager at MD Anderson
University of California, Santa Barbara Ph.D., Biochemistry and
Molecular Biology 19962002
Connecticut College B.A., Biochemistry 19921996
Bio: Dr. Newberry completed her graduate and postdoctoral studies
in biochemistry and structural biology. She has worked as a an editor for
Scientific Publications at MD Anderson. Her current position is manager of
the Mantle Cell Lymphoma Program at MD Anderson.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Analytical/critical thinking skills.
Writing skills.
What I love most about my job:
Constantly learning.
Acting as a bridge between basic and clinical science.

Stephen N. Palmer, Ph.D., ELS

Senior Scientific Medical Writer at Texas Heart Institute
SUNY Stony Brook Ph.D., Social and Health Psychology 19931999
Wesleyan University B.A., Psychology 19871991
Bio: Dr. Palmer has been a medical writer and editor in the Section of
Scientific Publications at the Texas Heart Institute since 2003. Before
then, he spent 3 years conducting pain research as a postdoctoral fellow
at the MD Anderson.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Statistics, research design, structuring a scientific paper.
What I love most about my job:
Working with a variety of subject matter; using both my talent for writing
and editing and my education in science.

David M. Wildrick, Ph.D.

Program Manager, Surgery Publications at MDACC
The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at
Houston Ph.D., Biochemical Genetics 1982
California State University at Fullerton, CA,
M.A., Biological Sciences 1968
University of California at Los Angeles B.A., Zoology 1965

Bio: Dr. Wildrick has been a part of the MD Anderson Neurosurgery
department since 1997. His position as program manager involves writing/
editing medical research papers, book chapters, newsletters, and grants.
His past roles included research scientist position at Molecular Analysis
Incorporated in Houston, TX.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Good language skills and a strong interest in biology.
A diverse research background and publication history.
What I love most about my job:
Keeps me informed on the latest brain tumor research.
Its 8 hours a day, which gives me time for hobbies, etc.

Panel of Speakers:
Francene Lemoine, Ph.D.
Hilary Marks, Ph.D.
Nicole Pinaire, Ph.D.

Francene Lemoine, Ph.D.

Faculty Member at Northwestern State University
Baylor College of Medicine Ph.D., Cell and Molecular Biology
University of Southwestern Louisiana B.S., Biology 19931997

Bio: During the time when Dr. Lemoine completed her postdoctoral
fellowship at Duke University Medical School, she realized that what she
loved most about doing research was mentoring incoming students! This
revelation led her to change her career path from intensive academic
research to undergraduate teaching.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
To be a successful undergraduate professor, you must be well-organized,
enthusiastic, patient, and out-going.
What I love most about my job:
I absolutely LOVE interacting with students! Whether it is in the classroom
or out, I truly enjoy teaching them new skills.

Hilary Marks, Ph.D.

Science Teacher at KIPP Legacy Preparatory School
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Ph.D.,
Cell Biology 20012007
Trinity University B.S., Biology 19972001

Bio: After earning her Ph.D., Dr. Marks did a postdoctoral fellowship in
Denver studying breast cancer. Afterwards, she worked as a scientific
editor at the Texas Heart Institute. She is currently teaching science to
kindergartners and 1st graders. Furthermore, she helped design the entire
science curriculum for preK-3 through 2nd grade students.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Being in academia taught me to think quickly and analytically and be
What I love most about my job:
I get to share my love for science and inspire future scientists. Everyday I
am amazed by my students insights.

Nicole Pinaire, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in Biology at Houston Baptist University
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Ph.D.,

Cancer Biology and Molecular Biology, 20032009
Saint Louis University, B.S., Biomedical Engineering, 20002003

Bio: Dr. Pinaire has been a professor of Biology and Molecular
Biochemistry with 3+ years of experience teaching at the undergraduate
level. She currently is the Co-chair of Biology Honors Program and
Independent student research group. She plays a critical role in time
advising, mentoring student groups and committee work at HBU.
Most useful skill set(s) acquired from academia:
Flexibility, time management, ability to learn on the fly, public speaking/
presenting skills.
What I love most about my job:
Influencing young scientists by opening their eyes to new technologies
and participating in student group activities.

BCM Postdoctoral Association (PDA)

The Baylor College of Medicine Postdoctoral Association started in 1997
to give postdoctoral researchers a forum and collective voice to address
issues about their training. This is done through continual communication
among the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, faculty, and an
expanding postdoctoral scholar population. The PDA also promotes career
development activities and opportunities, written policies concerning
health care, employment, and parking, and a sense of community for all
postdoctoral researchers.
Ways to contact the PDA and find info:
The Baylor College of Medicine Postdoctoral Association
Executive Committee:
Hannah Cheung, Ph.D. (President)
Jennifer McGehee, Ph.D.
(Vice President)
Timothy Mahoney, Ph.D.
(Power Job Search Team Leader)
Alfred Balasa, M.D.
(Advisor to Dr. Klotman)
Christopher Bland, Ph.D.
(Advisor to Dr. Klotman)
Radhika Ganu, Ph.D. (Secretary)
Suraj Konnath George, Ph.D. (Treasurer)
Khushali Kotedia, Ph.D.
(Social Events Coordinator)
Valerie Bomben, Ph.D.
(Orientation Packet Coordinator)

MDACC Postdoctoral Executive

Committee (PDAEC)
All postdoctoral fellows in MD Anderson Cancer Center are automatically
members of the Postdoctoral Association (PDA). The PDA executive
committee (PDAEC) strives to improve, enhance, and enrich the
postdoctoral fellowship experience at MD Anderson by planning monthly
events and fostering interactions between members of the Texas Medical
Center (TMC).
Ways to contact the PDA and find information:
training/schools-and-programs/research-training/postdoctoral association/index.html!/groups/83955564561/
Twitter account (TBA)
Upcoming PDA events:
August 2, 2012, Hickey Auditorium
2nd (APSS) Annual Postdoctoral Science Symposium

Postdoctoral Executive
BCM Postdoctoral Association:
The BCM PDA would like to formally thank Dr. Paul Klotman for garnering
support from the BCM Presidents Circle to provide generous funds for this
event, an unprecedented contribution to the Postdoctoral Researchers at
Baylor College of Medicine
We also want to thank our Dean of Postdoctoral Affairs, Dr. Rick Sifers,
and Lourdes Esquivel for their support and assistance.
MDACC Postdoctoral Association:
The MD Anderson PDAEC would like to extend formal gratitude to Dr.
Ronald DePhino, MD Anderson President, for his continued support and
encouragement of all MD Anderson trainees.
Furthermore, we would also like to thank Drs. Toya Candelari and Oliver
Bogler for their leadership roles within MD Anderson Trainee and Alumni
Affairs, and Alumni and Faculty Association. We appreciate the effort it
took to secure the funding necessary to help establish this symposium.
Lastly, we would like to especially recognize Martha Skender, Gloria da
Roza, and the MD Anderson Faculty Advisory Committee for providing endless mentorship and assistance to the PDAEC.
*Special thanks to Agilent Technologies, Inc. for sponsoring the
iPOD door prize.