biotech jobs

How I started my company and why–Inaugural Event by San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE)

For current graduate students, postdocs, and holders of other “in-transient” positions in bioscience-related fields today, a persistently resounding question on our minds is “What path should I follow at the end of a long and ragged journey of training?” Interestingly in our industry, like downhill skiing you see in the Winter Olympics, once you start one path it is not an easy switch to get on another.

Many of the Ph.D.s in biomed share the general view that an independent research position typically at an academic institute or non-profit organization such as San Diego’s local Salk, Scripps, or Sanford—Burnham, is the goal of the many years of training. Others soon realize that there are numerous research jobs at biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies that will make good use of their expertise, experience, and unique background knowledge in a particular field. And of course there are those who “defect” to different industries that may or may not directly relate to their extensive experience in wet labs, such as working in intellectual property laws, clinical trial management, biomedical sales, business development and management.

Research in major pharmaceutical companies (big pharma) normally focuses on a project with set goals, milestones, and layers of monitoring and management. That is how a large team can function together and get the tasks done in a timely manner. Working in smaller biotech companies can be much more flexible, researcher-initiated, and in many ways fun. On the other hand, you will be required to do much more than reading papers, designing experiments, obtaining and interpreting results. Starting a small biotech company is by no means an easy path to take, but if done correctly with some luck and a lot of determination, it can be a very rewarding career. You will get to utilize to the maximum extent of all your intelligence, knowledge, vision, and personal relations. You also have the opportunity to do real cutting-edge research in various areas, and see the fruits in journal publications, grant awards, as well as in the wild wide market.

The San Diego Entrepreneurs Exchange (SDEE) was founded by local San Diego entrepreneurs in order to provide a voice for the early stage technology startup, to encourage new entrepreneurs, and to sponsor networking and educational events that help develop the skills necessary to bring funding and business to the San Diego area.

The inaugural SDEE event to be held Wednesday March 10th at 5pm. It will help answer some of the questions you may have been thinking about regarding starting or working in a startup biotech company. Allele Biotech’s founder and CEO Dr. Jiwu Wang will be among the speakers. Ten years ago Dr, Wang was a postdoc at UCSD with an NIH fellowship, right before he started Allele with a number of NIH small business innovative research grants. He will talk about the ultimate “academic freedom”–doing any research you want but completely at your own risk– as the reason to start a technology-focused company, and the lessons he learned the hard way about running a lab vs organizing a business. Other speakers include CEOs from a number of San Diego biotech companies with great stories to share with postdocs and others. The talks will be brief yet informative, and on-site interactions are encouraged. The Sanford-Burnham building 12 is outside the main campus, with plenty of free parking. Click here for more details about the event. (at AlleleNews). Let us know if you are coming by emailing to

New Product/Service of the Week 02-15-10 to 02-21-10: Viral shRNA design and packaging services, packaging 2ml virus at 10e8 TU/ml for less than $1,400.

Promotion of the Week 02-15-10 to 02-21-10: FREE spreading beads (ABP-CE-CCCSB100, 500) to go with any competent cell order.

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