PhD Career Stories: Industry Postdocs
Join us virtually for our December PhDCS featuring a panel of Vanderbilt alumni who have a career path point that includes an industry postdoc.
Salma Cruz, Ph.D.
Dr. Cruz received a B.S. in Chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University. She joined the Delpire Lab at Vanderbilt studying the effect of rare mutations in humans with undiagnosed diseases. She received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in Neuroscience in 2020. She went on to complete a postdoctoral position at Vertex Pharmaceuticals. Her current role at Vertex is as a Research Scientist.
Tyler Perfitt, Ph.D.
Tyler is from Evansville, IN and studied biology and Spanish at DePauw University, graduating in spring 2013. He started graduate school that fall in the IGP program at Vanderbilt, and joined the Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics. In the Colbran lab, he has focused on optimizing binding assays, studying CaMKII regulation of various scaffolding proteins, and generating primary neuronal cultures. He received his Ph.D. in 2020, and started a postdoctoral position at Pfizer that fall. His current role is Scientist, Neuroscience Biology at Atalanta Therapeutics.
Francis Prael, III, Ph.D.
Dr. Prael received his BS in Biochemistry from the University of Michigan, and his PhD in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt. As an undergraduate, he studied the structure of proteins integral to bacterial cell wall formation in the laboratory of Dr. Mark Saper. After spending a year as a Research Assistant studying Huntington’s disease in the laboratory of Dr. Brian Pierchala, he entered the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program at Vanderbilt University in 2014. He joined the group of Dr. C. David Weaver in the Pharmacology Department. After receiving his PhD, he served as the Innovation Postdoctoral Fellow and Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research. Recently, he has accepted a position as Scientist, Cheminformatics/AI/ML at Bristol Myers Squibb.