Skip to main content

Beyond the Lab: Video Series

Curious about what biomedical PhDs do for their career? In the “Beyond the Lab” video series, the BRET Office of Career Development interviews Vanderbilt PhD and postdoctoral alumni about their career path. Click on the links below to learn more about career options for scientists. Interviews will be added each month as the videos are produced.

The YouTube series is made possible by a BEST award from the National Institutes of Health (PIs: Chalkley, Gould, and Petrie: DP7OD018423).

** denotes new video

The Academic Track Dual Career Search
featuring Leslie Kwakye and Gunnar Kwakye, and AJ Robison and Michelle Mazei-Robison

The Non-Academic Track Dual Career Search
featuring Lori Rudolph-Owen, PhD and JJ Owen, PhD, and Tara Gower Ruest, PhD and Paul Ruest, PhD


Academic Core Facilities and Staff Scientists
Rob Carnahan, PhD, Director of Antibody and Protein Resource Core Facility, Vanderbilt University
Kim Dahlman, PhD, Director, Innovative Translational Research Shared Resource, Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center
T. Renee Dawson, PhD, Senior Research Specialist, Vanderbilt University
Hayes McDonald, PhD, Co-Associate Director, MSRC Proteomics Laboratory, Vanderbilt University


Academic Program Administration and Management
Ashley Brady, PhD, Director of Career Engagement and Strategic Partnerships, ASPIRE Program Manager, Office of Career Development, Biomedical Research Education and Training (BRET), Vanderbilt University
Cynthia Brame, PhD, Assistant Director, Vanderbilt University Center for Teaching; Instructor, Biological Sciences, Vanderbilt University
Sydika McKissic, PhD, Managing Director, Institute for Research on Men’s Health, Vanderbilt University
Dina Stroud, PhDExecutive Director, Fisk-Vanderbilt Bridge Program, Research Scientist


Business Development
Raymond Price, PhD, MBA, Vice President, Business Development, DiscoverX


Clinical Laboratory Science
Karissa Culbreath, PhD, Scientific Director, Tricore Laboratories


Clinical Research
Amy Halseth, PhD, Vice-President, Clinical Development and Medical Affairs, Orexigen Therapeutics
Mary Kosinski, PhD, Clinical Director, Nusirt Biopharma
Lori Rudolph-Owen, PhD, Vice President, Portfolio Management and Assessment, TESARO, Inc​



Competitive Intelligence
JJ Owen, PhD, Partner, IntelliSight Partners


Walt Gall, PhD
, Strategy Consultant, Biotech
Erik Prentice, PhD, Senior Engagement Manager, Proactive Worldwide
Meghana Rao, PhD, Consultant, Campbell Alliance
Laura Terry, PhD, Associate, McKinsey & Company


Data Science
Janina Jeff, PhD, Global Bioinformatics Specialist, Illumina
Lindsey Morris, PhD, Director, Data Science and Analytics, Axial Healthcare
**Nora Sanchez, PhD, Data Product Manager, Real World Data Operations, Data Projects and Strategy Foundation Medicine


Defense and Intelligence
Hillary Carter, PhDSenior Advisor for Biosecurity and a Team Chief in the Office of Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR), US Department of State
​Efrain Garcia, PhD, Senior Science Analyst, Project Officer, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, Department of Health and Human Services
Kristen Herring, PhD, Project Officer, Division of CBRN Medical Countermeasures, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority


Drug Discovery
Nuruddeen Lewis, PhD, Scientist, Cellular and Translational Immunology group, EMD Serono
Dario A. Gutierrez, PhD, Immuno-biology Lead, Merck
Michael Zinda, PhD, Executive Vice President, Head of Research and Development, Repare Therapeutics USA


Josh Nickols, PhD, MBA, CEO, Invision Heart


Holly Algood, PhD
, Assistant Professor of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, Vanderbilt University
**Kristopher Burkewitz, PhD, Assistant Professor, Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University
Nikki Cheng, PhD, Cancer Biology, Principal Investigator, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Kansas Medical Center
Katie Coate, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Nutrition & Dietetics; Director, Masters in Nutrition Program, Samford University
**Steven Damo, PhD Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Department of Life and Physical Sciences, Fisk University
Hugh Fentress, PhD
, Assistant Professor of Biology, Tennessee State University
Klarissa Jackson, PhD, Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Lipscomb University College of Pharmacy
Gunnar Kwakye, PhD, Assistant Professor, Neuroscience, Oberlin College
Leslie Kwakye, PhD, Assistant Professor, Neuroscience, Oberlin College
Michelle Mazei-Robinson, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physiology and Neuroscience, Michigan State University
**Lori McGrew, PhD, Professor of Biology, Belmont University
Puck Ohi, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Harold Olivey, PhD, Associate Professor, Biology, Indiana University Northwest
AJ Robison, PhD, Assistant Professor, Physiology and Neuroscience, Michigan State University
Wallace Sharif, PhD, Assistant Professor, Biology, Morehouse College
Victor J. Torres, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine


Government Administration
**Chad Jackson, PhD, Deputy Program Manager, Gryphon Technologies


Government Research
Amicia Elliott, PhD, Postdoctoral PRAT Fellow, National Institutes of General Medicine Sciences (NIGMS), National Institutes of Health


K-12 Teaching/Science Outreach
Abby Cheng, PhD, Volunteer Program Manager, Science Club for Girls
Paulianda Jones, PhD, Upper School Science Teacher, Ethical Culture Fieldston School


Medical & Regulatory Writing
Leah Potter, PhD, Medical Writer, Synchrogenix
Erin Flynt, PhD, Senior Medical Writer
Paul Ruest, PhD, Freelance medical writer and director
Tara Gower Ruest, PhD, Vice President, Scientific Services, Scientific Pathways
Nicole Speed, PhD, Strategic Consultant


Medical Science Liaison
**Melody Davis, PhD, Managing Partner, Versant Learning Solutions
Erin Henry, PhD, Medical Science Director/Medical Team Leader, US Medical Affairs, Genentech
Molly Seale, PhD, Director, Regional Medical Liaisons, Amgen Oncology


Nonprofit  Leadership
Jeremy Richman, PhD, Founder and CEO, Avielle Foundation​
Steve Roberds, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance


Nonprofit Grants Management/Research Administration
Jerome Jourquin, PhD,
 Scientific Grants Manager, Susan G. Komen Foundation
Amy Moore, PhD, Director of Research Programs at Georgia Research Alliance


Patent Law
Seth Ogden, PhD, JD
, Attorney, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett, and Dunner


Regulatory Affairs
Omari Bandele, PhD, Toxicologist,Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN)
JT Brogan, PhD, Manager, Global Emerging Markets Regulatory Affairs CMC, Biogen
Sonja Brooks Fulmer, PhD, Guidance Advisor, Office of Policy, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Kim Lickteig, PhD, Associate Director, Global Regulatory Affairs, Takeda Pharmaceuticals


Research Administration (Academic)
Andrea Bauman-Carnegie, PhD,
 Director of Administrative Operations, Center for Clinical and Translational Science, University of Illinois at Chicago
Rebecca Latimer, PhD, Research Program Officer, University of Virginia
Robert Lavieri, PhD, Project Manager, Institute for Clinical and Translational Research, Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Research and Development
Elizabeth Conrad, PhD, Junior Research Associate, Cumberland Pharmaceuticals
Ines Macias-Perez, PhD, Principal Scientist, Product Development, Cumberland Pharmaceuticals
Emily Rubinson, PhD, Research and Development, Avon
Don Wyma, PhD, Assistant Director of Planning and Portfolio Support, Abbott/AbbVie


Scientific Communication and Publishing
Nicole Garbarini, PhD, Media & Communications Specialist, NIH Office of the Director/Office of Extramural Research
Kathleen Goss, PhD, Senior Science Writer, Director of Strategic Partnerships, University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center
Cyrus Martin, PhD, Senior Scientific Editor, Current Biology


Technical Sales and Support
Sara Perlaky FitzGerald, PhD, Modality Leader, Dharmacon, GE Healthcare, Life Sciences


Technology Transfer
**Lindsay Marjoram, PhD,
Director, Technology Development, Affinergy, LLC
**Margaret Read, PhD, General Manger, Corporate Alliances, Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, Vanderbilt University
Lisan Smith, PhD, Technology Manager, Office of Technology Management, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Tom Utley, Licensing Analyst at Center for Technology Transfer and Commercialization, Vanderbilt University


Translational Research
Lesa R. Black, PhD, CCRP, Scientific Review Analyst III/CDRN Navigator, Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical Research Mid-South Clinical Data Research Network
Colleen E. Lawrence, PhD, Manager of Translational Research, Vanderbilt Institute for Clinical and Translational Research


Like these videos? Check out the Career Videos from the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Careers section of iBiology.