Panel Discussion: Postdoctoral Fellowship in Industry, May 28

The Broad Institute NextGen Association for Postdocs and Graduate Students is hosting a panel discussion, “Postdoctoral Fellowship in Industry.” If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to pursue postdoctoral training in an industrial setting, please join us on May 28, 12:00-1:30 PM in the Monadnock Room at 7 Cambridge Center.  Lunch will be provided.  Panelists include: Broad alum Dr. Raquel (Kelli) Deering, Novartis; Dr. Justin Piro, Pfizer; Dr. Marie Schoumacher, Novartis; and Dr. Justin Slawson, Biogen Idec.

Topics covered will include what led them to decide to undertake a postdoctoral position in industry and what advice they might have for current Broad trainees thinking about postdoctoral positions in industry.

If you’d like to attend, please register via: Lunch will be served!

Panelists include:

Raquel (Kelli) Deering

Raquel (Kelli) Deering, PhD, is a Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at the Vaccines and Diagnostics division of Novartis in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She completed her undergraduate work in biochemistry at Bryn Mawr College in 2004. Between college and graduate school, Dr. Deering worked as a research associate in Dr. Jordan Orange’s lab at the University of Pennsylvania studying innate immune signaling defects that drive the development of primary immunodeficiencies. Dr. Deering graduated from Harvard Medical School with a PhD in immunology in 2013. She completed her dissertation work in Dr. Nir Hacohen’s laboratory at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. While there, she uncovered the mechanisms of function for several RNA binding proteins using cutting edge RNA biochemistry approaches. In particular, she focused her work on the regulation of antiviral signaling pathways by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-linked RNA binding proteins. Her continued interests are to 1) understand how RNA processing factors coordinate distinct cellular events and 2) explore novel mechanisms of promoter regulation.

Justin R. Piro

Justin Piro is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Neuroscience Research Unit at Pfizer.  Prior to joining Pfizer, Dr. Piro was a graduate student in the Biochemistry Department at Dartmouth Medical School in Hanover, NH. Dr. Piro grew up in Connecticut and earned his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Eastern Connecticut State University. His Ph.D. research was focused on prions— the causative agent of several infectious neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jacob, Kuru, Scrapie, and BSE (Mad Cow Disease). More specifically, his work centered on understanding how a single misfolded protein can encode infectivity and associated strain properties. Justin has published several papers in the field of prion biology and has presented his work at international conferences. Currently, Dr. Piro is a member of the “A-Team” within Pfizer’s Integrative Neurocircuitry department. Recently, Justin and his colleagues identified a new route of synthesis for arachidonic acid in the brain. This pathway establishes a link between endocannabinoid metabolism and neuroinflammation. This cross-talk is being studied to understand how neuroinflammation subserves neurodegenerative diseases and drives secondary damage in acute brain traumas. He is also an elected member of the Postdoc Committee at Pfizer.

Marie Schoumacher

Marie Schoumacher, PhD, completed her undergraduate study on Cancer Biology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure/Université Paris Denis-Diderot in Paris, France and completed her PhD training at the Curie Institute (Paris, France) in the lab of Daniel Louvard and Danijela Vignjevic.  Her PhD work was focused on the mechanism of cancer cell invasion and metastasis formation in colon cancer. In 2011, she joined the Oncology department at NIBR (Novartis Institutes of Biomedical Research) in Cambridge as a postdoc. Dr. Schoumacher’s research aims to identify novel functions of the PARP enzymes named tankyrases (TNKS). The goal of this project is to increase our understanding of TNKS biology in cancer and will impact on how we could best target TNKS as a novel anti-cancer treatment.

Justin Slawson

Justin Slawson earned a B.S. from Haverford College in 2005 before pursuing his doctorate at Brandeis University. Under the direction of Dr. Leslie Griffith, Justin’s dissertation work focused on the behavioral plasticity and function of motor circuits within the CNS of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. It was here that he became interested in the question of why neurodegenerative pathologies appear to affect specific neuronal populations, while other groups of cells remain relatively resistant to these aberrant processes. After receiving his Ph.D. in early 2012, Justin spent several months as senior video editor at the Journal of Visualized Experiments before beginning his postdoctoral training at Biogen Idec later that year. His project seeks to answer the question of cell-type-specific vulnerability related to neurodegeneration using novel cell profiling methodologies in both in vitro and in vivo systems.