During this conversation, scientists in non-research careers talked about their experiences; the diversity of paths to what they do now; and advice to graduate students interested in pursuing careers beyond research.
Dr. Rudy Bellani is a Knowledge Transformation – Innovation Lead with EY. He co-founded and was the CEO of Oystir, a company dedicated to helping PhDs find non-academic jobs at no cost to them. Prior to EY and Oystir, Rudy was a consultant at McKinsey & Company, where he served pharmaceutical, education, and technology clients, specializing in innovation and talent development strategies including how to identify and hire talent from non-traditional backgrounds. In addition to his client work, Rudy helped lead PhD recruiting for McKinsey’s New York office. Rudy received a PhD in Neuroscience from Rockefeller University where he studied the developmental origins of brain asymmetry. He is passionate about traditional archery, comic books, and has an extensive collection of vertebrate brains.
Dr. Marga Gual Soler is a Project Director at the Center for Science Diplomacy at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), where she explores the role of science as a universal language to help break down barriers and build bridges between peoples and nations. She currently leads the AAAS-Cuba science diplomacy program, develops global science diplomacy research, education and capacity building initiatives, and serves as senior editor of the policy journal Science & Diplomacy. Marga serves on the Research, Innovation and Science Experts High-Level Group to European Commissioner Carlos Moedas, helped design the first Science, Technology and Innovation Diplomacy Strategy for the Spanish Government. For the past 10 years she has worked in more than 40 countries developing innovative bridges between science, policy and society across political, geographical, disciplinary and cultural divides. She is the founder of the Science Diplomacy & Leadership Program, a pioneer annual science diplomacy immersion course in Washington DC, the Latin American Network of Young Scientists, and the Science Slam Festival, a science education and communication event combining science and the performing arts held in Spain, Mexico, Uruguay and Paraguay in partnership with UNESCO.
Dr. Edgardo Falcón-Morales is a Program Analyst and Health Program Specialist at the National Institute of Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NINDS). He was born and raised in Puerto Rico, where he attended the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus and graduated with a B.S. in Biology. He then attended the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX. At UTSW, he conducted his graduate studies in the laboratory of Dr. Collen McClung, investigating the role of circadian genes in cocaine addiction, and graduated with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience in 2012. During his time at UTSW, Edgardo actively recruited diversity applicants to the school and was a member of the admissions committee of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences for two years. Edgardo performed his postdoctoral research at the University of Pennsylvania with Dr. Irwin Lucki, studying the antidepressant potential of opioid compounds. While at Penn, he also served as co-Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Biomedical Postdoctoral Council and as member of the Institutional Review Board. He has worked in collaborative projects with scientists in both academia and industry.