Lauren Celano is our expert for this coming month, say hello!
What is your scientific background?
I have a BS degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from Gettysburg College and about 10 years of experience working in the life sciences area focused on drug metabolism, pharmacokinetics, safety pharmacology, toxicology, and other studies needed to move a drug candidate from preclinical into the clinic.
Why did you decide to leave academia?
I decided to enter industry so that I could play a role in supporting the discovery and development of novel therapeutics and learn about the business considerations involved in the process. I also enjoy a fast-paced and multifaceted environment and felt that industry would align well with my personal interests. When I entered industry, I chose to work for a contract research organization, Absorption Systems so that I could gain exposure to many aspects of the industry.
Why did you decide to start Propel Careers?
I decided to start Propel Careers, along with my co-founder, Omar Amirana, to foster future leaders in the life sciences industry. I noticed that many people, especially graduate students and postdoctoral fellows were not aware of the available career options as well as the skills and competencies needed to thrive in different roles. I saw this as a huge opportunity to make a difference. We are committed to helping students, postdoctoral fellows, medical residents, as well as early career professionals develop the skills, network, and knowledge needed to develop successful careers. In doing so, we also strengthen the organizations working in this sector and impact human health.
How do you want to help scientists in their careers?
I aim to empower scientists to be more in control of their career choices. I do this by informing them about career options, skills and competencies needed for different roles, and opportunities to build skills (if needed) to be competitive for a desired role. I also provide scientists with insight on how their careers could develop over time, constructive feedback on resumes, cover letters, and other “branding” documents, and advice on how to network as well as build a network to foster career growth. Propel also directly impacts career choice by placing scientists into roles at entrepreneurial organizations and organizing networking events to connect academics with industry professionals.
Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I have a twin sister, Emily, who also lives in Boston. We are fraternal, but look similar. She is an environmental scientist, by background, but understands the life sciences space due to the scientific overlap. Emily often works the registration desk at the Propel networking events. I have her do this on purpose since people recognize her (thinking she is me) which usually leads to a good laugh and a memorable experience!
Vote for the question that you think Lauren should answer, and come back for the response in January!