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The week that it was – 10th to 16th April, 2017

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Ah, the long weekend in one of the most enjoyable seasons is here. And obviously it’s time to sit back and rejuvenate. Leave work at work, get that work-life balance back. And if at all, you must indulge in work, it would be a nice time to start actively listening to people around you, invest it in deciding your next career steps, know the market out there, see how it aligns with your interest. Maybe you realize it is, indeed, time to release your dream project as a startup!

After all, the big names are also putting money into riskier projects. Apple becomes the latest name to invest in devising blood glucose level sensors after companies like Google have already been unsuccessful. On the other hand, Medtronic gets approval by FDA – this insulin pump based therapy will be available to patients in about a year. Strand Life Sciences gets one step closer to personalized cancer treatment with development of liquid biopsy test. And, Bengal Chemicals, the oldest pharma company in India, registers profit after 60 odd years! Excitement all around in health care and pharma sector!

And not just companies but traditional research and educational institutes are developing potentially viable revenue generating products. Researchers at IISc, India develop electricity conducting graphene  at room temperature, a model predicted only theoretically so far and one that can help make more effective electronics. IGCAR, India develops a new method to ‘see’ temperature without having to strain your eyes to read a thermometer. Doctors at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India finds a new neurological genetic disease in ‘Multiple mitochondrial dysfunction syndrome‘. Does that open up ideas for the geneticists and neurologists among us?

Talking of geneticists, did you know the Human Genome Project (HGP) is considered to one of the projects to look out for in 2017. Do attend the GP-Write at New York to know everything from scientific direction to social and legal engagements to available infrastructure in GP, May 9th and 10th.

With China’s exemplary growth and investment in research as well as industrial development in biotech drugs sector, India is taking steps to improve its stance, the Union HRD of India declared doubling of funding for research and development. In addition, it is also working on a proposal to establish National Research Foundation to leverage resources from industry and support collaboration between institutes in India and abroad. However, it also brought declarations of higher benefits for higher ranked institutes, which risks the lower rung universities without even basic amenities worsening further.

The universities, themselves, worldwide are facing criticism for lack of professional development for scientists. There are plenty of misconceptions that PhD students hold that hamper the way they go about developing their careers. It is the universities’ duty rather to take responsibility of its students; University of British Columbia and University of Chicago are setting examples in distinguishing needs of students from different fields. And there is nothing more important than the students’ ownership in the regard; make sure you develop a healthy student-mentor relationship.

We hope to develop together an utopia where each one of us chooses a career path based on what we like and not what we get. Explore many different options before you decide for yourself. Howe do people get into science policy? Or who are application scientists in industries? Do you even know how scientific writers write papers for other research groups? There are many, many different career paths to choose from those who are interested in science communication (Of course, at Club SciWri we can’t undermine this :)).

For those who are sorted, check some of these available opportunities:

Those interested in consultancy, check interesting training options at McKinsey (for women, except in the USA) and by Columbia Graduate Consulting Club.

For the entrepreneurial ones especially, make sure you do not miss the networking events – there are plenty of them coming up in Basel, New York and San Diego.

Try to get face to face interviews instead of email communications. When you can’t, a good cover letter is what you count on. Make sure you do not make the usual mistakes while talking to a recruiter, know how much are you worth in the market while you are readying for your interviews and meetings. Keep in mind there is still a gender wage gap!

And as I wrap up, I would like to beware our Indian readers in Europe of the fraudulent calls demanding money. We join hands with the Embassy of India in the efforts to reduce the possibilities of such mishaps. Wishing safety for all!

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.




The week that it was 3rd April-8th April 2017

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    Tejeswini Padma's vision of dynein regulation in fission yeast via Myo1

This week we applaud Indian scientists in various parts of the world putting themselves on the World science map with their amazing discoveries and innovative ideas.

From cancer to drinking water

An India researcher at Johns Hopkins develops world’s first 5D ultrasound system to assist cancer detection and treatment while Indian scientist at the University of Manchester have used graphene oxide sieves to desalinate sea water by 97%. This technology if used commercially could contribute significantly to drinking water issues in different parts of the world.

More jobs in New York

1.2 billion-biotech development promises to generate 12,000 jobs in New York City area.

Greens are good for the heart!!

Greens have always made it to our meals since childhood claiming they are ‘good for health’. While we despised them as kids, this innovation by scientist transforming spinach leaves to a beating human heart surely puts greens on our favourites list as scientists.

Sci-Art for the younger generation

As Tejaswini unveils a brilliant piece of Sci-art describing ‘gut feeling‘ in her own way ,  Ipsa Jain inspires younger minds to interpret science more creatively as she conducted the first 2 sessions of her Workshop series titled Summer Sci-Art Workshop for kids.

Resume Roadmap

Leading pharma companies’ pen down characteristics of outstanding candidates, LinkedIn makers share how to tweak your profile to attract recruiters and successful women share their strategies of effective networking.

Story of the Week

For young parents who are pushed to choose between career and kids, here’s an inspiring story of how who can take ‘kids to work’ and call it ‘management-skills’ to improve your CV.



Postdoctoral position in macromolecular crystallographic computing at NE-CAT, Cornell University

 Postdoctoral position atin the laboratory of Dr. Guocan Wang at MD Anderson Cancer Center

Post doctoral jobs in John Hopkins School of Medicine

Postdoc position is available at Mallikaratchy lab of Lehman College , City University of New York 

Assistant Professor positions at University of Warwick,UK


Esco Ventures Singapore is hiring Associates with data science/bioscience background.

CRO position in SF bay area

Associate Scientist : ImmunoOncology Research at Amgen

Senior/Lead Scientist at one of my local Biotech clients in Central NJ.

Senior Associate Scientist/Scientist I Biology, Fibrosis Research at Celgene

Scholarships and Grants

Early Stage Researcher with Marie-Curie fellowship at the National Research Council, Institute of Genetics and Biophysics A. Buzzati-Traverso – Naples, Italy.

PhD openings in IIT Kharagpur

Workshops and courses

Women in Science Career Development Workshop in San Diego.

Cell modelling workshop in Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

Annual meeting of Experimental Biology Interest group is scheduled in Chicago on April 22, 2017.

For data scientists Neural Networks for Machine Learning bring together 30 free courses by  Geoffrey Hinton, a computer science professor at the University of Toronto.

A three-day insider’s look into management consulting at McKinsey for those considering a job in consulting

Call for PhDs and MSc graduates with analytical background to kick-start their career in data science with a 5-week programme.

Loreal Young Women in Science Scholarship, India


About the cover image

Title: Dynein regulation in fission yeast via Myo1.

Made for Dr.Vaishnavi Ananthanarayanan, INSPIRE Faculty Fellow, BSSE,IISc

Scientific Depiction by Tejeswini Padma.

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Explanation: The oscillations of the horsetail nucleus of fission yeast, along with the participating proteins- dynein(purple men) , Mcp5( green coloured anchor protein), Myo1 (in pink) , microtubule (blue rope along the diagonal) and PIP2  (pink circles in the cell membrane)  is depicted here.

Reference paper: Fission Yeast Myosin I Facilitates PI(4,5)P2-mediated Anchoring of Cytoplasmic Dynein to the Cortex’, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017)


About the author

Nisha Peter is a recent PhD graduate from Genome Damage and Stability Centre,UK and is now working as Research Fellow at Sussex Drug Discovery Centre,UK. Her research interest involves cell biology (I’ve spend a lifetime admiring mitotic cells during my PhD!!) and oncology. She works for Club SciWri as a freelance writer to pursue her love for “words”. Apart from being bench scientist she actively participates in science communication events, enjoys teaching, globetrotting and experimenting with music.

The week that it was- 27th March to 2nd April, 2017

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The new week starts, with the cherry blossoms bringing in optimism. And we are steadfast in bringing you the resources that you might need to alleviate your apprehensions, regarding funding, next steps in careers and the cutting edge science happening worldwide.

If you are a researcher in the US, and the NIH budget cuts are keeping you worried, you might want to see what does the proposal say to mitigate the cuts. Will it work or not, is yet to be seen. On the other hand, stable funding and impressive infrastructure attract researchers from all over the world to Canada. Is it your destination next too?

On the medical health and research front, researchers from IIT-Kanpur, India repurpose malaria drug to fight drug resistance in metastatic cancer. While efforts to eradicate tuberculosis are still on – Researchers in Houston, USA come up with a blood-based technique to detect TB, which costs less than 10$ while Serum Institute, India start with trial II/III vaccine trial for TB.

The entrepreneurs are taking health care to the next level with machine learning. Is really Elon Musk hacking the human brain? Or are NVidia graphic processors change the face of health care? Welcome to the future!!

Doudna and Charpentier rewarded on the European front – CRISPR Therapeutics win  a broad CRISPR patent in Europe.

After the last antibiotic developed in 1984, here is funding again in market by BARDA and Wellcome Trust to foster research in the not-so-economics-friendly antibiotic development.

Open science efforts, while are undeniably necessary, are also marred by fake predatory journals. But there are ways to identify them in the pool. Open science gets a boost as now big names start backing it – Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Chan Zuckerberg Biohub join the league. And if you are a researcher in Europe, do your bit by filling up the EU survey form to help the community understand how should they develop the infrastructure.

Depression and academia: the story isn’t new. It is not surprising that science and engineering population shows aging. The current researchers should know the different measures to prevent/ circumvent depression. And it is high time that we start investing in projecting science as a viable career option for it to thrive. Microsoft joins hands with Nat Geo in the pursuit by getting explorers to encourage girls take up STEM careers.

Ever felt retracting a paper might kill your career? Then you might love to know that the community rather rewards such an effort to correct ‘honest errors’.

Are you planning to further your career in data science? Then you should know what your CV should look like.

If you think that staying at home means a stepback in career, think again. Here is a list to help you pick from the jobs in life science that suit working from home.

Contract jobs are becoming more and more common each day in life science industry. If you are confused how to evaluate them, here is some help.

Max Planck for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany offers diverse postdoctoral openings for biochemistry, microbiology, mass spectrometry and electron microscopy backgrounds.

For those inclined towards industry-

  • Scientist I/II position at Bioverativ, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, to work on blood disorders
  • Multiple positions at Entasis, Waltham, Massachusetts, USA
  • Scientist position, Neuroscience at Genentech, San Francisco, USA to work on nervous system diseases
  • Scientist, Electrophysiology at Sanford Burnham Prebys, La Jolla, USA in collaboration with GSK, to work on neurodegeneration
  • Senior scientist, Neuroscience Medicinal Chemistry at Johnson and Johnson, Flanders, Belgium to work in development of large and small molecules
  • Head of Immune Biology at Roche, Munich, Germany to work in protein therapeutics in Large Molecule Research group
  • Director for Research Communications at Spiegel lab at Yale University, USA

And for those who are still in the phase of exploring, here is a list of opportunities –

  • A 3 day insider’s look at management consultancy at McKinsey for those interested in Health Care (from 1st June to 4th June, 2017 at Philadelphia), and Science and Engineering (from 8th to 11th June, 2017 at Washington, DC) – open only for residents of US and Canada, application deadline – 9th April, 2017
  • Want to know more about filing patents? Here is a free webinar by on 5th April that might be of use

And if you still think you are yet to find your right fit, be patient and steady. Take advantage of the resources here to know what suits your aptitude and attitude, and what skills need to be developed for a career appropriate for it.

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.











The week that it was-6th to 12th March, 2017

in ClubSciWri by

Women’s day, gender equity, breaking stereotypes and barriers, or at least trying to – we have come a long way and still a long way to go in making the world an equally good place for everyone. But at least people are beginning to talk about tackling the issue everywhere, from academia to corporate.

As Tuktuki Mondal inspires us all with her humble story from being a rag-picker to a research assistant, Indian parliament passed the bill increasing maternity leave to 26 weeks, opportunities open up for women scientists to network, aspire and achieve, and McKinsey opens up applications for Next Generation Women’s Leaders, 2017 event.

But while the world is trying to become a better place, challenges that concern our everyday life are still plenty. Macri’s government in Argentina cuts funds in science and technology by 30%, one more all across the globe following the trend. Will this create more cases of Dr. Carlo Croce?

Google and Rosa Luxembourg Foundation on the other hand, declare PhD scholarships to students enrolled in Indian and German universities, respectively while the International Max Planck Research Schools of Münster and Göttingen open applications for those interested in Molecular and Cellular Life Sciences and Genome Sciences, respectively.

Life in science is getting easier with online communication for courses, talks and podcasts-

Check out the Data Science course on Springboard, stay abreast with cutting edge research with Nature’s webcasts and network via CSG talks.

Take a look at the Science and Engineering job market of this decade, 50 best startups worldwide and the trends in pharma industry this year. And also learn how to take your ideas from lab to market with I-Corps.

And those academically oriented, here are your options-

Though firms might start using AI to recruit people sometime soon, here is a guide for you to follow when dealing with its human counterpart. Who are these recruiters, and how do they operate? Alert for Life and medical scientists: you can meet some of them at events organized by Northwest Biotech on March 22 and Bio Talent connect on June 22, 2017.

Be smart and do not repeat your mistakes. Coelho says, if you repeat a mistake, then it is a decision.

If you are still unclear of how to have an effective LinkedIn profile, or write the perfect resume, or HR interviews scare you, do not fret.

Help is right at the tip of your finger.

About the author:

Somdatta Karak works with Club SciWri as a project co ordinator and Corporate Liaison. She is a doctorate in neuroscience from Georg August University, Göttingen, Germany and has been a Teach for India fellow (2014-16). She loves putting her analytical skills to build newer and more sustainable solutions, enjoys traveling and communicating and takes every opportunity to expand her horizon.

You can reach her here.









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