Pharmaceutical chemistry postdoc job fair draws crowd

A job fair to help postdoctoral fellows and final-year PhD graduate students in the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCSF School of Pharmacy connect with private industry amid a brightening job market drew a packed house on UCSF’s Mission Bay campus on May 10, 2011.

The department-sponsored event included a job panel discussion with a half-dozen scientist-entrepreneurs led by adjunct faculty member and CTO / CIO of Nodality Inc., David Spellmeyer, PhD. A pre-panel survey of fellows generated questions about everything from elevator pitches to networking, and from getting noticed by industry to the panelists’ own career trajectories.

The panel was followed by a mix of job interviews plus one-on-one and group informational sessions between 39 fellows and graduate students—many of whom had submitted their curriculum vitae in advance for matching—and 16 participating companies, including Genentech, Pfizer, Amgen, Novartis, and Gilead.

Avid interest in expertise and contacts on both sides led to hallway and conference room discussions running long past the event’s scheduled finish. An improving economy saw more companies participating in the biannual event, which had previously been put on hold by the recession, said Debra Harris, the department’s chief administrative officer who organized and originated the job fair.


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