Career QnA

Read about the career choices our mentors have made to become established biotech professionals. Each month, a new mentor will share their career journeys and advice for those wishing to follow in their footsteps.

Darren Frew

Jessica Zhang - Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Darren Frew was born and raised in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.  He earned a B.Sc. in Geology from the University of Calgary in 1982 and enjoyed a 10-year career as an Exploration Geologist, working extensively throughout Canada in the Mining and Petroleum sectors. Darren began offering program & project management plus network development in the high-tech sector in Vancouver in 1992 when he became a Programs Coordinator with the Science Council of BC (now the BC Innovation Council).  After seven years at SCBC, he joined the National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and provided the same range of services, as an Industrial Technology Advisor.  In 2003, he joined the YMCA's New Ventures self-employment program as an instructor and advisor, a term which lasted four years.  He was subsequently appointed to the following positions: Executive Director of the BC Nanotechnology Alliance in 2007, Businesss Development Officer for the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations in 2009 and Director of Planning and Comunications with the BC Bioenergy Network, also in 2009.   READ MORE

Dr. Julian Davies

Jessica Zhang - Sunday, July 31, 2011

As a distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Microbiology and Immunology department at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Julian Davies has led an amazing career and shares his experiences in biotech with us.  We are led into the height of research in antibiotics and vaccines with regard to the growth in the biotechnology industry in the late 20th century through this month's Career Q&A   READ MORE

Anthony Fejes

Ashraf Amlani - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Anthony Fejes received his BSc degree in Biochemistry from the University of Waterloo and his MSc degree in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of British Columbia. Upon completing his masters degree, he participated in the founding of Zymeworks Inc, a cross disciplinary company in the high-tech and biotech fields. Currently, Anthony has returned to school, where he is already begun working on writing up his Ph.D. thesis in bioinformatics. Outside of his work, Anthony now blogs independently about bioinformatics, coding, grad studies and a host of other topics. When not working with cancer genomes, Anthony can generally be found playing with Linux (usually beta testing some variety of Ubuntu) or hanging out with his family.   READ MORE

Dr. Janet Iwasa

Ashraf Amlani - Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dr. Janet Iwasa is currently a lecturer in molecular visualization at Harvard Medical School, where she collaborates with faculty in the Department of Cell Biology to create biological visualizations for research and education. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, San Francisco working on actin cytoskeleton dynamics with Dyche Mullins. Janet was awarded a NSF Discovery Corps fellowship which allowed her to pursue scientific animation as a post-doctoral fellow and to attend the Gnomon School for Visual Effects in Hollywood, California. From 2006-2008, she worked with Jack Szostak at Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard and the Museum of Scoence in Boston to create a multimedia exhibit on the origins of life. To animate molecules, Janet works with the same types of software used in Hollywood to make movies like Toy Story. Some of her recent animation projects can be viewed here  READ MORE

Dr. Jennifer Solomon

Ashraf Amlani - Monday, February 28, 2011

Dr. Jennifer Solomon works at STEMCELL Technologies as a technical service representative, focusing on promoting specialized cell culture media to the northern USA territory. In addition, Jennifer was previously President of the Student Biotechnology Network and now serves as a member on SBN's Board of Directors. She completed her PhD in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Simon Fraser University. When she is not working or travelling, Jennifer finds solace in cooking and running. Continue reading to get a glimpse of Jennifer's life.  READ MORE

Karen Long

Ashraf Amlani - Monday, January 31, 2011

Karen Long is Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Angiotech Pharmaceuticals. Angiotech is a pharmaceutical and medical device company that discovers, develops, and markets innovative technologies and medical products primarily for local diseases or for complications associated with medical device implants, surgical interventions and acute injury. Working in regulatory affairs, Karen get to see all the R&D efforts come together as a project gets submitted to the relevant regulatory bodies. A large part of her day is devoted to technical writing or reviewing documents. Along with Regulatory Affair Certification (RAC) in US, EU and Canada, Karen has a M. Sc in Pharmaceutical Science and a B. Sc in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia. If Karen could go back in time, she would like to meet Carl Sagan, a scientist and the author of “Cosmos”. She attributes her devotion to the life sciences to watching Cosmos at the tender age of 13, but wonders if she would have become a pharmacist or an accountant, has she been more pragmatic.  READ MORE

May Kazem

Ashraf Amlani - Tuesday, December 28, 2010

May Kazem currently works as a business development intern at the Centre for Drug Research and Development. Previously, she has worked as a senior formulations technician at CDRD and a research associate at Tekmira Pharmaceuticals. May is also completing a Master’s in Health Administration from UBC. She is a graduate of the UBC/BCIT joint B.Sc in biotechnology (honours) program. May has supported many SBN initiatives over the years, initially as an SBN executive and more recently as an SBN mentor. She shares her experiences in the BC biotechnology sector below.  READ MORE

Dr. Catherine Campbell

Ashraf Amlani - Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dr. Catherine Campbell is a corporate development associate at Allon Therapeutics Inc, a clinical-stage biotech company focused on developing the first drugs that impact the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. Allon’s lead drug davunetide, is proceeding in Phase 2/3 clinical trial in an orphan indication, progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Catherine obtained her B. Sc in Biochmeistry from Concordia University in Montreal, QC. Upon completion of her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of British Columbia, BC, Catherine entered the WestLink Technology Commercialization Internship Program to explore non-academic options to stay connected with her industry. Through WestLink, Catherine completed placements at SFU's Technology Transfer office, Allon Therapeutics and NDI Capital. Away from her desk, Catherine enjoys exploring the many hiking trails in Vancouver.  READ MORE

Margaret Page

Ashraf Amlani - Sunday, October 31, 2010

Margaret Page is the founder and director of Etiquette Page, a leading Canadian firm offering business etiquette and international protocol services. With 20 years of success as an entrepreneur and business leader, Margaret brings to the table proven knowledge and a genuine appreciation for the highest standards of etiquette and protocol. Margaret inspires her clients, giving them the essential skills and confidence required to handle any situation they encounter with style and finesse. As an etiquette consultant and businesswoman, Margaret Page is passionate about relationships and how they are affected by our behavior, whether in social or business settings. To Margaret, being an etiquette consultant means revealing to workshop participants the inner workings of a social scenario, as well as their own patterns of behaviour, so that they can enter any room or occasion with confidence.   READ MORE

Dr. Jennifer Gardy

Ashraf Amlani - Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dr. Jennifer Gardy is a Molecular Epidemiologist at the BC Centre for Disease Control (BC CDC) as well as a freelance Science Communicator. Her lab at BCCDC uses genome sequencing to understand the origins, transmission, and evolutionary dynamics of outbreaks of infectious disease. Her science communication activities have involved hosting television documentaries (project X, an episode of The Nature of Things) to writing for The Globe and Mail to running a series of workshop on the soft skills science trainees need to learn in order to thrive.   READ MORE


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