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WIB-Pittsburgh: Spotlight on Tullia C. Bruno

Posted By Sarah Najjar, Thursday, September 12, 2019

Each month, we are featuring profiles of WIB-Pittsburgh members. We asked about their career path and experience in WIB. Read on for some interesting stories and insights!

 


Tullia C. Bruno
                             Secretary, WIB-Pittsburgh     
                        


- Career position: 

Assistant Professor, Dept of Immunology, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center

 

- Education: 

  • BS in Chemistry, Vanderbilt University; PhD in Immunology, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Postdoc in Immunology, University of Colorado/National Jewish Health

 

- Life science interests: 

Tumor Immunology; My research program specifically focuses on the interaction of B cells and T cells within tertiary lymphoid structures in patient solid tumors. 

 

- Fun facts: 

 I love to swim! I was a tap dancer for 18 years. 

 

Experience in WIB


- What drew you into the life sciences field and WIB?   

I have loved science ever since I was in elementary school. It started there. I had the right teachers and mentors that encouraged my scientific creativity. The rest is history! I wanted to be in WIB so I could be surrounded by other women in the biological sciences that were not necessarily in academia. I feel it will help my leadership skills and my growth as a professional. 

 

 - How has WIB played a role in promoting your personal or professional growth? 

WIB has helped me become a better advocate for women in science, particularly through my participation as a mentor in the MAPs program. 

- If you had one piece of advice to give a new WIB member, what would it be? 

Make sure to volunteer for things you want to do! You will enjoy it more.

Career Trajectory

 

- How did you come to find a career that is a good fit for you? 

I realized as an undergrad that my brain worked differently and that I had a knack for doing scientific experiments. From there, I pursued a career in research and never gave up on what I wanted to achieve. I have now achieved that goal of being an academic scientist and I hope to grow further in the field of tumor immunology!

 

 - What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was learning how to manage trainees vs. mentors. They are two very different things. I looked to senior colleagues for advice and took leadership courses to learn new techniques to better train individuals with different motivations, goals and personalities!

 

Is there anything else you would like to share about your journey as a woman in science?

Being a woman in science is never easy, but if you have confidence in your skill and talent and are willing to push back on things you believe in, you will succeed! 



Tags:  2019  member spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: Spotlight on Deb Burks

Posted By Sarah Najjar, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Each month, we are featuring profiles of WIB-Pittsburgh members. We asked about their career path and experience in WIB. Read on for some interesting stories and insights!

 


Deb Burks

Co-Chair, MAPS, WIB-Pittsburgh


- Career position: 

VP, Head of Implementation & Strategy, Bayer Healthcare, Radiology R&D

 

- Education background: 

  • BS Chemical Engineering, University of Pittsburgh
  • MBA, Columbia University

 

- Life science interests: 

I am passionate for bringing new products to market that can improve the lives of patients. A key aspect of this is building and leading teams that make this happen, and developing talent that can make a sustainable difference.  

- Fun facts: 

One of my interests is travel. So far, I have been to all 50 states and to over 40 countries. My current travel goal is to visit more countries than my age.  This summer, I took up golf and can proudly say that I am now officially a hacker.  

 

Experience in WIB


- What drew you into the life sciences field and WIB?   

My entry into life sciences was at mid-career. At that time, I was offered bigger roles in other industries, but I was interested in making a contribution to improve people’s lives in more meaningful ways.  I was offered a wonderful opportunity at Bayer Healthcare, and I have never looked back.

 
I sought out WIB because I was looking to make a broader impact in the life sciences, and specifically, to contribute to the development of women leaders.  Given WIB’s dedication to career development and mentorship, it was a natural fit. Additionally, through WIB, I am now better connected to the broader Life Science industry and learning venues. The Pittsburgh chapter members are high energy and collaborative—and have been very welcoming. 

 

- How has WIB played a role in promoting your personal or professional growth? 

Through WIB, I have met many capable and interesting women from a wide range of organizations. Their passion is infectious and inspires me to strive for more. Through WIB, I am exposed to Life Science areas outside of my current field which helps me to stay current. 

- If you had one piece of advice to give a new WIB member, what would it be? 

Get involved! Attend events and join a committee that is of interest to you. This will enable you to build both your network and your leadership skills in new ways. And, you will have fun.


Career Trajectory

 

- How did you come to find a career that is a good fit for you? 

My view is that my career is a journey of constant striving and growing—it is not a destination to be reached.   Through-out my career, I have made the most progress when I have taken on risks and new opportunities that offered challenge and learning. Over time, I have come to know what I am passionate about—and listening to myself has helped me to make better career choices.   

What are your career goals?

My career has been evenly split between R&D and commercial roles, and for my next role, I am seeking a position with more business responsibilities. I am also interested in achieving a board membership, and have initiated a few steps on this journey.


- Who has been a good mentor to you and why? 

I have been very fortunate to have a number of mentors throughout my career who have challenged my thinking while giving me confidence that I can succeed at the next level.  Increasingly I have been in the role of mentor, and I find that it inspires self-reflection and rekindles the spirit for self-growth within me. I highly encourage everyone to seek out mentors and to mentor others—both roles are very rewarding.  

 

- What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?

There have been so many, that it is hard to select one! During an overseas assignment in Hong Kong, the business decided to close down the Asia division.   I came back to the US without a position, apartment or even a telephone number. It turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me as I was able to find a position in a high-tech area in which I had the opportunity to build-out a marketing function from scratch. I never would have looked for such a role if I had stayed in my previous company. There were many tough days, but I found support from my friends, mentors and family who gave me confidence that it would turn out okay if I mapped out a strategy and took it one day at a time.  



Tags:  2019  Member Spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: Spotlight on Edwina Kinchington

Posted By Sarah Najjar, Monday, August 19, 2019

Each month, we are featuring profiles of WIB-Pittsburgh members. We asked about their career path and experience in WIB. Read on for some interesting stories and insights!

 


Edwina Kinchington

Chair, Young Women In Bio, WIB-Pittsburgh


- Career position: 

Teacher and Educator, High School Science

 

- Education Background: 

  • University of California, Berkeley, BA in Molecular and cellular biology 1991
  • University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D. in Pharmacology 1997
Other training:
  • Post doc with Thomas Smithgall, University of Pittsburgh
  • Research assistant with Jill Siegfried, University of Pittsburgh


- Research interests: 

During training, my main research focus was cellular signaling and experimental therapeutics targeting cancer. Now, I am interested in developing engaging hands-on lab-based curriculum to engage the next generation of students.

- Fun facts: 

I was an avid competitive swimmer in my youth and competed in the 1984 and 1988 US Olympic Trials for butterfly and backstroke. My swimming helped make me who I am today. I love the water especially windsurfing, paddleboarding and white water rafting.

 

Experience in WIB


- What drew you into the life sciences field and WIB?   

My mother was a physician and she influenced my interest in science.  I heard about WIB when I began teaching in 2010 and felt that this would be a great networking opportunity to connect my students to professionals in the life sciences.

 

- How has WIB played a role in promoting your personal or professional growth? 

My goals focus on developing opportunities for our next generation of female leaders in science.  Helping to develop the Young Women In Bio is a natural fit for me and my goals as a professional educator.

- If you had one piece of advice to give a new WIB member, what would it be? 

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and follow your passion!

Career Trajectory

 

- How did you come to find a career that is a good fit for you? 

I never had mentors when I was growing up in my education until I hit graduate school.  By this time, it was late. I think if I had better mentors earlier on then I would have had more choices.  I became a teacher because I wanted to expose the next generation to all the fields of science and try to help them “find their passion”.  I have found my calling in becoming a teacher.

- What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it? 

I hit a point in my research career where I really wasn’t enjoying it as much.  I asked myself what I wanted out of the remainder of my working career and it was be a high school teacher and coach swimming. I followed my passion and reached those goals.


- Who has been a good mentor to you and why? 

My first real mentor was my Ph.D. advisor Dr. Said Sebti. He always was able to bring out the best in his staff without making them feel inadequate. He was still my best teacher and I try to emulate his mentorship with my students.


- Is there anything else you would like to share about your journey as a woman in science? 

Most people think becoming a high school teacher was a backwards step, but it is a wonderful career and I use my training as a scientist every day.


Tags:  2019  Member Spotlight 

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WIB-Pittsburgh: Spotlight on Sharon K. Standish

Posted By Sarah Najjar, Monday, August 5, 2019

Each month, we are featuring profiles of WIB-Pittsburgh members. We asked about their career path and experience in WIB. Read on for some interesting stories and insights!

 



Sharon K. Standish
Vice-Chair Sponsorship, WIB-Pittsburgh


- Career position: 

Global Program Leader, Bayer Healthcare, Indianola, PA


- Life science interests: 

In my role as a Global Program Leader, I have the opportunity to work on many of the Bayer Life science efforts across the modalities from CT, MR, and Digital solutions in a medical perspective. I’m continually learning new technologies, developing medical devices and expanding our current Bayer offerings.

- Fun facts: 

I love to read and entertain in our home. We have downsized and are now living in an apartment in the city – we like to refer to it as “resort-style living.”  As a fun fact, I’ve actually parachuted out of a perfectly working aircraft – crazy, fun, scary, and a true risk-taker.

Experience in WIB


- What drew you into the life sciences field and WIB?   

 I have the opportunity to work in an environment that allows me to understand the disease processes and lead the development and deployment of novel therapeutics and innovative medical devices, where the outcome can directly improve human health.  I became involved with WIB as I have rolled off a number of other boards that I have been actively engaged within Pittsburgh/Butler area and was looking for something new, a new network, and new opportunities to learn and grow as a leader.

- How has WIB played a role in promoting your personal or professional growth? 

 As a new member to WIB and in a board position, I anticipate WIB will contribute to growing my leadership skills based on the local event offerings and national WIB webinars. I definitely plan to grow my network in new areas and create new friends and potentially new opportunities.

- If you had one piece of advice to give a new WIB member, what would it be? 

Take advantage of the many events and webinars that the organization offers.  Reach out of your comfort zone and meet two to three new people at these events.  Practice what you learn from the events in your career either academically or professionally.  Find an advocate and a coach – these are individuals that will help you to succeed. 

Career Trajectory


- How did you come to find a career that is a good fit for you? 

Fortunately for me, I’ve always been asked to take on new responsibilities by being in the right place at the right time and saying yes – no matter if I knew I could do it or not.  Where I struggle today is establishing the next opportunity, since it was always provided in the past.  Now I’m in a position where I must define it. One piece of advice that was provided to me during one of my networking meetings with my senior leaders: “don’t come to my door the day I post a position, I want to know you, know who you are, your strengths, etc. Meet with me often so that when I have a position, you come to mind first.” Network!

- What has been the biggest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it? 

Every day there are challenges: some smaller and easily managed, and others a tad more daunting. As a leader my role is to keep the calm in the storm and maneuver the team forward, being empowered to take action whether right or wrong, course corrections are acceptable.  


- Who has been a good mentor to you and why? 

I have had many mentors throughout my career and each has contributed to my core strengths they encouraged, built my confidence, challenged me, and most importantly were critical when needed. They were people I completed trusted. 


- Is there anything else you would like to share about your journey as a woman in science? 

I have had the opportunity to travel globally with my jobs. I have worked in a variety of fields from satellites, trains, .com/networks, a startup, and currently in the medical life science arena. In addition to my day job, I’ve given back to the community both at work and where I live, I’ve been board president, member of boards, part of the Women Leadership initiatives creating new initiatives within these boards and at work. Each of these roles and opportunities was a step up and forward. Always take that step.

Tags:  2019  Member Spotlight 

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