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WIB-SF: WIB-San Francisco Bay Area Presents: Networking Happy Hour in the South Bay, November 13th, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, June 3, 2019

WIB-SF hosted a networking happy hour at Stein's in Mountain View on November 13th with an open bar and delicious appetizers.  Approximately 20 women attended from a range of science disciplines and were able to connect in a quiet and intimate setting allowing for more in depth conversations.  Great connections were made or strengthened, and women leaving the event praised the setting and how easy it was to have conversations with women attending!

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area Presents: Holiday Party at Alchemist Bar & Lounge, December 10, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Saturday, June 1, 2019

Seventy women raised a toast to ring in the holidays at WIB-San Francisco Bay Area's 2018 holiday party at the Alchemist in San Francisco! Karen Ring, our Chapter Chair, recounted WIB-San Francisco Bay Area's achievements this year and reviewed our highlights. While mingling over frosty libations and reminiscing over the past year, members snacked on a delicious spread and greeted friends both old and new.

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors and members who have been with us through the years and those who have joined us recently in making 2018 a memorable year! A big shout out to our volunteers for making this year a grand success and without whom the panel discussions, seminars, and networking events would not have been possible. Happy Holidays!

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YWIB-San Francisco and BioMarin Present: "Curious About Careers in Biotechnology? Take a Look Into our Rare story!," November 13, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, May 27, 2019

On November 13, 2018, BioMarin in Novato hosted a group of 37 high school girls and took them on a journey to explore what life is like in the cutting-edge biotech industry. The evening started with an introduction by an analytical scientist from Research and Development where she shared her story of how she navigated through an academic career before landing her dream job at BioMarin. The girls then viewed videos of patient stories which helped them appreciate the impact that gene therapies, created by pharmaceutical companies like BioMarin, have on their lives and on the community. 

Following the introductory session, the students were taken on a tour of the Manufacturing Department to show them what Quality Labs look like. They also had the opportunity to demo and act out the complex process of entering a “Clean-Room”- this was both funny and intriguing to them as they learned of the effort that goes into maintaining a sterile environment and what it means to protect a drug product.

The evening ended with a panel discussion between the students and a group of eight accomplished women from different departments such as Process Development, Manufacturing Sciences, Technology Development, and Quality Assurance where each panelist shared their personal stories, gave advice on navigating college, and deciding on careers in STEM. The students found the discussion very stimulating and helpful. Some of the key takeaways from the panel were quite inspirational:

“I learned to stay confident and trust myself and I can do whatever I want to! “
“Don’t be scared to take the step you need to take to be successful in life.”
“Many different paths people have taken to get to where they are."
“Never give up on yourself and understand you can do anything.”

Overall, the visit was a great success with most students wanting to attend more events like this in the future.

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WIB-San Francisco: Novel Neurotherapeutics Post Event Summary, September 12, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, May 27, 2019

As the attendees trickled into the brand new cafeteria building of Calico labs, they were welcomed with an impressive buffet of food and drinks and neatly laid out pens and notepads on alternating blue/green chairs. The “Novel Neurotherapeutics: The Next Frontier In Treating Neuropsychiatric Disorders” event organized WIB-San Francisco Chapter on September 12, 2018 had kicked off! 

It was a panel discussion led by moderator, Kathleen Martin of Calico Labs and three experts from the neuroscience industry – Tina Schwabe of Alector, Barbara Nguyen-Vu of Circuit Therapeutics, and Sarah DeVos of Denali Therapeutics. The event focused on emerging strategies being used to address the ever- increasing burden of treating neurological disorders. The presentation commenced with a brief introduction of the moderator and panelists, following which the panelists delved into the unique approaches their companies employ to tackle CNS (mostly neurodegenerative) diseases.

Kathleen led an energy-packed and informative panel discussion that touched upon various aspects of devising viable neurotherapeutics, ranging from current challenges to treating neurological diseases to identifying biomarkers for earlier diagnoses or disease progression and different forms of treatment including large/small molecules, cell therapy and gene therapy. The panelists concurred on the importance of using big data for neuroscience research. Emerging trends pointed towards harnessing the potential of immune molecules, altering dysregulated neural circuits using optogenetics and improving drug delivery systems to target the brain. 

The discussion must have struck a chord with the audience as it was followed by thoughtful questions that were answered by the panelists and moderator as they continued to deliberate on how we can improve the current state of neurotherapeutics research. The evening continued into a lively, informal networking session where the attendees could personally interact with the panelists and moderator and also mingle with each other. Overall, the evening was very memorable, thanks to the efforts of our event host and sponsor Calico Labs, a very professional moderator and expert panelists. A special shout out to Samantha Luo for helping organize the event! Many thanks to all volunteers of Women In Bio who worked in the background and to all our attendees for a successful event!

 

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YWIB-San Francisco: College Track Event, September 4, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, May 27, 2019

Young Women In Bio - San Francisco Bay Area has partnered with College Track - Oakland to bring hands-on STEM experiences to young women.  On September 4, 2018, Young Women In Bio hosted the first of four events on-site at the Oakland offices. The focus of this first program was developmental biology with nine freshman girls in attendance.

The event began with an overview of developmental biology by Dr. Tanvi Sinha who is a Cell and Developmental Biologist at the University of California, San Francisco.  Dr. Sinha discussed the stages of embryonic development, how long it takes in humans vs. animals, and what the stages look like.

After the lesson, YWIB volunteers - Jenn Kim, Leah Makley and Jennifer Lewis - assisted the students with a challenging matching activity where various stages of embryonic development in different species of animals were given and the students had to identify the animal and stage.  
The students discovered that a majority of the species looked similar which taught them why researchers use small species, such as mice, to study to human development.  The students and volunteers also discussed the ethical considerations that researchers consider when using embryos for their work. Dr. Sinha then brought several mice embryos at mid-gestation stages for the students to observe. Many of the students were excited to see an actual embryo!

The second portion of the program was a hands-on activity with chick embryos.  Dr. Sinha provided fertilized chick eggs at various developmental stages to allow the students to explore and identify the process of embryonic development on their own.  The YWIB volunteers and students discussed that it takes 21 days for a chick to develop fully and that there is a difference between store-bought eggs and fertilized eggs used for research.  

Once each of the “lab” stations were ready with gloves, beakers, magnifying glasses and 2-3 eggs, the students followed Dr. Sinha in learning how to crack and open the chick egg.  From there they were able to see embryos from stages 3 to 5 days since fertilization. The students were amazed to see the heartbeats and begin to identify the formation of the chick.  One student said that her favorite part of the event was “opening the eggs, seeing the heartbeat, and becoming a mother - tear.” 

After all the eggs were opened and analyzed, the students had a wrap-up with Dr. Sinha and the YWIB volunteers where they asked Dr. Sinha more about her education and career and share their favorite parts of the day.  

The students provided feedback from the event and overwhelmingly reported that they enjoyed cracking the eggs and loved the surprise of what they would discover. They also shared that having a hands-on activity created a fun and informative experience.  

YWIB - San Francisco Bay Area is thankful to College Track - Oakland for highlighting the importance of STEM for young girls by carving out a space for engagement in their curriculum and offices.  This initial event left the students wanting to learn more and the volunteers are excited to build off this success!

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Networking Social at the Moods Wine Bar, August 22, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, May 27, 2019

WIB-San Francisco Bay Area brought together woman from a range of science disciplines at its networking social on August 22, 2018. About 40 women gathered at the Moods Wine Bar in Palo Alto to network over some wine and cheese!

The event was an opportunity to connect with the broader community of women in science, allowing attendees to make new connections and re-kindle old friendships. As the event wrapped, several attendees lingered and continued discussion at the patio outside Moods.

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WIB-San Francisco: Partnering Devices and Diagnostics with Pharma, June 19, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, May 27, 2019

On June 19, 2018 at Amgen, the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of WIB and Amgen hosted a panel discussion on partnering devices and diagnostics with pharma. A crowd of close to 50 women and men from all areas of science enjoyed a great conversation. The evening started with networking and appetizers, allowing the attendees early access to the panel and jump starting the conversation about the evening’s theme. The panel included four distinguished women with different perspectives on the partnering process. Peggy Hawkins JD (Licensing Director, Business Development at Amgen), the moderator, has a background spanning both pharmaceutical as well as in vitro diagnostic R&D and business development. Having worked in both industries, she has a unique perspective of some of the challenges that partnering between diverse industries with different business models brings.

Peggy led the conversation and kicked things off by introducing Laura Parmer-Lohan, MBA (President & CEO at Ruckus Partners, Inc.), who founded a consulting firm called Ruckus Partners that works with diagnostic, digital health, medical device, and biotech companies to support product portfolio strategy development, product launch, revenue generating product lifecycle marketing, and more.

Another panelist, Donna Flesher, PhD (Principal Scientist and Solid Tumor Therapeutic Area Lead, Clinical Biomarkers & Diagnostics at Amgen), received her PhD at Stanford University in immunology and is now at Amgen where she is responsible for the development and alignment of biomarker strategy across early and late stage clinical development programs, as well as with marketed products.

Finally, Peggy introduced Suzanne Cheng, PhD (Director, Project Leader, Genomics & Oncology at Roche Molecular Systems), who is leading cross-functional teams responsible for co-developing companion diagnostic assays with pharma partners in both oncology and non-oncology therapeutic areas.

After introductions, each of the panelists gave their perspective on initiating, managing, and developing relationships to foster partnerships between medical device and diagnostic companies with pharmaceuticals. Partnerships are becoming increasingly important as pharma seeks ways to differentiate their products, and precision medicine demands the need for companion diagnostics. Commercial market access, value, and regulatory needs require close coordination between pharma and diagnostic device partners. As both entities have distinct business models, investment paradigms, and tolerance for business risk, partnering and deal term negotiations can be challenging. The panel discussed creative solutions that can bridge these gaps and lead to win-win successful long term partnering relationships.

The audience was very engaged in the conversation and, as the panel progressed, many attendees voiced their questions and participated in the discussion, and the event ran well past the planned end time. The audience appreciated the extended networking opportunities and the extremely informative panel discussion.

Thank you to our event chairs and our sponsor Amgen for making the event a great success!

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WIB-San Francisco Bay Area: Networking Social at The Willows, April 26, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, May 27, 2019

The San Francisco Bay Area chapter of WIB hosted a spring networking social at The Willows San Francisco on Thursday, April 26, 2018. A crowd of over 30 women from all areas of science enjoyed a fun-filled night of networking and conversation over drinks and tasteful appetizers. Attendees had a blast connecting with the larger community of women in science, leaving the event with new connections, as well as rekindled friendships. It was great to see both new and familiar faces to WIB, and a fruitful and quality night of networking with our Bay Area group!

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WIB-San Francisco YWIB: Clovis Oncology Job Shadowing Day for Lincoln High School Students, April 11, 2018

Posted By Breezy Lachance, Monday, May 27, 2019

Career Advice for Young Women In Science, from Women in Science
 
While the San Francisco Bay Area continues to be an important hub for leading biotech firms, women are still significantly underrepresented in STEM jobs. Fortunately, a number of high schools in San Francisco are cultivating a pool of talent for the biotech industry.  The biotech career pathway programs at Raoul Wallenberg High School, Galileo Academy of Science and Technology and Abraham Lincoln High School are engaging students in work-based learning opportunities that support their technical education in biotechnology.
 
During the San Francisco Unified School District’s Spring Break, Clovis Oncology provided a work-based learning opportunity to 7 young women of the Abraham Lincoln High School’s biotech program.  With the help of Young Women In Bio (YWIB), Clovis Oncology provided each of the 7 young women with a mentor for a job shadow experience. Each mentor represented various areas of expertise in the biotech industry -- human resources, clinical research and operations, business analytics, commercial operations and project leadership. 
 
While the girls experienced a day-in-the-life of a professional in biotech, one of the biggest takeaways from their job shadow day was the advice they received from their mentors. Having had some time to look back and think about what they’ve learned during their career journeys, the mentors shared some advice with the young women that can help them navigate through their education and career journeys.
 
Here are 10 pieces of advice that the Clovis Oncology mentors provided the young women in science:

1) Your entry-level job is important. Getting an entry-level job is one of the most important things you can do to springboard your career. An entry-level job is important work experience and many jobs will ask for at least 2 to 3 years of work experience before they will even consider you for the position. An entry-level job will provide you with the workplace skills that you can bring to your next job. Volunteering is also considered work experience. So, volunteer and gain experience.

2) Learn how to manage your money. The transition from high school to college or career often excludes money management courses or training on how to budget your money. Managing your finances is a huge part of adulthood. Educating yourself about understanding your finances, how to deal with bank accounts, how to pay for college, how to budget and how to invest your savings will save you large amounts of debt in the future. Even more so, you will be much more independent and in control of your life. So, while you are still in high school, take some courses on money management or financial literacy.

 3) Keep in touch with mentors and professors. Reach out. Don’t be shy. Be self-motivated. Keep in touch with your mentors and professors. They are part of your network and a great resource to help you navigate your next journey after graduation. They might even have opportunities for you. The relationships that you make today can be helpful to you throughout your career path.

 4) Look backwards and connect the dots. Sometimes life gives you these little events and they look meaningless, but when you reflect on them later, they are really dots that connect with these lines that make sense on your life’s journey. So, even if something seems meaningless now, it will make greater sense in the future as you move forward in your career path. Looking backwards and connecting the dots will also help you realize what you enjoy and what motivates you. Hence, take some time to reflect and connect the dots to help you make the best career choices in the future.

5) Go wherever you fit in, where you can afford. Go and have fun and the learning will follow. And if you don’t know exactly what you want to do, it’s okay because you will learn from that experience. The door will open up when the timing is right. In the meantime, do not rack up lots of educational debt because it is not worth it.

6) Be entrepreneurial and create your part-time job. Young people are busier, savvier and more creative nowadays. If traditional part-time jobs don’t seem to fit into your schedule, think of about what you enjoy doing already and turn it into a part-time job. Do you enjoy math and have a clever way of solving problems? Consider hosting a workshop on the weekends and share your expertise with your peers and younger children.

7) You are your best advocate. Go on informational interviews and learn from the people you meet. This is also a good way to hone your interviewing skills and improve the way you present yourself. Take advantage of the opportunities around you. This can also mean creating opportunities for yourself by asking people in your network if they know of any organizations that could use someone with your set of skills.

8) Don’t accept “no” for an answer. Do not simply accept a “no” for an answer. Be persistent. If necessary, find another way of asking the question or another way of turning a missed opportunity into the perfect opportunity for you. Women don’t ask for things for themselves often enough. Men are more likely to ask. So, don’t be afraid to ask. If you don’t ask the question, you may never get the answer you are looking for.

9) It’s not where you go to college or the job you have that matters, it’s what you make of it. Make the most of the opportunities that are provided to you. If you have a chance to learn new skills, learn them. If you have a part-time job right now, excel in that position. Your industrious and smart work ethic will be appreciated by those who work with you and you will be rewarded in the future. 10) Know how to pivot. Your career journey will most likely involve many turns and unexpected surprises. When this happens, know how to pivot and take the next path that will help launch (or relaunch) your career. To pivot, recognize your set of skills and how you’ve acquired them along your educational and career journey. Then think about how you can take those skills to your next job. In every job, you will acquire transferrable skills that are applicable to different kinds of industries. Collect these skills and use them wisely to help you navigate your career journey.

Kindly written/provided by Jennielyn Dino Rossi, California Life Sciences Institute, April 11, 2018

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WIB-San Francisco: Leveraging Digital Tools to Advance Your Career and Job Search, March 21, 2018

Posted By Administration, Monday, May 27, 2019

On March 21, 2018, WIB-San Francisco and UCSF OCPD co-organized the event “Leveraging  Digital Tools to Advance Your Career and Job Search”. In honor of Women’s History Month and the “Lift While You Climb” theme, WIB-San Francisco invited a wonderful panel of women hiring managers and recruiters including Joyce Hu, Tamara Stevenson, Erica McCloud, and Patti Meyer, who shared lots of great tips and a look into the hiring manager and recruiter’s perspective on screening applications. 

It comes as no surprise to the audience that Linkedin is the most popular digital tool used by hiring managers and recruiters regardless of the company size. Not only does LinkedIn lend itself as the ideal digital tool for showcasing professional achievements, it is also a platform with features tailored to allow recruiters and hiring managers reach out to prospective candidates easily.

The number one advice from the panelists when it comes to what to include in the Linkedin profile is to be strategic about every information you put online by making sure the information is relevant to the particular industry or role of your interest. The panelists advise that applicants should avoid using generic summary. Instead, be very specific about your headline and include descriptions that specify your skill sets. For example, use “Geneticist with programming skills” instead of the very commonly seen “Postdoc”.

It is also advised to include pertinent details from current and past positions to demonstrate experience in the area of your interest. For job seekers looking to transition from academia to industry, it's also crucial to include any volunteer experience or affiliation with related organization (even ones in the academia) to demonstrate personal interest.  

When screening applications, hiring managers look for years of relevant experience and skill set and sometimes even geographical preference. Especially for the San Francisco Bay Area, companies tend to like to see that the applicant's profile mentions "Open to opportunities in the Bay Area" or that the applicant has previously lived in the area.

It's important to keep in mind that resumes and online profiles are now screened by both humans (i.e. recruiters) and bots (i.e. search engines). This means it's important to do your due diligence on the common keywords used in job descriptions and be sure to include them in your profile online. Do not have an empty LinkedIn profile!

Our panelists recommend to keep resumes to one page only unless you are applying for a senior director level position. Since every resume is skimmed by recruiters in about 30 seconds, it is recommended to keep the language short and concise. If you do have to go beyond one page, be sure to keep everything under two pages and always be sure to lead with a strong and specific summary to get the recruiters to read more. Regarding cover letters, smaller companies tend to pay more attention to cover letters while big corporations like Gilead simply get way too many applications for hiring managers to go over all the cover letters. 

Lastly, for those who are looking for opportunities but wish to do so without drawing attention from current employers, a good tip is to become more active on LinkedIn by liking and sharing articles. This way, recruiters can easily find out you are active on LinkedIn and may be open to explore new opportunities. If a recruiter you don't know tries to connect with you, accept the invitation to connect because even if this recruiter cannot connect you to the right opportunity, he or she may know someone else who can.

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