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Non-Academic Career Tracks for International Scientists

Non-Academic Career Tracks for International Scientists

Thursday, February 23, 2017

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By


Join Science Alliance and INet NYC as we discuss career options, challenges, and trajectories for international graduate students and postdocs in the US. Topics will include how to overcome major obstacles to secure a job beyond academia in the US; audience members will also have the opportunity to interact with our panelists and ask questions in the roundtables session and during the networking reception.

A networking reception will follow the event from 8:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Registration Pricing

Student/Postdoc Member$20
Student/Postdoc Nonmember$25

About INet NYC

INet NYC, founded in 2014 by two PhD students from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, is an organization that provides support and guidance to all international graduate students and research fellows in science in the NYC area, by providing career development opportunities to overcome the obstacles that foreign scientists face. We offer opportunities that help foreign scientists expand their skill set, such a workshops and events with successful professionals, and offer access to a strong peer network of international graduate students and research fellows.


Martin Akerman, PhD


Dr. Martin Akerman was a postdoctoral fellow at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He received his PhD in Bioinformatics from Technion–Israel, following his BSc and MSc in Biology also at the Technion. He started research as a cell biologist investigating infectious diseases.

He later transitioned into bioinformatics and developed new algorithms to analyze and interpret genomic data. Since the beginning of his PhD in 2005, his impact on the scientific community is reflected in over 600 citations in scientific journals. The software developed by Dr. Akerman is used by hundreds of scientists every month and has been experimentally validated in the field of cancer research.

Martin is currently the Founder and CTO of Envisagenics, Inc. which aims to develop a predictive analytics platform to help scientists translate basic discoveries into therapies significantly reducing time to market for big pharmaceutical companies.

Jessica Andres-Bergos, PhD

Hospital for Special Surgery

Dr. Jessica Andres-Bergos is the Assistant Director of Research in the Spine Department at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS). She manages the day-to-day operations of the Service's Clinical Research Division. Her responsibilities include oversight of multiple research studies, including budgeting and finance management; control and manage study throughput from study initiation through completion; shepherd studies through internal and external approval processes; organize and participate in routine audits to ensure data quality, regulatory compliance and patient safety and ensure adherence to regulatory and institutional criteria for the appropriate conduct of human subject research.

Jessica Andres-Bergos completed her PhD in Biomedicine and Molecular Biology in Madrid (Spain). Her doctoral work involved the study of protein glycosylation during osteoarthritis onset in knee cartilage. She came to New York for the first to start a scientific collaboration with the Cartilage Biology Department at HSS, in order to study DNA methylation patterns controlling cartilage degradation. During her stay she met Dr. Todd Evans, one of the top scientists in the developmental biology field, at Weill Cornell Medical College starting to work in his laboratory as Postdoctoral Associate. Her postdoctoral studies focused on epigenetic modifications in stem cells during differentiation.

After 3 years of postdoctoral studies at Cornell she went back to the Hospital for Special Surgery, having left the bench in order to take a managerial role in Clinical Research.

Marife Arancillo, PhD

Caudex Medical

Marife Arancillo is a medical writer at Caudex in New York City, where she develops scientific documents for peer-reviewed publication, congress presentation, and other medical affairs. Prior to working in medical communications, she was a bench scientist specializing in neurobiology. Her scientific training started at the University of the Philippines, where she obtained an undergraduate degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. She then pursued her graduate studies at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and at the Neurocure Research Center in Berlin, Germany, where she investigated molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission. She returned to Baylor College of Medicine for postdoctoral training, investigating neural mechanisms of movement disorders under a fellowship from the National Ataxia Foundation. She entered the world of science communication as a freelance editor for American Journal Experts before becoming a full-time medical writer.

Ilaria De Vito, PhD


Ilaria De Vito was born and raised in Naples, Italy. She received a BS and MS degree in Medical Biotechnology from the University Federico II of Naples, Italy. She obtained a MA in Scientific Journalism from the University La Sapienza of Rome, Italy. In 2009, Ilaria moved to the U.S. where she worked for over 5 years at Weill Cornell Medical College, NY in the field of virology. In 2015, she was awarded PhD in microbiology from the Second University of Naples, Italy. During her doctorate degree, she worked on understanding the mechanism of viral entry for Paramyxoviruses (RSV, Measles, Parainfluenza Viruses), focus of her work was to identify innovative antivirals and vaccines.

Ilaria is now the Inside Sales Assistant Manager at GENEWIZ, a global leader in genomics services. Ilaria joined GENEWIZ almost 2 years ago as Technical Sales Specialist. In her current role, Ilaria has specialized in international and remote sales. She is responsible for driving international market penetration by understanding local markets and regulations, identifying leads and partnership opportunities.

Andrew Kang, PhD

ClearView Healthcare Partners

Andrew Kang is a Senior Consultant at ClearView Healthcare Partners, a premier life sciences consulting firm serving clients in the biopharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics spaces. At ClearView, he leads collaborative engagements with top pharmaceutical, biotech, and healthcare companies by providing strategic decision-making support. As part of ClearView's advisory services, Andrew's teams engage executives on a broad array of commercial strategy issues, including asset and therapeutic area strategy, marketing strategy, franchise and portfolio-level strategy, and business unit/corporate growth strategy. Andrew holds a MS and PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University, where his graduate research focused on the treatment and prevention of traumatic brain injury. He has a BS in Biochemistry from the University of Iowa.

Jun Tang, PhD

Cancer Research Institute

Jun joined the Cancer Research Institute in January 2017 as a senior research analyst in the Institute's Clinical Accelerator program, where he is using his scientific training to help the translation of new immuno-oncology (IO) combination therapies from labs to the clinic. In this unique program, Jun and his colleagues analyze the current landscape of the IO clinical development, identify promising IO combination therapies, collobrate with leading clinical investigators to test these combinations in clinical trials, secure internal and external investment for the trials, and ultimately use the returns from successful trials to fund the future cinical studies. This evergreen model facilitates close collaboration among academia, biopharmaecutial industry, philanthropists, and cancer patients.

Prior to CRI, Jun spent more than a decade as a scientist in immunology and biomedical engineering. He received his bachelor degree in bioengineering in 2005 from Tianjin University and a master degree in biochemistry in 2008 from Nankai University in China. After that, he moved to the U.S. and received his Ph.D. in 2014 from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where he developed nanomaterial-based immunotherapies for cardiovascular diseases and cancer. He then pursued a postdoctoral fellowship at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in 2015, where he developed cancer immunotherapies for solid tumors and imaging probes for nuclear oncological imaging. Jun has published more than 20 peer-reviewed papers, given over ten conference presentations, won eight research awards, and filed one patent.

Jun strongly believes that cancer immunotherapy will revolutionize cancer treatment and save millions of lives.

Assaf Vestin, PhD

BGB Group

Dr. Assaf Vestin is a Senior Medical Writer at BGB Group in NYC, where he develops medical content for healthcare providers in the multiple sclerosis space. Additionally, Dr. Vestin provides strategic insights and competitive intelligence for his team's clients at Biogen. Prior to that, Dr. Vestin worked as a Biotech Equity Research Associate at Leerink Partners, a healthcare investment bank, where he covered 8 large-cap biotech companies, including Amgen, Biogen, Celgene, and Regeneron. Before that, Dr. Vestin worked as a Biotech Equity Research Associate at Roth Capital Partners, an investment bank, where he covered more than 30 micro-, small-, and mid-cap biotechnology companies. Dr. Vestin graduated with a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Stony Brook University and conducted his graduate research at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the Laboratory of Prof. Alea Mills.

Ming Zhao, PhD

The New York Times

Ming Zhao is a data scientist at the New York Times, where he builds machine learning models and data products to improve the business of the world-leading newspaper. Before joining the NY Times, Ming was a research faculty at the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at the Penn State University, where he led several projects to detect tiny signals from exoplanets (planets outside the solar system) and study their atmospheres.

Ming received his BS in astrophysics from Peking University, China. He received his PhD in astrophysics at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. After graduation, he conducted his postdoctoral research at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab before joining Penn State University. He is a recipient of NASA's Michelson Graduate Fellowship and the NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship, as well as several NASA research grants.

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