In 2021-2022, accomplished scientists will connect with trainees through a Professionals in Residence (PIR) program, to increase doctoral students/postdocs exposure to a range of career paths that utilize advanced scientific training.   Each of these PIR mentors will engage in a “residency” with QB3-Berkeley, providing their expertise on career exploration and job searching to UC Berkeley’s bioscience trainees.

 2021-2022 PIRs:

  • Faith M. Dukes, PhD, Director of K-12 STEM Education Programs, Office of Government and Community Relations, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Read our interview to learn more about Faith’s career journey, commitment to research and outreach and experiences in science communication and policy.
  • Lydia The, PhD, Partner, McKinsey & Company (management consulting/life sciences consulting)
  • Erin Dueber, PhD, Senior Principal Scientist, Department of Early Discovery Biochemistry, Genentech. Read this interview about Erin’s role at Genentech, and the role of exploration and risk taking in career decisions 
  • Elise A. Kikis, PhD, Associate Professor and Chair of Biology, University of the South (Sewanee). Read QB3-Berkeley’s interview with Elise Kikis to learn more about her career in teaching and research since her time at Cal, and advice for current trainees.
  • Christine Ring, PhD, JD, Secretary of Nurix since March 2020 and as the company’s General Counsel since September 2019. This interview includes really interesting insights into how Chris Ring’s career is at the intersection of science, business and law in biotech.
  • Timothy Day, PhD, CSO and co-founder, DNALite Therapeutics  Tim describes his career transitions – from Kansas to Berkeley to Mission Bay, and from Cal doctoral student to CSO in our exclusive interview.
  • Seth Lieblich, PhD, Principal, 8VC. Seth’s career has touched on multiple aspects of the biotech entrepreneurship ecosystem, including his current role in venture capital. Read about his path and perspectives here.
Dr. Alan Sachs with QB3-Berkeley students and postdocs Oct 2019

Don’t miss this unique opportunity for mentorship!

Quotes from participating doctoral students/postdocs:

  • “A great way to gain perspective from outside of Berkeley.”
  • “Definitely worth the time investment! Great opportunity to learn about a new career path from someone who understands the career dilemmas faced by PhD students and postdocs!”
  • “The Professional in Residence program is an invaluable opportunity for graduate students. If you have ever considered alternative career paths, such as industry, but are unclear how to best set yourself up or acquire the skillsets necessary for after you graduate, what better way than to meet a professional in that field and have an in-person conversation with them? Opportunities like this don’t come along often, and I highly recommend taking advantage of this resource organized by QB3-Berkeley.”
  • If you are interested in simply exploring careers outside of academia, this is a great program to attend. I learned about a position in science policy I would have never known about previously!
  • The PIR program offers a rare opportunity to get face to face time with professionals in your field of interest and ask specific questions that might be challenging to ask over LinkedIn, at conferences, etc.
  • Hearing the honest and insightful perspective of the PIRs is very helpful in guiding me to reflect on my own experiences, goals, and hopes for my career trajectory.

Interested in becoming a PIR? This is what our accomplished scientists are saying about their experience:

  • “My day at UC Berkeley as a PIR reminded me once again about the incredible pool of talent at the University.  The opportunity to encourage them to consider industry as a career choice hopefully provided them with a more balanced view of the professional opportunities waiting for them to explore.”
  • “This was a great experience…the immediate feedback from the students made it very rewarding.”

Our 2020-2021 PIRs were:

  • Jodi B. Yellin, PhD, Director of Science Policy at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Read about Jodi’s work advocating for medical colleges and trainees here
  • Gary Lee, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Senti Biosciences Learn about Gary’s experience and insights on how graduate students can prepare for a career in industry here.
  • Tracy Teal, PhD, Executive Director, Dryad. Read the QB3-Berkeley interview with Tracy on her experience transitioning from doing basic research to working in a nonprofit setting, where she supports the development of improved infrastructure for the greater scientific community.  
  • Mike Holmes, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Ambys Medicines.  Mike reveals his pioneering work in genome editing techniques in gene therapy, and his path from student to industry leader in this interview.
  • Rachel Bernstein, PhD, Editor, Science Careers, AAAS.  Take a look at our featured interview with Rachel, about her journey from science writing to writing about the scientific community.
  • Debkishore Mitra, PhD, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Lucira Health

Our 2019-2020 PIRs were:

For more information about the QB3-Berkeley Professionals in Residence program, contact Rosanne Lurie at