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After the PhD: Interview with
Dr. Ras Viswanadha is Principal Research Scientist at Zimmer Biomet. As a Research Scientist in the Medical Device Industry, we were excited to be able to talk to her about her transition from a PhD in Biochemistry & Cell Biology (Emory University) to a career in industry.
Dr. Viswanadha decided to pursue an industry position after her PhD because she “was very interested in commercializing a technology or product. Something that went from bench to bedside relatively quickly.” Her first position after her PhD was as a Research Scientist developing concept phase technologies. As a concept phase scientist she conceptualized new ideas to solve a problem, and conducted early phase experiments to show the efficacy of a technology. Dr. Viswanadha then moved into her current role in the Medical Device Industry, where she notes, “my job is to ask one question: is this medical device safe for the patient?”
Like many of our interviewees, Dr. Viswanadha emphasizes the importance of networking, learning to communicate your knowledge to a broad audience, and leveraging your academic experience in industry. In this excerpt, she gives great suggestions for re-framing your transferable skills as PhD, regardless of your disciplinary background. As she notes about her PhD in Biochemistry:
“…although, we really go on to say I have my PhD in Biochemistry, it’s really a Doctorate in Philosophy, not in Biochemistry… So what we really have mastered through those years, is how to ask a question, how to find ways to answer that question, and most importantly, if you don’t know how to answer the question, you know what resources to harness to get answers to that question. So really, it’s the philosophy of learning, the philosophy of problem solving, the philosophy of critical thinking that comes to play in whichever field.”
Watch the full interview to learn more about how you can also leverage your graduate experience into an industry career.
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