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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Research inspires range of careers outside the lab

by  /  8 August 2017

In the traditional academic career path, a bachelor’s degree leads to graduate school, a Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellowship, a junior faculty position and, finally, tenure. Yet increasing competition for lab positions and funding, among other motivations, has nudged many junior researchers onto roads that lead to alternative careers, from industry and nonprofit work to art and writing.

We asked several former life-sciences researchers why they left academia — and how science continues to inform their career.

The Experts:


Brett Abrahams

Director of preclinical biology, Ovid Therapeutics

Among the many things I considered in my decision to leave academia for industry was how I might maximally affect people's lives.


Greg Dunn

Artist, Greg Dunn Design

My scientific training helped me invent some artistic techniques, and it gave me perspective other artists don’t have.


Stacie Bloom

Assistant vice president for policy and administration, NYU Langone Health

Managing scientific institutions allows for both strategic thinking and a love of science.


James Cusack

Director of science, Autistica

Even more than answering specific research questions, I wanted to ensure that autism research has an impact on people.


Bethany Brookshire

Science journalist, Scicurious

I use my scientific training every day, identifying new research the public should know about.


Steven Roberds

Chief science officer, Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance

In a nonprofit organization, the mission is clear, and it isn’t going to change until we cure the condition.

About Cross Talk
Discussions among leading experts in the field. Submit your questions to [email protected].
TAGS:   arts, autism, education, funding