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Mass. Biotechs Give Postdocs a Look at Business

The business Web site Xconomy today tells about a year-old program for postdoctoral researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston that gives postdocs a first-hand look at biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

In Xconomy, Sylvia Pagán Westphal tells about Mass. General’s Post Doc Industry Experience Program. Westphal says there are some 1,100 labs affiliated with Mass. General, and the program gives postdocs at these labs a chance to see the companies up close. The program involves not only tours of facilities, but also meetings with biotech and pharma executives and staff  who can answer questions about careers with these companies.

Scientists in training do not always get much exposure to the business side of science. Westphal quotes Adnan Abu-Yousif, a Mass. General postdoc who founded the program, who says, “Industry is this huge black box that academic trainees haven’t been able to see into.”

Abu-Yousif co-chaired Mass. General’s postdoc association last year and contacted the Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation, which jointly set up the program. Westphal says the program has so far held three rounds of visits for “a dozen or so” postdoc participants.

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