Slide 1: You know you’ve worked in a lab too long when… In this Issue
Edited by Narelle Jay, ABSA NSW
Feature article – The importance of earnest networking
Student Excellence Awards
You know you’ve worked in a lab too long when…
A day in the life of …
VIC state report
QLD state report
SA state report
NSW state report
ABSA SA: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The AusBiotech Student Association (ABSA) links students with industry.
Gain a competitive advantage by becoming an AusBiotech student member today.
www.ausbiotech.org AusBiotech – GSK Student Excellence Awards “... It was a supreme thrill to find out that I was the national winner of the AusBiotech-GSK student excellence award...” Tony Carlisle, AusBiotech-GSK Student Excellence Award, national winner 2009.
Sometimes, while doing our research, tolling away at numerous assays, sample preparation and data analyses, it’s easy to forget why we do it in the first place. The AusBiotech-GSK Student Excellence Awards are one great way in which to remind us how our research and those many hours in the lab are to help society.
The AusBiotech-GSK Student Excellence Awards are aimed at recognising and encouraging promising research students and to raise awareness of research translation and applications.
By entering you get the chance to win a trip to the AusBiotech conference (19-22 Oct 2010, Melbourne). SA winner, Tony Carlisle, was awarded the national prize in 2009 for his work designing an upper body training manikin - allowing medical students to learn how to insert a nasogastric tube into the nose and successfully manoeuvre it down into the stomach.
This year the national winner (to be announced at the 2010 conference) will receive a $7,000 travel grant to be used to present their research at an international conference. In addition, the national winner’s principal supervisor will receive a $2,000 research grant.
To find out more please visit www.ausbiotech.org/studentexcellenceawards. “You get excited when a science sales representative drops in for a visit and gives out free pens” ABSA NSW held a networking hour featuring three prominent members of the science community, Dr Colin Sutton (Director, NewSouth Innovations Pty Ltd), Dr Kathy Kociuba (Associate Director, Baxter Healthcare) and Dr Lisa Springer (Maia Partners & Neuromodics Pty Ltd) who were very forthcoming with networking advice.
Given the majority of jobs in the industry are unadvertised, it is very important to have a ‘foot-hold’ in the scientific community. This may seem like quite a daunting task for those who have found themselves nestled in academia for many years. But this does not have to be the case. Volunteering is an age old way of getting in the right place at the right time. However, just getting to the right place at the right time is not all you will need, it is very important to have the right thing to say.
All of the speakers from the networking night agreed that a 30-second sales pitch on yourself is essential. Meaning, prepare a short and sweet introduction to you and what you can bring to the table. Additionally joining organisations such as ABSA can lead to attending events that put you face to face with leaders in the scientific community.
Mark William King The importance of earnest networking Slide 2: A day in the life of Ben Herbertt MQ VC Innovation Fellow, Macquarie University
After finishing high school, Ben began his career in science working in New Zealand before moving into university studies in the wool industry - combining university study with part-time work studying the proteins of wool fibre. Five years later Ben travelled across the Tasman to Macquarie University and started his PhD studies. During his PhD, Ben was exposed to the commercial side of science, when he and his colleagues began working with Biorad developing protein gel technologies.
In 1999 he and a number of colleagues left Macquarie University and started Proteome Systems. It was here that he learned many important things about starting a new company. Among these were networking and securing contacts, not only in the science field but also money raising, venture capitalists and the legal system. After seven years, Ben moved to UTS, starting a new research team, forming their core proteomics facility. However, even though he was back in academia, he still worked closely with industry, working again with Biorad, where his former contacts from Biorad were helpful in building new working relationships.
Ben is now back at Macquarie University and focussing on his newest venture into the biotech industry, with his new company Regeneus. This company uses stem cells collected from fat cells to treat arthritis. The treatment is focussed on dogs and horses, but the work is slowly being adapted to treat humans as well.
With all this, Ben finds the opportunity to help students not only with their study but introducing them to others in the field and helping build their networks, as well as the chance that he may be involved in the next breakthrough or idea - a rewarding and motivating factor in his interest in science. He also enjoys seeing the end users of Regeneus’ stem cell treatment and seeing how he and his team have been able to improve others’ lives.
Throughout his career, Ben has found that networking and making contacts is invaluable to a successful career. He also feels that, if possible, being able to combine work and study is beneficial and suggests students when looking for work, look around and see if a company will help support or provide further training. The one last piece of advice Ben offers is to be brave and take a chance on something. Industry spotlight Dr Doctor
Q. How important is it for me to get involved in networking events, and how do I do this?
Dr Olgatina Bushi suggests:
Networking is very important for two main reasons, the first is that it allows you to enhance and practise your communication skills. Communications skills are integral to your career whether you choose a research career path or a job within industry. Learning to communicate, informally through networking can prepare you for life within the workforce, where you will need to communicate with a range of people. The second reason is that you can use this to gather information about career options, research, talk to potential employers and meet contacts that may be useful to you in the future. You can start by attending ABSA’s Network Club, an informal event series that aims to assist students with networking.
Have you got a question for Dr Bushi?
Email her at
email@example.com Bioplatforms Australia (BPA) is a not-for-profit company aimed at building networks between Australian universities and the biotech industry. It covers four main areas; proteomics, genomics, metabolomics and bioinformatics. A number of industries are currently supported by BPA and include plant and agriculture research, biomedicine, pharmaceutical research, diagnostics and environmental research.
BPA works in order to help build infrastructure networks and help Australian scientists remain competitive in the international world of science. It also aims to help provide advice and advocacy to Australian life scientists in regards to public policy matters. Slide 3: Hello everyone. It’s getting close to the business end of semester one for undergraduates, so best of luck for everyone’s final assignments and exams this month!
On Friday 2 May we held an industry site visit to the Waite Campus. Numbers were lower than expected but this enabled those who did attend to have more intimate and specialised tours, and had an ideal opportunity to meet our hosts and guest speakers. A highlight was a tour of the exciting new Plant Accelerator. And we enjoyed hearing about lucrative student opportunities.
“The site visit was great as it gave me an insight into Australia's leading agricultural science research cluster with the privilege of meeting some of the field’s leading researchers,” said a Flinders University Student.
Our committee is still growing, however we’re seeking some more University of Adelaide students to contribute; so please get in touch and find out how you’ll benefit.
Chair ABSA SA
firstname.lastname@example.org ABSA QLD Update... Queenslanders already knew that the outcome of State of Origin wouldn't be a surprise, so we decided to run one of our events on the same night! That's right - we ran our first Research to Revenue seminar on Wednesday 26 May at the Institute for Health and Biomedical Innovation at the Queensland University of Technology. Three guest speakers were invited along to speak about their career paths from the bench to business, showing just how research can be turned into a commercial prospect. Tony Webber and Dr Dietmar Hutmacher were very excited at the prospect of sharing their life's work with a good crowd of postgraduate students, who also turned out for the free pizza and the opportunity for some great networking. Last year’s state winner of the Student Excellence Awards, Matthew Cook, was also invited to show students how his research project was entered into the competition and how pitching a plan to commercialise his research won him a ticket to the AusBiotech national conference.Our next Research to Revenue seminar will be hosted at UQ on 3 August. On 5 August, Queensland members can also attend the next AusBiotech breakfast where some great conversation can be shared with the industry over a hot coffee. Finally, this July will see 16 ‘staff’ members, who have been selected, take on the role of BioFutures mentors. We would like to wish all mentors an amazing experience over the week-long forum! If you are interested in seeing what it is all about, feel free to attend the public Keynote Address where Professor Jimmy Botella will showcase his amazing work on genetically manipulating the ripening and odours of fruits. To register for these event, check out the AusBiotech Student Associsation website.
Chair ABSA QLD
email@example.com In our continued efforts to bridge the gap between academia and industry, ABSA VIC launched its first Network Club event for 2010, a group of eager budding young scientists and engineers all gathered at the local pub in Parkville to hear some inspiring and helpful tips regarding networking and all seemed particularly eager to put their newly taught skills into practice. I would like to thank Geraldine Farrell and Tom Williams for their commitment in helping our members, with their inspiring insights. The past month has proven to be quite a step forward for Victoria and as we approach the inevitable exam period of June, I would like to wish our members good luck for all their end of semester assessments, and keep in touch with ABSA VIC as we will be holding our Research to Revenue seminar soon.
Chair ABSA VIC
firstname.lastname@example.org ABSA NSW Update… This month was fruitful for ABSA NSW as we kicked off the first of our social events: the Network Club at the ever-popular Bank Hotel in New Town.
A solid turnout of 20 was drawn by the trio of veteran speakers of Colin Sutton (NewSouth innovation), Lisa Springer (Maia Partners), and Kathy Kociuba (Baxter Healthcare).
With the gears in motion, ABSA NSW is hatching the "Research to Revenue" lecture, which will serve as a prelude to the AusBiotech-GSK Student Excellence Awards for Research. Be sure to keep your eye out for updates on these events on the mailing list news.
Remember as Colin Sutton said:
"Turning up is half the success to establishing a meaningful network“.
Chair ABSA NSW
email@example.com ABSA VIC Update… ABSA SA Update… Slide 4: BioBuzz-a-razzi… Left and below ABSA VIC Network Club Right ABSA NSW Network Club
MC for the night, John Ng in action Left ABSA NSW Network Club (left to right) John Ng, Mark King, Kathy Kociuba, Ting Wai Yiu, Lisa Springer, Colin Sutton, Ascar Yu, Narelle Jay Above ABSA QLD Research to Revenue Dietmar Hutmacher giving advice to ABSA SA members
Left Prof. Tony Weber (CEO of Clinical Network Services) and Alex Selivanova