The scientific ecosystem in India is ever-expanding, and more opportunities than ever are present today for those who wish to build their careers in science. The “Crafting your Career” webinar series by IndiaBioscience has explored several such career paths in addition to providing the requisite knowledge, tools and techniques for science graduates to navigate and craft their career paths.
In the final webinar in this series, we plan to host an interactive panel discussion that delves into issues that are critical to the process of career development but are seldom spoken about. This includes the need for professional career guidance cells, common skill-gaps in hiring, and the best ways to handle career transitions, setbacks, and failures. Through this session, we plan to open up the conversation around science careers and encourage participants to broaden their horizons as they begin or continue their own career exploration journeys.
For this webinar, we will be joined by distinguished panellists Satya Prakash Dash, Founding & Former Head Strategy, BIRAC & Board Member, Venture Center, Pune; Sandhya Koushika, Associate Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai; and Suman Govil, Ex Scientist H and Sr. Adviser, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.
This session is suitable for anyone with an interest in science careers, including current researchers and science professionals, as well as students who are currently pursuing or have recently completed a BSc, MSc, or a PhD in any life science field.
Satya Prakash Dash
Founding & Former Head Strategy, BIRAC & Board Member, Venture Center, Pune
Satya Dash has contributed over the last decade to build and nurture a vibrant biotech and medtech innovation ecosystem in India. He was the founding & former Head of Strategy Partnerships & Entrepreneurship Development & In-Charge Head IP & Technology Transfer at BIRAC — the nodal biotech innovation agency in India where he conceptualised, designed & implemented 17 national programs & international partnerships. He also built >12 partnerships for BIRAC, led BIRAC’s communication strategy & authored several BIRAC reports. Cumulatively these programs have funded and supported more than 1500 startups. He was the Director of Global Innovations at PATH where he built a healthcare innovation acceleration platform for clinical validation and adoption for deeptech startups. He was also the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ABLE and Consultant to Longitude Prize/Nesta UK and IIM-Bangalore. Currently, he is a member of the Board of NCL-Venture Center, Pune — India’s largest S&T innovation incubator. He is also Advisor to Pandorum Technologies (in tissue & regenerative medicine), SciTal (education), Cygenica (drug delivery), Nerd Tools Foundation (education) amongst others. He holds triple masters from the University of Cambridge UK, University of Leicester UK and Sambalpur University Odisha India and a PhD from University of East Anglia Norwich UK. He is a Chevening Scholar (1998) & US-IVLP Recipient (2020).
Associate Professor, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai
Bio: Sandhya Koushika did her BSc in Chemistry and MSc in Biochemistry in MS University, Baroda and received her PhD at Brandeis University where she used genetic approaches to study the neuronally expressed RNA binding, ELAV, in Drosophila. She did her post-doctoral fellowship at Washington University School of medicine in the area of synaptic transmission and axonal transport using C. elegans as a model system. She continued her investigations into neuronal trafficking problems in her lab first at NCBS-TIFR and later to DBS-TIFR. She has engaged in community building activities like organizing the first two Young Investigators’ meetings, expanding the crèche & training/mentoring people working at the NCBS crèche, organizing the 1st Indian C. elegans meeting and more recently involved in COVID-19 related science outreach. Trainees from her lab have gone on to a variety of careers in academic environments, industry, science communication, science editing and entrepreneurship.
Ex Scientist H and Sr. Adviser, Department of Biotechnology
Suman Govil obtained her MS. Botany (Hons.), MPhil in Botany and PhD from Delhi University. She was involved in key policy decisions and important initiatives of the Department of Biotechnology for 36 years (from 1982 to 2018) in the area of human resource development, preparation of strategy documents, extramural research funding and competitive grant reforms. She was also instrumental in initiating post graduate teaching programmes in biotechnology, formulation of model course curriculum, online student feedback system, online national level exams for selection of students for DBT JRF, skill development programme to create industry ready manpower to help students in funding suitable placements. She spearheaded a programme for nurturing excellence in science at undergraduate level under the Star College Scheme. She initiated a blog on Opportunities and Concerns in Biotechnology for students and faculty in Life Sciences. She has written a number of book chapters and books, including Disha: A Career Resource Book for Life Science and Biotechnology Students.