Category Archives: Features

Young Swedish Scientist Reveals Fast-Track Career Secrets

Thomas Helleday in his laboratory, 2009. Photo: Lucas Laursen.

Thomas Helleday was precocious long before he started supervising Ph.D. students as he finished his own doctorate. His mother, a banker, bought him his first stock at age 7. At age 16, the Swedish native volunteered in a cancer ward with his older brother and “was terrified” by the harsh side effects of radiation therapy he saw there. Vowing to do something about it, potentially in the pharmaceutical industry, Helleday studied business and molecular biology as an undergraduate.

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Altared State: The Russian Church Reborn

Bell-ringing has a glorious tradition in Russia. Bells toll for prayers and festivals, and give rhythm to daily life. It can take three years to learn to play them, and one bell-ringing monk calls them “a part of the Russian soul.” So the planned return of St Daniel’s historic bells from America this August, after eight decades of exile at Harvard University, is big news.

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No, You’re Not an Impostor

When a tenured professor admitted in a panel discussion that she had felt like a fraud as a graduate student, Abigail knew exactly what she meant. The professor told the group that she had worried that she’d been let into her graduate program on a fluke and that someday she’d make an error that would blow her cover. She had always believed her peers in graduate school were much smarter despite knowing that she had the best grades of the bunch. “She said that she realised much later that this was completely ridiculous thinking and that obviously she was smart enough,” says Abigail, a Ph.D. student in cell biology. “What she said really spoke to me.”

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Internships Offer Ph.D.s Early Leap Into Job Market

Dalya Soond couldn’t quite picture herself in the buttoned-down world of industry research. But her 3-year Ph.D. program at the Babraham Institute in Cambridge, U.K., was funded in part by an industrial partner, and the terms included a 3-month private-sector internship–also known as a work placement. Two years into her research on a mouse-model study of a gene pathway’s role in the immune system, she joined UCB Celltech. She wasn’t sure how she would fit into corporate culture or how well she would manage to juggle a new project with her ongoing Ph.D. research. “I was a little bit hesitant,” she says.

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