Continuing our podcast miniseries from Pfizer’s Annual Postdoc Research Symposium, held this year at our La Jolla research site, we sit down with the next generation of scientific leaders to learn more about what drives their passion to advance research. In this episode, we’ll hear from a few postdocs and their mentors about navigating the transition from academia to industry, the importance of mentors to help prioritize research goals, and their scientific inspirations.
First, we’ll sit down with Joe Brennan, a postdoc in our Inflammation and Immunology Research Unit, based at our Cambridge, Massachusetts, site. Prior to joining Pfizer, Joe earned his PhD at Boston University where he studied immune system signaling pathways in sea anemones. His current work at Pfizer focuses on neutrophils, which are immune cells that can trap and kill microbes.
Then we’ll catch up with Matt Russo, a postdoc in Pfizer’s Centers for Therapeutic Innovation (CTI) and his mentor Shian-Huey Chiang, who leads research projects in inflammatory drug discovery. Matt explains how his mentor has been pivotal in helping guide his research. “There are a million things I want to do and figure out,” he says. “Shian-Huey is great at seeing the big picture and helping to really focus me.”
Finally, we’ll chat with Ella Fung, a postdoc in biomedicine design, also based in Cambridge. Her research focuses on how to engineer protein-based medicines so they can work optimally in patients. “We’re taking a protein that does great things therapeutically, but doesn’t behave very well in the body,” says Ella. “We’re just trying to make it behave better.”
We hope you enjoy listening.