There comes a time when all graduate students and post-docs in the life sciences face a daunting decision that will shape their career path. They can continue down the academic route or they can seek a job in industry.
If you’ve ever visited Tokyo, you’ve likely passed through the imposing Tokyo Station, a thriving hub of interconnecting commuter rail and subway lines. It’s fascinating to watch the flow of people at rush hour — every individual navigating the hallways with intent focus to ensure they catch their train on time. You see competition for space, but also cooperation so that everyone reaches their destination. Navigating Tokyo Station for the first time can be intimidating. But with a bit of experience (at least in my case), it can be an energizing endeavor.
Forty years ago, life science entrepreneurs didn’t have nearly as many resources as they have today. The biotech industry was just blossoming. And for the first time, university researchers were exploring the idea of commercializing their discoveries.