PhD Pathways in Biotech and Pharmaceutical Industry

Are you curious about the myriad of career paths available in the bioscience industry? Check out the various opportunities and resources below curated specifically for STEM PhDs.

Understand the Drug Development Process

Bringing a drug candidate to the market is arduous process (ranges from 10-15 years) that entails rigorous scientific testing and collaboration with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. Steps in this process include discovery and development, preclinical research, clinical research, FDA review, and post-market safety monitoring.

Learn from GSAS Alumnus:

Timothy Zheng
Chief Scientific Officer at Siduma Therapeutics
PhD ’99, Immunobiology

Click here to view Dr. Zheng’s Keynote Presentation

OCS’s Recommendations: 

Find Your Fit in the Bioscience Industry

Learn from GSAS Alumnus: 

Jeff Chen

Director at BridgeBio

PhD ’20, Immunobiology

Keerthi Shetty

Associate Director at Intellia Therapeutics, Inc.

PhD ’15, MBA, Immunobiology

Elenoe Crew Smith 

Director at Vertex Pharmaceuticals

PhD ’12, Cell Biology

Click here to listen to our panelists’ career journey and insights

Panelists’ Recommended Resources



Katie Smith
Senior Research Investigator at Arvinas
PhD ’11, Biophysical Chemistry

Click here to listen to Dr. Smith’s career journey and insights

OCS’s Recommendations:

Career Diversity in Biotech and Pharma

Bench scientists are just one type of role in the bioscience industry—there are also roles in clinical trials, production, quality assurance, sales and marketing, and more. Listen to this panel discussion and learn directly from alums’ experiences.

OCS’s Recommendation: 

Consider Industry Postdocs

Industry postdocs are an excellent option to network and gain industry experience. Hear from panelists currently in industry postdoc positions about their experiences and get all of your questions answered!

  • Valerie Su, PhD ’20 – Scientist at Sanofi
  • Siyu Feng, PhD ’19 at UC Berkeley-UCSF – Scientist at BridgeBio

Prepare for the Bioscience Job Search

Are you preparing to look for jobs in the biotech and pharma sector? Hear from recent Yale PhD grads and hiring managers about the process of applying and interviewing for jobs in the bioscience industry.

Learn from GSAS Alumnus: 

  • Gayan Mirihana Arachchilage, PhD ’19 – Senior Scientist at PTC Therapeutics
  • Catherine Hofler, PhD ’11 – Director of Research at Emerald Therapeutics
  • Aarushi Gupta, PhD ’20 – Scientist at Moderna

OCS’s Recommendations: 

OCS’s Books & Podcasts Recommendations



By Haofan Li
Haofan Li McDougal Career Fellow