SWAC’s First Monthly Seminar:


Lauren Neighbours, PhD, RAC

Wednesday, April 29th at 5:30 PM

Bondurant Hall, Rm. G074


     In my fourth year of graduate school, I decided that I did not want to pursue a career in basic research. Once I began exploring different career options at networking events, job fairs, TIBBS-sponsored events, and through reaching out to people at companies in the Triangle area, I discovered regulatory medical writing. I had never heard of regulatory writing before, but the prospect of working to assist companies overcome the hurdles associated with navigating clinical trials, gaining FDA approval, and bringing a potential therapy to market such that it could help improve the health and lives of patients, sounded both challenging and rewarding. Without networking and connecting with people in the industry, I would have never considered translating the problem solving and communication skills I’ve acquired in graduate school into anything other than basic research. This newfound career passion, along with the relief I felt at identifying what it was I wanted to do with my forthcoming PhD, inspired me to delve into the world of science writing.  Science writing is a broad term that encompasses myriad career options, all of which involve interpreting, organizing, and disseminating high-level scientific data and concepts in a way that inspires trust and understanding between scientists and broad audiences.

     I would like to facilitate this career discovery process for others at UNC who are interested in writing and communication, and provide easier access to some of the resources that I initially struggled to find for myself. As Vice President and co-founder of the newly formed Science Writing and Communication Club (SWAC) at UNC, I am extremely pleased to be able to invite science writers and communicators to speak to UNC graduate students and postdocs at our monthly seminar series. Throughout the year, SWAC will host speakers with backgrounds in various science writing disciplines, including regulatory affairs, journal editing, educational science writing, marketing, etc. I am excited for people to explore these different career trajectories and have the opportunity to connect with people in the industry.

     We will be kicking off our seminar series with Lauren Neighbours, PhD, RAC on Wednesday, April 29th at 5:30 PM in Bondurant Hall, Rm. G074. Lauren earned her PhD from the UNC Department of Microbiology & Immunology where she studied the role of Toll-like receptors in arthritogenic alphaviruses, in the lab of Mark Heise. During her time in graduate school, Lauren was involved in several science writing activities, including editing for both American Journal Experts and the Journal of Clinical Investigation, in addition to writing articles for UNC Endeavors. Currently, she works as a clinical research scientist at Rho, Inc, a contract research organization (CRO) in Chapel Hill that guides companies through the clinical trials process, FDA approval, and marketing new therapies. If you are interested in learning more about working for a CRO and regulatory medical writing, please attend SWAC’s inaugural seminar! This meeting is open to both members and non-members. Additionally, if you’d like to stay updated on future SWAC seminars, please follow SWAC’s blog posts or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn! If you have an idea for a blog article, please visit our website and contact us!

Rho, Inc: http://www.rhoworld.com/

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This article was co-published on the TIBBS Bioscience Blog.

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