The 2013 Biomedical Career Development Workshop was held on June 28th, 2013 and hosted by the University of Toronto’s Departments of Biochemistry and Immunology. Videos for each of the workshop’s plenaries and sessionals are linked below.

For a complete listing of the workshop’s events and sponsors, download the PDF 2013 Biomedical Career Development Workshop.

Success in Academia

Navigating through competitive academia, lab management, collaborations, grants, teaching, and administration. How would you optimize your chances of achieving a successful academic position? What are some of the grants available to you after graduation? How did these successful academics achieve their appointments? What are their secrets?
View the videos.

Optimizing Your Scientific Career

How to cultivate essential skills during graduate school and throughout their careers, such as problem-solving, project management, communications, leadership, multi-tasking, collaborations, perseverance, analytics, and initiative. How would to identify your weaknesses and strengthen these skills. Why are you in graduate school? What do you hope to achieve during your training? Which skills would you like to develop? How do you think you can cultivate these skills during graduate school? How do you find your career aspirations? How do you keep developing these skills?
View the videos.

Success Outside Academia

Nonacademic pathways available, how to find the hidden job market, how to land the job and how to succeed as a nonacademic scientist. How would you shift a postdoctoral fellowship geared towards a nonacademic career? What is the hidden job market? How would you find out more about nonacademic jobs?
View the videos.

Career Transitions Throughout Life

Skills to develop for career transitions throughout life’s changes such as the effects of relationships, finances, marriage, children, aging parents, re-entry after childrearing, company restructuring, grant losses, and retirement. If money was not an issue, what would you research on and why? How did you transition with childrearing or other family responsibilities? If you decided to be a full-time caregiver, how would you stay connected to science? What are some of the career issues facing PDFs and scientists today? View the videos.

Research Ethics and Intellectual Property

What ethical issues do you see arising from any part of your research? (as a student or PDF) What kind of international standard should a researcher be aware of? What issues arise from intellectual property, copyright, patents, publications, and collaborations? What should the industry scientist be aware of on a daily basis (good notebook keeping, data storage) to use the data for patent or IP issues in the future?
View the videos.

The Importance of Mentorship

Importance of mentorship, impact of mentorship in future career, mentorship programs. Importance of the PI/student or PI/postdoctoral fellow relationship, how to find a mentor, training the future mentor/PI. If you were a PI/mentor, how would you help your student with a career plan if they wanted to pursue a) academia or b) outside academia? How could students find mentors outside the department?
View the videos.

Choosing the Best Postdoc and Preparing for the Job After

Special PDF training alternatives, what a PI looks for, what a current PDF plans are. How would you shift from an academic PDF to apply for nonacademic job after? What are the differences between the nonacademic and academic job search? How do you prepare the CV/resume accordingly?
View the videos.


Vice President of Life Sciences Ontario (LSO), Matt Buist discusses the Biotechnology sector in Ontario.
View the video.


Dr. Reinhart Reithmeier, PhD

Professor, former Chair of Dept of Biochemistry at University of Toronto

Reinhart Reithmeier is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, where he was Chair from 2002-13. An award-winning lecturer, Dr. Reithmeier is also known internationally for his research on the role of membrane proteins in health and disease, with a focus on anion transporters. Evolving graduate education to meet the needs and career aspirations of today’s students is one of his top priorities.

Dr. Avrum Gotlieb – MDCM, FRCPC

Interim Vice Dean, Graduate and Life Sciences Education, Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean, University of Toronto Professor

Avrum I Gotlieb, founding Chair of the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology (LMP), Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, (1997-2008) is currently Interim Vice Dean, Graduate and Life Sciences Education and Senior Academic Advisor to the Dean. He is a former President of the American Society for Investigative Pathology and served as Vice-President for Science Policy for the Federation of American Societies of Experimental Biology (FASEB).  As Chair he initiated an innovative and unique undergraduate arts and science Specialist Program in Pathobiology. Over the years student mentorship has been an important part of his activities. He has presented career talks at several national and international scientific meetings and venues.  Professor Gotlieb’s research interests include atherosclerosis and valvular heart disease. He is the past co-Editor of Cardiovascular Pathology, and serves on the Editorial Board of The American Journal of Pathology (AJP) and Laboratory Investigation.

Dr. Justin Nodwell, PhD

Professor, Chair of the Dept of Biochemistry, University of Toronto

I first became interested in biology as a teenager when, by chance, I watched a stop-action film of dividing plant cells on television: it was a moment that changed my life. The idea that there is such incredible order to life at the microscopic level was (and still is) something I find incredibly fascinating and it’s what drove me to consider a career as a scientist. As an undergraduate, I studied genetics and biochemistry which lead to a PhD at the University of Toronto where I investigated a mechanism of gene regulation in bacteriophage lambda. As a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, I became interested in the streptomycetes bacteria where I investigated a mechanism of cell-cell signaling involved in sporulation.


Dr. J.C. Zúñiga-Pflücker, PhD

Professor and Chair Department of Immunology, University of Toronto Canada Research Chair in Developmental Immunology Senior Scientist Biological Sciences, Sunnybrook Research Institute

Juan Carlos Zúñiga-Pflücker received his B.Sc. in 1987 from the University of Maryland, and continued with his PhD studies in genetics and immunology at George Washington University. He is a senior scientist in biological sciences in the Odette Cancer Research Program at Sunnybrook Research Institute, as well as the chair and professor in the department of immunology at The University of Toronto.

Dr. Nana Lee, PhD

Coordinator of Graduate Professional Development, Dept of Biochemistry at the University of Toronto, former Director of Application Science, DNA Software Inc.

Dr. Nana Lee holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Toronto, a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan and was a Visiting Scholar at Whitehead (Broad) Institute for Biomedical Research, MIT with the world’s leading group of the International Human Genome Project. Her roles in the biotechnology industry include Senior Research Scientist for Ellipsis Biotherapeutics Inc. and Senior Research Scientist, Product Manager and Director of Application Science for DNA Software Inc. She brings her valuable expertise as an industry scientist and mother of three back into academia as she is currently pioneering the addition of professional development in biomedical graduate education. Along with Dr. Reinhart Reithmeier, she developed and implemented the innovative Graduate Professional Development (GPD) course in the fall of 2012 for the Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto. Future courses and programs are planned for 2014 while she currently coordinates and leads other GPD activities during her maternity year. She resides with her husband and three daughters in Toronto.