In a Perspective published in the American Society for Cell Biology journal Molecular Biology of the Cell, Associate Laboratory Director for Biosciences Mary Maxon reflected on her unconventional career path from a PhD in molecular cell biology, through diverse roles in academia, industry, nonprofit, and government, to her current position.
“Earning a STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics)-related PhD means developing a deep, specialized knowledge in a specific scientific or engineering discipline. And it also forces you to develop multiple conceptual and methodological approaches to address complex problems. These assets, especially the latter, are useful in a wide variety of disciplines,” she wrote. “For me, the ability to apply the scientific method and the evidence-based decision-making skills I learned in graduate school have been essential components for my success in a wide variety of positions in a number of research-related sectors.”