Propel Careers

January 27th FILS Event: Overview of Life Sciences Career Paths 

January 28, 2016 
by Lauren Celano 

On Wednesday, January 27th Propel Careers, MassBio, and MassBioEd hosted the 1st FILS (Futures in Life Sciences) event in the 2016 series. The event focused on Overview of Life Sciences Career Paths area. Lauren Celano moderated the panel, which included the panelists Naina Bhasin, Ph.D., who is the Director of Business Development at Shire Pharmaceuticals, Dominic Yee, Ph.D., an Associate at Lando & Anastasi, LLP, Arushi Agarwal also an Associate at Health Advances and Ken Olivier, Ph.D., a Global Head of Nonclinical Development at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals. Each panel member shared their career path, insights for their specific area, as well as advice for current graduate students and postdoctoral fellows looking to work in their area. All FILS event are held at the MassBio Offices (300 Technology Square, 8th Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139) from 5:30-8:00pm. About 80 people attended.

More about the FILS Series:
Propel Careers, MassBio, and the MassBioEd have joined together to organize a series of networking and panel events focused on raising awareness of career paths that exist in life sciences for individuals with advanced degrees. This Futures in Life Science program will bring together experts across a wide range of disciplines and functional areas within the life science industry, who detail their roles and provide a rich context for the audience to gain a clear understanding of the skills, aptitudes, competencies, and personalities that thrive in their particular functions. Attendance for this program is open to current graduate students; post doctoral fellows, and medical residents who are interested in careers in the life sciences industry.  The event will focus on the various career options within the regulatory, clinical, and medical affairs areas.

Full FILS 2016 Series Event Schedule: All events held at MassBio Offices, 300 Technology Square, 8th floor, Cambridge MA 02139 from 5:30-8pm.
Wed Jan 27th 2016: Overview of Career Paths in Life Sciences Industry

Tues Feb 23rd 2016: Overview of Consulting Career Paths in the Life Sciences Industry.

Tues March 22nd 2016: Commercialization 1 (i.e. Marketing, Alliance Management, Business Development, Product Management) Career Paths)

Tues April 26th 2016: Career Paths in Research and Development I: (i.e. Chemistry, Biology, Pharmacology / Toxicology, Intellectual Property)

Tues May 17th 2016: Career Paths in Clinical, Regulatory, and Medical Affairs

Tues Sept 27th 2016: Career Paths in Big Data

Tues Oct 18th 2016: Commercialization II (Reimbursement, Pharmacoeconomics, Patient Advocacy, and Market Access)

Tues Nov 15th 2016: Career Paths in Research and Development II (Preclinical Research, Clinical Biomarker Development, Research Operations / Finance, Project Management)

Jan Panel Bio’s
Naina Bhasin, Ph.D., Director, Business Development, Shire Pharmaceuticals
Naina is responsible for the identification, evaluation, and execution of business development opportunities related to assets, technologies, and companies that support the Shire rare disease strategy. She joined Shire from SciFluor Life Sciences, an early stage drug discovery company located in Cambridge, MA, where she served as Vice President of Business Development. Prior to moving to Boston in 2012 from Research Triangle Park, NC, she served as Vice President of Business Development and Operations at The Hamner Institutes and Director of the Hepatic Research Registry at CellzDirect, Inc. (acquired by Invitrogen/Life Technologies/Thermo Fisher). Naina earned her BS in Cell and Structural Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a PhD in Cell and Developmental Biology at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She recently completed a two-year term on the board of the Boston Chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association as Director of Corporate Relations and is a mentor for the MassBio MassCONNECT program. She previously served on the NCSU Poole College of Management Biosciences Industry Advisory Board, the NC Association for Biomedical Research Board of Directors, the Research Triangle Environmental Health Collaborative Executive Committee, and the Bellan Contemporary Dance Theatre Board of Directors. In 2012, Pharmaceutical Executive recognized her as an emerging pharmaceutical industry leader.

Dominic Yee, Ph.D., Associate, Lando & Anastasi, LLP
Dominic brings his diverse experience in organic synthesis, molecular imaging, nanotechnology, and industrial drug development to L&A’s Biotechnology and Pharmaceuticals Group. He assists in the preparation and prosecution of patent applications, infringement opinions, due diligence reviews, and general intellectual property counseling, specializing in the areas of pharmaceuticals, chemistry, and biotechnology. Prior to joining L&A, Dominic was at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, where he worked on solid dosage form development and the evaluation and incorporation of promising drug delivery technologies. He was a postdoctoral research fellow with Nobel laureate Roger Y. Tsien, working on new strategies for directing therapeutic and imaging agent delivery to cancer sites. Dominic was instrumental in building the Sames molecular imaging program at Columbia University and in 2005 earned the ACS Medicinal Division Fellowship for developing novel fluorogenic reporter probes and assays for monitoring cellular redox processes. Dominic has a JD from Suffolk University Law School, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Columbia University and a B.S. in Chemistry/Biochemistry, magna cum laude and Departmental Honors with High Distinction; minor in Music, from UC San Diego. He has authored scientific research articles in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of the American Chemical Society, ACS Chemical Biology, and Journal of Physical Chemistry
Arushi Agarwal, Associate, Health Advances

Arushi Agarwal is presently an associate at Health Advances. In her role, she is a team leader in the Diagnostics & Personalized Medicine practice at Health Advances. Her projects focus on working with diagnostics companies with novel tests and platforms, as well as pharmaceutical companies who are trying to take a more personalized approach to therapy development, to assist with product development and commercialization strategies. She has been fascinated by the rapidly growing shift in the industry towards more precise and personalized care, and see diagnostic testing and solutions as a critical part of achieving this goal. Before Health Advances, she was a business analyst at Arthur D. Little Inc.. She has an M.S., in Biomedical Engineering from Columbia University and a BS in biology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ken Olivier, Ph.D., Global Head, Nonclinical Development at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals
Kenneth J. Olivier Jr., PhD, is the Global Head of Nonclinical Development at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge, MA. Dr. Olivier obtained a BS in Toxicology from the University of Louisiana at Monroe and a PhD in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences from Oklahoma State University. He has worked for over 13 years in Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical companies, including Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Biogen, and GlaxoSmithKline developing small molecules and biologics for indications in cardiology, neurology, immunology, infectious disease and oncology. His publications include evaluations of toxicity related to novel therapeutics in immunology and oncology, such as interferons, bispecific anitbodies and targeted liposomal nanotherapies. Dr. Olivier has chaired/co-chaired/presented symposia annually over the past 12 years, covering topics such as safety pharmacology, stem cells, computational modeling, antibody-drug conjugates, and the art of clinical dose level selection. Most recently, he joined join the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Toxicology (2013) and has been elected to the American College of Toxicology (ACT) Council. Ken has pledged to continue his support of the program and promise for excellence in safety assessment and risk management in the improvement of the quality of life for all patients.

Lauren Celano, MBA, Co-founder and CEO, Propel Careers
Lauren is the Co-founder and CEO of Propel Careers, a life science search and career development firm focused on connecting talented individuals with entrepreneurial innovative life sciences companies. Lauren is very passionate about working with individuals with strong scientific backgrounds to find exciting growth opportunities in the life sciences industry. Before Propel, she spent about 10 years in life sciences working with companies to advance drug molecules through SNBL USA, Aptuit, Quintiles, and Absorption Systems. She has a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Gettysburg College and an MBA with a focus in the health sector and entrepreneurship from Boston University. Lauren is on the Board of MassBioEd, the Advisory Board of the Boston University School of Public Health Pharmaceuticals Program, and the Advisory board for Endicott College Boston. She also serves on the programming committee of the Capital Network.

About the Organizers
MassBio - MassBio, a not-for-profit organization that represents and provides services and support for the Massachusetts biotechnology industry, is the nation's oldest biotechnology trade association. Founded in 1985, MassBio is committed to advancing the development of critical new science, technology and medicines that benefit people worldwide. Representing over 600 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, research hospitals, and service organizations involved in life sciences and health care, MassBio works to advance policy and promote education, while providing member programs and events, industry information, and services. To learn more, visit:

MassBioEd - The Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation, founded in 2001, is a non-profit charitable organization committed to supporting science and biotechnology education in Massachusetts through school programs, workforce training, and lifelong learning.  MassBioEd is closely affiliated with the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council and helps the Council in fulfilling its goals to nurture the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) pipeline in Massachusetts. To learn more, visit

Propel Careers - Propel Careers is a Boston based life sciences search and career development firm founded in 2009 to foster entrepreneurship and to cultivate leaders in the life sciences industry. Propel recognizes the importance of job creation and career development opportunities to the success of the industry as well as to next generation of industry leaders. The mission of Propel Careers is to make connections that fuel innovation, and we do this through placement, networking, coaching and mentorship. To learn more, visit


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