Round Table

Purposeful Paths: First Steps in the Transition to Employment

Got your mind buzzing about what comes after hitting the books or wrapping up that thesis or postdoc? Want to prep for the study-to-job transition? Our speakers below will be here to guide your first steps in job hunting and landing that initial role – making the process not just successful but enjoyable too!

Dive into the life sciences scene, uncovering great opportunities you never saw coming. Tune in, learn from our panel, and kickstart your academic hustle into an exciting and purposeful job journey!

Koorosh Massoudi

Professor at the Research center in vocational psychology and career counseling CePCO UNIL

Transition to Employment

Koorosh is a professor of lifelong career development at the University of Lausanne. He is director of the Master’s program in career counselling, and a member of the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Life Course Research (LIVES). His activities focus on the study of the challenges, risks and resources involved in contemporary career trajectories, and the development of interventions to promote inclusive access to decent and meaningful working conditions.

What do you particularly like about your job? What is your main drive?

The role of work is central in our lives, with significant consequences – either beneficial or detrimental – for our well-being and social inclusion. Having the opportunity to help young workers develop sustainable careers, meaningful to them and valuable to society, brings me a strong sense of purpose in my own work.   

Fanny Sion

Manager at Michael Page Healthcare & Life Sciences

The Job Market in the Life Sciences Field

Fanny is a seasoned recruitment expert in the Healthcare & Life Sciences sector, serving as Manager at Michael Page in Geneva. With a suite of services encompassing permanent recruitment and temporary staffing, Fanny supports organizations in addressing their talent acquisition needs and bridging skill gaps effectively.

With over three years of specialized experience in the Swiss market, Fanny has established herself as a pivotal figure in connecting top-tier talent with leading organizations within the industry. Having spearheaded recruitment initiatives across various domains including Quality, Regulatory, R&D, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Clinical Affairs, and Medical Affairs, Fanny possesses a holistic perspective on the intricacies of talent acquisition within the Healthcare & Life Sciences landscape.

What do you particularly like about your job? What is your main drive?

What I particularly cherish about my role is the opportunity to be a part of someone’s journey towards fulfilling their potential in the Life Sciences field. Every successful placement represents not just a job filled, but a life changed. Whether it’s witnessing the excitement of a recent graduate landing their dream job or supporting an experienced professional in their quest for new challenges, these moments are what drive me forward. My main motivation stems from the belief that by connecting talent with opportunity, I am contributing to the advancement of the Swiss Life Sciences industry and ultimately, making a positive impact on the local ecosystem.

Laure Crabbe-Vert
Opening Ceremony Speaker

Life Science Innovation Manager & Scientific Coordinator at LVMH Recherche

High-Quality Products / Cosmetics

Laure has 25 years of experience in Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry, studying genome regulation, maintenance and stability, and having expertise in human skin physiology.

After a PhD at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (USA) and two postdocs, she became a group leader at the CNRS – Center for Integrative Biology, focusing her research on the role of telomeres in genome organization of human cells. She is now Life Science Innovation Manager at LVMH Recherche, developing projects for in vitro valorization of active ingredients beneficial to human skin. She manages research projects, including international collaborations with both academia and the industry, that encompass all aspects of skin biology.

What do you particularly like about your job? What is your main drive?

There are many things I like about my job! But if I must choose what I like the most, I guess my answer will be the need of creativity. Science is often hypothesis-driven, and not everyone realizes that being creative is a very important and strong asset at this stage. Once experiments are done, we then need to stick to factual information, build from there, challenge our views… Everyday is different and brings its share of learning and discovery. My main drive is the people I work with. Talented, open-minded, passionate and willing to innovate.

Sarah Eubanks

Scientist Cell Biology at KWS SAAT SE & Co. KGaA

Plant Cell Biology

After a Bachelor of Science at the University of Mary Washington and a Master’s degree in Molecular Life Sciences at the Georg-August-Universität in Göttingen, Sarah joined the international plant breeding company KWS.

She was first enrolled as a Molecular Research Intern, dealing with plant cell biology/transformation and biotic stress, and then as a Technical Assistant, working on molecular technologies such as genome editing. She now holds the position of Scientist Cell Biology, focusing her research on double haploid optimization.

What do you particularly like about your job? What is your main drive?

I enjoy that in this job I am continuously learning and challenging my abilities. In everyday activities, I discover more through my research and push the range of my potential. As a team, my collegues and I strive to reach a common goal. Their collective support motivates me to continue to work hard towards accomplishing our objectives.

Jérôme Pellet

Director and Founder of n+p

Nature Protection

A graduate of the University of Lausanne (FBM 1999) with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at EPFL, Jérôme wrote his doctoral thesis in parallel with his first professional activity in an ecological consulting firm.

Two postdoc experiences in Stanford (California) and at the University of Bern encouraged him to embark on an independent consulting activity, putting science and its methods at the heart of the company. In 2013 he founded n+p, a company committed to the preservation of natural resources.

As a lecturer in applied ecology at the FBM, he is now trying to bridge the gap between academic research and the daily practice of an applied ecology consultancy.

What do you particularly like about your job? What is your main drive?

What I like most about my job is the unfathomable depth of everything we still need to discover about the natural world; it is simply impossible to get bored in this field. My main drive is my fascination with nature and the duty I feel to conserving its beauty for future generations.

Stéphanie Braillard

Non-Clinical Development Leader at DNDi

Neglected Diseases

Stéphanie Braillard obtained a Master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Lausanne in 2003. She then worked as a scientist for start-up companies, in the field of anti-bacterial drug discovery and early development of biologics in onco-urology.

In 2011, Stéphanie joined DNDi (Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative), a not-for-profit research organization that discovers, develops and delivers new treatments for neglected patients around the world. Stéphanie started there in the Discovery team, acting as a Project Coordinator and later as a Project Manager for Lead Optimisation and Preclinical projects. Today, she is leading the Nonclinical Development of the DNDi portfolio from preclinical nomination and all along the clinical development.

What do you particularly like about your job? What is your main drive?

What I like the most is probably the daily opportunity to make projects progress within extremely diverse teams, having the possibility (and the requirement !) to be super creative, while at the same time, having to generate strong science.

Christoph Zürcher

Senior Scientist – Global Pathogen Safety Support at CSL Behring

Virus Safety

After a Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and a PhD thesis in Virology at the University of Bern, Christoph did a postdoc at the University of Cambridge, focusing his virology research on the characterization of viral proteins, host-pathogen interactions and immune responses to viral infections, as well as driving innovations in virological assays, cell culture systems and automation.

He then joined CSL Behring, first as a Team Leader Deputy for a chemical quality laboratory, and now as a Senior Scientist. In that latter role, he is responsible for the evaluation of deviations and changes affecting pathogen safety aspects, offers scientific support to R&D and manufacturing projects, and is involved in strategic decisions regarding blood safety and submissions to health authorities.

What do you particularly like about your job? What is your main drive?

What I particularly like is the diversity of challenges and the collaboration between different groups that all have very different responsibilities but a unifying goal. My main drive is the ability to apply my scientific knowledge to safeguard patient.

Sandra Sulser

Innovation Manager at Swiss Food Research
Co-Founder and Partner at Arven Partners GmbH

Nutrition / Microbiomes

After her PhD in fundamental microbiolgy at the University of Lausanne, Sandra first continued her activity there as a Research Fellow and entrepreneur. She was also the Co-Founder and Co-President of Innovation Forum Lausanne, and received the Prix Isabelle Musy 2016 for young female entrepreneurs. She then worked for the Seerave Foundation as a Senior Scientific Project Manager for several years.

Today, she assumes multiple roles: not only is she Innovation Manager at Swiss Food Research, leading and developing innovation groups in the Swiss Agro-Food value chain (among other responsabilities), but she is also Co-Founder and Partner at Arven Partners, active as a lead microbiologist and entrepreneur for mandates. In addition, she is Advisor on technology transfer efforts within the NCCR Microbiomes network, and provides coaching for a deep-tech team in “Bench2Biz” workshops.