WHENOctober 13, 2015 @ 8:00am - 5:00pm



1st SABPA/UCSD Career Development Forum





While conventional research positions in academia and industry remain the most popular career pathways for most postdocs and recent PhD graduates, many postdocs end up leaving the bench and found challenging and fulfilling careers outside of the lab. So why did they decide to pursue a different career? How did they do it? What do you need to do to search and prepare yourself for the career transition? We have invited five panelists who have successfully transitioned into technology transfer, business development, finance, law, and management to share their stories with you in an informative and interactive forum. 


WHEN:        Tuesday, October 13, 2015

                        5:30 – 6:00 PM         Registration and Networking

                        6:00 – 6:30 PM         Dinner

                        6:30 – 8:00 PM         Panel Discussion

                        8:00 – 8:30 PM         Networking & Wrap Up


WHERE:     Rm 1013A/B, Sanford Consortium @UCSD

                        2880 Torrey Pines Scenic Drive, San Diego, CA 92037


Online Link    https://www.eventbrite.com/e/transition-to-non-bench-careers-tickets-18622473319

Registration:         By Oct 11th, 2015

(Online registration is highly recommended, onsite registration might be available.)





Amy Smith, Ph.D., Senior Patent Attorney, GNF


Amy-Smith Dr. C. Amy Smith is a Senior Patent Attorney at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (“GNF”).  She focusses on preparation and prosecution of patent applications for low molecular weight pharmaceutical inventions worldwide.  Prior to joining the corporate world, Dr. Smith was in private practice for several years, working for several international law firms, including Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP.  Before her legal career, Dr. Smith was a scientist with The Dow Chemical Company and Dow AgroSciences.  Dr. Smith received her B.S. from MIT, her Ph.D. from Caltech, and her J.D. from Indiana University.


Killu Sanborn, Ph.D., Director of Business Development, Oxford Finance


Killu-Sanborn Dr. Sanborn has over 20 years of experience in this industry as a venture debt lender and equity investor, banker, executive and entrepreneur. Her previous positions include managing director at Hercules Technology Growth Capital, senior vice president of Comerica Bank, principal/fund manager at IngleWood Ventures, director of Technology Commercialization at Stratagene and vice president of Business Development at Phenogenex. Over the years, Dr. Sanborn has also advised entrepreneurial boards, investment funds and management teams on operational, financial and strategic matters. She received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from Cornell University/Sloan-Kettering Institute. Dr. Sanborn is responsible for originating deals primarily in Western North America.



Peter Haberz, Ph.D., Technology Development Officer, Scripps Research Institute


Peter-Haberz Dr. Haberz received his Ph.D. from the Max-Planck-Institute for Biophysical Chemistry and after a Postdoc at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) in Dr. Peter Wright’s lab, he joined TSRI’s Office of Technology Development, where he facilitates the commercialization of promising TSRI technologies through start-up creation, out-licensing and collaborations with biotech and pharma companies.



Travis Stiles, PhD., President and CEO, Novoron Bioscience




For the past eight years, Dr. Travis Stiles exclusively studied the mechanisms underlying regenerative failure in the central nervous system (CNS).  His work has led to novel therapeutic approaches to conditions such as spinal cord injury, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Stiles’ work led to his co-founding of Novoron Bioscience, Inc. in 2013, which has since raised over $1 million in NIH funding while also in-licensing 2 pieces of intellectual property from University of California, San Diego (UCSD), for which he was the primary inventor. Travis earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Science from UCSD, a M.A. in Exercise Physiology from the University of the Pacific, and a B.A. in Exercise Science from Willamette University


Jack Scatizzi, Ph.D., Head Analyst, Tech Coast Angels


 Jack-Scatizzi Jack Scatizzi received a PhD in Immunology from Saint Louis University and after serving as a postdoc at UCSD and TSRI transitioned from the bench to a more business focused role as the Head Analyst for the San Diego network of the Tech Coast Angels.  As the Head Analyst for SDTCA, Jack is responsible for overseeing the entire deal process for the San Diego network including; recruitment of the best local startup companies, reviewing all funding applications and the internal Due Diligence process for any companies their members are interested investing in.  Additionally Jack has assisted a number of local HiTech with preparing for raising Seed Round funding and was the Chief Operating Officer of SingldOut, an online dating site that tried to bridge the gap between the digital and biological worlds of love by matching singles based upon basic genetic profiling.





Tracy Yeo, Ph.D.,

Dr. Yeo is the Chair of the SABPA Education and Career Development Committee. She is the Managing Director of ChinaBio Consulting, a multinational management and strategy consulting firm focusing on China’s life science industry and beyond.


Sean Xiong Zhang, Ph.D.,

Dr. Zhang is board member of UCSD Postdoc Association and former Director for Exposure to Industry Program, a program dedicated to bridge talented postdocs and the biotech industry. His research focuses on stem cell therapy for degenerative eye diseases such as glaucoma.



Planning Committee


UCSD: Sean Xiong Zhang, Joana Galvao, Joshua Wollam

SABPA: Tracy Yeo, Yahu Liu, Peter Zhu, Xuefeng Zhu