Two-Part Career Skills Event: Job Seeker Skills for the Private Sector and the Scientific Approach to Investing


As reported in “Harnessing Postdoc STEM Talent to Strengthen Illinois’ Innovation Ecosystem,” October 2015 ISTC Catalyst Newsletter.

Where do postdocs go? Everywhere! It is important to be prepared to enter diverse career paths and be aware of opportunities that await you. To help get started, you’re invited to a special two part workshop presented by RA Capital and hosted by the Leadership Institute at Argonne National Lab. The workshops will cover job seeker strategies in the private sector and introduce you to RA Capital’s scientific approach to investing.

RA Capital Management is a crossover fund manager dedicated to evidence based investing in public and private healthcare and life science companies that are developing drugs, medical devices, and diagnostics. RA Capital researches high interest therapeutic areas and identifies all the relevant technologies on the market or in development, and uses this understanding of a competitive landscape to produce a vision of how the market will likely unfold, determine how companies are positioned to perform, and convey relevance of data to our investment team.

Target Audience: Postdoctoral researchers, Fellows, Graduate Students are welcome to attend. In addition, mentors and supervisors who seek to improve their skills in advising mentees in the job search and career exploration are invited to attend.

Event Information:

Date: Tuesday, April 19th

11:00 AM to Noon: Job Seeker Strategies in the Private Sector.

Noon to 12:30 PM: Lunch and Informal Networking

12:30 to 1:30 PM: Career Path to RA Capital Management

Location: Building 203 Auditorium

Please Register Here  to confirm your attendance. Attendees external to Argonne will be asked to complete a visitor request form to process site access.

For more information on this event, send inquiries to For more information about RA Capital Management visit

About the Speakers: Stephanie Moore, Director of Human Resources, RA Capital Management Stephanie Moore is the Director of Human Resources at RA Capital Management, a crossover fund manager dedicated to evidence based investing in healthcare and life science companies. Her responsibilities include talent assessment and acquisition as well as managing organizational growth and development. Prior to joining RA Capital, Stephanie led recruiting efforts at Aileron Therapeutics and was a Principal at J. Robert Scott Executive Search. She earned her Masters degree from the University of Rochester and Bachelors degree from Boise State University.

Agustín Mohedas, PhD, Associate, RA Capital Management Agustín Mohedas is an Associate at RA Capital Management, a crossover fund manager dedicated to evidence based investing in healthcare and life science companies. He conducts research and analysis of drugs and medical devices for diseases, including Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, and for capabilities such as antibiotics and vaccines. He holds a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M University and a PhD in Medical Engineering and Medical Physics from Harvard/MIT. In his graduate research, he developed small molecule compounds to treat the rare genetic disorder fibrodysplasia ossificans progressive.

Postdoc Skills Lunch: Writing Winning Proposals

Whether you are applying for an external grant, fellowship, or submitting a proposal to the LDRD program, communicating effectively is key to securing funding. Join us on February 17th as Dr. Fred Stafford, University of Chicago, will lead a workshop on writing winning proposals.

This workshop will help postdocs answer some fundamental questions about their research so you can better articulate:

  • What you want to do
  • Why it should be done
  • Why you should be the one to do it

We will cover fundamentals of writing, the meaning of excellence in research, giving and receiving feedback and a “think like a reviewer” exercise.

Participants will be provided the opportunity to sign up for future small group sessions focused on individuals actively writing proposals.

Date: Wednesday, February 17th

Time: Lunch at 11:45 AM; Program from Noon to 1:30 PM

Location: Building 446 Auditorium (Behind the APS)

Please reserve you seat through the Postdoc Program RSVP link.

In preparation for the workshop, please complete this brief exercise that asks you to consider the most important questions reviewers might ask. We will discuss the data during the “think like a reviewer” session of the workshop.

About the Speaker:

FredFred Stafford serves as a consultant for conceptualization and preparation of center-type, multi-disciplinary, multi-investigator, career development proposals, or graduate fellowship applications.

Fred came to the University of Chicago from the National Science Foundation where he spent 12 years as the founding program director for the Solid State Chemistry Program. A hallmark of this program is its cross-disciplinarity and collaborations. Prior to that, he spent 14 years on the chemistry faculty, and a member of the Materials Research Laboratory, of Northwestern University.

Fred received his Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley, and his A.B. from Cornell University. The French government has accorded him the rank of Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Académiques. He has served as vice-chair of the board and chair of the Long Range Planning Committee of the Board for the Chicago Unit, Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.

Innovate with Lab-Corps!


The next Postdoctoral Career Exploration Lunch will provide a chance for postdocs to learn about entrepreneurship, innovation and how the Lab-Corps Program can help launch ideas and broaden your career outlook. Please join us for lunch, learning and networking!

Date: February 18th

Time: Lunch served at 11:45 AM; Program from 12:00-1:30 PM

Location: Building 203 Auditorium

Please confirm your attendance through Postdoc Event RSVP Page.


  1. David McCallum (Argonne Strategy and Innovation Office):                 Welcome and introduction to Argonne Lab-Corps/Chicago Innovation Exchange Collaboration
  2. Wolfgang Connell (Chicago Innovation Exchange): Lab-Corps training methodology and results
  3. Cathy Milostan (ES): Lab-Corps experience and Entrepreneurial Lead for SonicLQ: The Sonic Leak Quantifier
  4. Elina Kasman (XSD): Lab-Corps experience and Entrepreneurial Lead for Dynamic Aperture
  5. Panel Discussion featuring guest speakers and Diego Fazi (Argonne Strategy and Innovation Office, Postdoctoral Alumnus and 2015 Lab-Corps team Entrepreneurial Lead for Frequency Based-Demand Response) and Andrew Senesi (Postdoctoral Appointee, XSD, 2015 Lab-Corps team Entrepreneurial Lead)

About the Speakers:

WolfgangWolfgang Connell is the Assistant Director of Programming with the Chicago Innovation Exchange and a key collaborator with the Lab-Corps Program.


DiegoDiego Fazi is the Innovation Program Coordinator with the Office of Strategy and Innovation at Argonne. The Strategy and Innovation Office is tasked to find new ways for Argonne to attract clients and additional sources of revenue, commercialize lab-developed technology and ultimately benefit the U.S. society and economy. As a postdoctoral appointee, Diego served as the Entrepreneurial Lead for the team, Frequency-Based Demand Response in the 2015 Lab-Corps competition.

ElinaElina Kasman is an X-Ray Optics Fabrication Specialist at Argonne National Laboratory, where she is responsible for crystal optics fabrication activities of the Optics Group, primarily for use in the Advanced Photon Source. Elina has extensive industry experience in manufacturing and start-up environments and has co-founded and led an early Cleantech start-up.  Elina holds an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Elina served as the Entrepreneurial Lead for Dynamic Aperture in the 2015 Lab-Corps competition.

DavidDavid McCallum is a Business Capture Manager with the Strategy and Innovation Office at Argonne and serves as the Argonne Lab-Corps Program Manager.


CathyCathy Milostan is an Energy/Environmental Policy Scientist with the Energy Systems Division. Cathy served as the Entrepreneurial Lead for SonicLQ: The Sonic Leak Quantifier in the 2015 Lab-Corps competition. SonicLQ is a revolutionary technology that uses sound waves to both locate and quantify leakage of air through a buildings envelope.  SonicLQ combines the leakage quantification and all season testing capabilities of blower door testing with the leakage location and flexibility of building size capabilities of thermal imaging.

AndrewAndrew Senesi is a postdoctoral appointee in the X-ray Science Division, and completed his PhD in chemistry and nanotechnology at Northwestern University. His current research interests involve understanding the assembly of nanoparticles into hierarchical structures, and the use of X-ray scattering to characterize nanoscale systems. Andrew participated in the Lab-Corps pitch competition in 2015, working with a team to develop the next generation of energy efficient windows incorporating nanoparticle composite films, which would allow solar heat penetration into a building at during cold weather, but would reflect the heat as the ambient temperature increases. More recently, Andrew has worked with the UChicago CIE Innovation Fund as an IF Associate.






PSA Open Forum

Step Out and Discover: The Postdoctoral Society of Argonne!

2016 has just started, and now is the time to get connect with other postdocs by joining the Postdoc Society of Argonne’s general assembly! The meeting will introduce the new board, discuss upcoming opportunities for the year, and provide an open forum for you, the PSA general assembly. We will discuss upcoming events, but really we want to hear from you. What do you want to see done this year? What do you think the PSA should focus its attention on? What other concerns do you have? We want to hear all of it. As an added bonus, lunch will be provided.

Date: Wednesday February 3, 2016
Time: 12:00 – 1:00PM
Location: Building 213 Conference Room

So we can plan accordingly, please confirm your attendance through the RSVP form.

Postdoctoral Professional Development Lunch and Learn

c92fdc9617b416f01e78f20b0ea95781It’s your career, what’s your game plan?

Do you want to find a career that’s enjoyable and rewarding?  Of course . . . but how do you find the right path, especially when there are so many career directions scientists can follow?  Attend this interactive workshop to learn a logical, step-by-step process for exploring your career options and deciding which will provide the best fit for your own set of skills, interests, and values.  By the end of the session, you will have started your individual development plan (IDP) and set specific goals for taking charge of your career.

Invited speaker, Dr. Phil Clifford, will lead attendees through exercises to address:

  • Assessing career objectives
  • Setting goals to meet objectives
  • How individual development plans can be used in effective career planning

Date: Wednesday, January 20th

Time: Lunch served at 11:45 AM; Program from Noon to 1:30 PM

Where: Building 241, Room D172

Confirm your attendance by completing the RSVP form.

Bonus Homework: Read a collection of articles featuring Dr. Clifford’s thoughts on career planning at Science Careers.

About the speaker:


Philip Clifford is Associate Dean for Research in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.  He is an outspoken advocate of career and professional development for PhD scientists.  In addition to founding the Office of Postdoctoral Education at the Medical College of Wisconsin, he helped initiate national reform by participating in the establishment of both the National Postdoctoral Association and the AAMC GREAT Group Postdoctorate Leaders Section.  He is a coauthor of the widely acclaimed career website, and an accompanying series of career planning articles in ScienceCareers.  He was honored with the NPA Distinguished Service Award in 2012 and was part of the team that received the AAMC’s Innovative Institutional Partnerships Award in 2013.  Dr. Clifford heads an active research program investigating the physiological mechanisms regulating skeletal muscle blood flow during exercise.  His research laboratory has been funded by the NIH, the American Heart Association, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  He is a fellow of the American Heart Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Physiological Society Cardiovascular Section.  He serves on the editorial boards of several physiological journals, and participates on grant review panels at the NIH, NASA, and the American Heart Association.  He is also a consultant in the medical device industry and a member of the Anesthesia and Respiratory Devices Panel at the FDA.