Brittany Leigh never intended to be a professional science communicator. She studied biological oceanography for her PhD, with a focus on viruses in marine organisms, and studied mosquito viruses during her postdoc. For much of her early career, she had charted herself on her teaching path.

I loved being involved in cool science. Second, being able to talk to people about the science. Third, I am flexible with my schedule. But while doing my postdoc, I realized that these major things aren’t just about being a professor,” says Leigh.

Courtesy of Brittany Lee

LifeSci Communications allows Brittany Leigh to learn about new research, compile information, write about it, and share it with others. These, she said, were all things she wanted from being her professor.

Today, Leigh is a senior account executive at LifeSci Communications, servicing all types of clients from early-stage biotech companies to commercial-stage pharmaceutical companies.

Awareness while alone in the lab

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Lee was a postdoc at Vanderbilt University, working alone in his lab due to capacity restrictions. “It was a deep, deep look at what I was doing. Being locked in a lab makes me think, ‘Is this really where I want to be?'” she says. Told.

Part of what she realized at the time was that what she loved about science wasn’t actually the biggest part of a Principal Investigator’s job. and performing administrative tasks, which PI knew he didn’t want to do.

After she accepted that the professor’s route wasn’t what she wanted, she had to figure out what to do Did it I want. She had to find other places to harness her passion for science.

But all the training she got helped her identify what she was looking for.

During her postdoc, she took courses in education and gave public volunteer presentations. Through this, she learned how to communicate with different audiences and, perhaps more importantly, that she loved doing it.

“I started a Google search for ‘science communication jobs’ and found the site DOCjobs (a job site for traditional non-academic scientists), which had jobs posted at LifeSci,” she said. I want to see what happens.” I applied, and in the end I got a job that I love.

“At the forefront of all this cool science”

At LifeSci, Leigh is responsible for public relations and communications for six clients focused on gene therapy, infectious disease and cancer.

Draft press releases that describe company data in an accessible way, develop websites, design posters for conferences, collaborate with animators on videos, and manage social media at any time. (including use). For clinical trial recruitment. She might even write a scientific paper if the company needs it.

Her audience includes investors, other businesses, doctors, patients and the media. “If someone wants to talk to someone in the company, they will talk to me through me,” she said.

Rather than hiring professional writers to teach science, LifeSci tends to hire scientists with some writing experience and train them in the required writing details, Leigh said. The company assigns writers to clients based on the type of scientific expertise required and the writer’s interests.

She said she was able to learn about all kinds of new research, synthesize information and write about it and share it with others.

“I get to be at the forefront of this cool science and see it move from basic science to the bedside,” she said.

Importantly, Leigh is working remotely. This is important to her. With her military partner, Lee needs time to roam freely and dedicate herself to her family.

re-evaluate over time

In academia, sometimes research becomes life. Leigh says her LifeSci allowed her to switch from that perspective. “There are boundaries,” she says, and people value your time.

She also said she’s learned it’s important to think about what you want and why. See if you like it, and if not, no problem,” she said.

She pointed out that sometimes we get stuck doing things we used to love, thought we loved, or thought we would love.

“I’m constantly making sure I’m really cultivating what I love, so I can grow in that way.”

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