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Brittany Leigh didn’t plan to become a communications scientist. He studied biological oceanography, focusing on viruses in marine organisms, during his Ph.D., then viruses in mosquitoes during his postdoc. For much of his early career, he envisioned himself on the professional path.

“I was happy: one, participating in interesting science; second, the ability to talk to people about that science; and, third, being able to have the flexibility to create my own schedule. But during my postdoc, I realized that those fundamentals are not unique to being a professor,” Leigh said.

At LifeSci Communications, Brittany Leigh can learn about new research, compile information and write about it, and share it with others, she says, which is all she wants from the become a professor.

Today, Leigh is a senior information director at LifeSci Communications, which provides services to all types of clients – from biotech start-ups to commercial companies.

A realization while alone in the lab 

During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Leigh was a postdoc at Vanderbilt University and, due to limited capacity, worked alone in the lab. “That was my hard and deep look at what I was doing. Read also : Cost of living: ‘Blood, sweat’ for a Seoul food delivery driver. Drying in the lab made me think, ‘Is this where I want to go?’” he said.

Part of what he realized at that time was that what he liked about science was not much of a principal investigator’s job. Most of the PI’s time is spent writing grants and doing technical work, which he knew he didn’t want to do.

Once he accepted that the professional way was not what he wanted, he had to think about what he wanted. He had to think about where else he could use his passion for science.

However, all the lessons he received eventually helped him find what he was looking for.

During his postdoc, he taught courses in teaching and made voluntary public presentations, which taught him to connect with different people and, perhaps most importantly, he taught him to love doing that.

“I started Googling, ‘communication science jobs,’ and I found the site DOCjobs (a job site that lists jobs for scientists, outside of traditional education) and a job at LifeSci was advertised.” He applied – “just to see what would happen” – and eventually found a job he liked.

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‘At the forefront of all this cool science’

At LifeSci, Leigh manages public relations and communications for six people focused on gene therapy, infectious diseases and cancer. This may interest you : Carbon dioxide has been detected around an alien world for the first time.

At any time on any day, he may be writing a press release to explain a company’s information in a simple way, building a website, designing a poster for a conference, working with artists on of videos, or the management of social media, including the use. for specific model tests. He can also write a scientific paper if the company needs that.

His audience includes businessmen, other companies, doctors, patients and the media. “If someone wants to talk to (someone in) the company, they go through me,” he said.

LifeSci tries to hire scientists with writing skills, Leigh said, and train them in the specifics of writing that are needed, rather than hiring professional writers and training them in scientific subjects. The company assigns writers to customers based on the type of scientific expertise needed and the writer’s interests.

He says that he can learn about all kinds of new research, to compile information and write about it, and share it with others, which is all he wanted from being a professor.

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Take time to reassess

“I got to be at the forefront of all these interesting studies and see the transition from conventional science to the bedside,” he said. Read also : These 6 Travel Apps Are A Must Have With This Year’s Chaos.

Importantly, Leigh works remotely, which is important to her. With a partner in the military, Leigh should be free to move around and have time to devote to family.

In school, sometimes your studies can become your life. Leigh says, at LifeSci, that she was able to turn away from that idea. “There are boundaries,” he said, and people value your time.

He said he also knows it’s important to think about what you want and why. “Check yourself and see if you still like what you’re doing, and it’s okay if you don’t,” he said.

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