Gaining Insight From Biotechnology Experts

Master of Science in Biotechnology students benefit from personal interactions with Industrial Advisory Board members

This past June, Northwestern Engineering’s Master of Science in Biotechnology program (MBP) hosted its Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) for a two-day summit that allowed Board members to interact with students, catch up with faculty and staff, and evaluate the effectiveness and relevance of the program.

The summit is an annual opportunity for IAB members to share their expertise with the MBP community.

Giulia HindermannCurrent student Giulia Hindermann was one of the students who shared her research with — and got feedback from — a collection of IAB members. She recently spoke about her experience and what she learned from the collection of industry experts.

In what ways did you interact with IAB members during the annual summit?

The event started with a lunch session, where students were able to mingle with Board members. Presentations to IAB members followed, after which we received extensive feedback from the Board members. After presentations, we held a poster session where Board members came up to us to talk about our posters and our research. The event concluded with a dinner/networking session where we again were able to freely mingle with Board members.

What are some of the most important lessons you learned from talking with IAB members?

Some important takeaways were how to properly express and explain what I am doing. Through the extensive feedback we received after the presentation session, I was able to take some important pointers on how to briefly and effectively communicate my work. Also, Board members were able to give important insight into the daily goings on of the Biotechnology industry, which I found very helpful.

What is the research you are focusing on?

My research is focused on understanding how brain circuitry and function are altered by neuromodulators, such as neurotransmitters, peptides, hormones or even gases. Particularly I am interested in the compound serotonin, which is relevant in mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety and its effects on the hippocampus.

How valuable is being able to connect with IAB members to the overall MBP student experience?

I think it is extremely valuable to be able to connect to IAB members during the program. Students who want to enter the industry immediately after this program (as opposed to further schooling) can particularly gain valuable insight from IAB members, learn about the industry and forge important connections for their professional future.