Dave Jensen writes the popular "Tooling Up" column for monthly career tips and techniques on the AAAS Science Careers website. In addition to his work for the AAAS, his monthly column "Managing Your Career" has been visible in biotech industry trade journals for twenty years. His column ran for twelve years in BioPharm and is now in each issue of Contract Pharma where he is Contributing Editor.
Mr. Jensen has published over 300 articles on management and personal development topics for these journals along with regular features in Genetic Engineering News and various magazines published by the American Chemical Society or the American Society for Microbiology. Mr. Jensen has delivered seminars and workshops in industry meetings internationally, including keynote presentations at career events held by the National Cancer Institute, Johns Hopkins University, UNC Chapel Hill, Vanderbilt, University of Rochester, UCSF and the California State University Program for Education and Research in Biotechnology (CSUPERB).
Dave Jensen is Managing Director at Kincannon & Reed, a top global retained search firm in the life sciences. Previously, he was founder and Managing Director of CareerTrax Inc. (CTI, Sedona, AZ). Prior to the launch of CareerTrax in 2001, Jensen was the CEO of Search Masters International, a biotechnology executive search practice founded in 1985. Prior to 1985, Jensen established a life sciences practice for Govig and Associates (Phoenix, AZ). He is a board member at ProActive BioProducts Inc. and on the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Commercial Biotechnology.
I work for Synopsys, Inc., a world leader in providing software, intellectual property, and design services for semiconductor design, verification, and manufacturing. I am currently a Senior Design Consultant, using my knowledge of my company's software to help semiconductor companies solve their design challenges on a contract basis. I've been with my company for nine years, although there was one short gap in in my employment after a corporate merger. This position represents a significant career change for me, as my previous experience includes six years teaching chemical engineering and four years serving as a chemical process engineer in a major nickel/copper metal refinery.
I began my academic studies at the Colorado School of Mines, earning B.S. degrees in both chemistry and extractive metallurgical engineering. After a stint at the nickel plant I returned to school, getting a Master's in chemical engineering from Lamar University. I then continued on to the University of Texas for my doctorate, which was earned under the direction of Keith Johnston. A one-year post-doc with Joe DeSimone at UNC-Chapel Hill preceded my faculty appointment at the University of Toledo. I was previously licensed as a Registered Professional Engineer, but have allowed my license to expire.
I am a neurobiologist working in R&D at a large biopharma company in Europe. Before moving to industry, I completed a Ph.D. in Spain, my home country, and a postdoc in Canada as an EMBO Fellow. During that period I was very active in advocacy, trying to improve working conditions and career development training for postdocs. I then survived a complicated job search that combined the tricky postdoc-to-industry transition with the challenges of a long-distance job search. This took me to my current job in neuroscience drug discovery at UCB Pharma in Belgium, where I help projects progress through the initial stages of their development. Following my interest in open innovation and collaborative business models, I head the Technology and Innovation efforts at the Dravet Syndrome Foundation in Europe, a non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for a severe form of childhood epilepsy. I'm also very interested in professional development and have been a member of the Science Careers forum under different pseudonyms since I was a graduate student.
During my Ph.D. studies in Immunology, I was recruited to a startup company. After a few years the company ran out of cash, but I was fortunately able to join a different startup, as the first person employed by the company. That company grew and now has products registered in Europe and the United States. Working for small startups has given me experience working with multiple different tasks, including research, clinical studies, regulatory affairs, intellectual property, and sales, amongst others. After a few years as the head of a small research group in the second startup, I was recruited to my current position working for a U.S.-based biotechnology company as their head of research and development at a site in Europe. The company is currently expanding relatively quickly in different parts of the world. I have a wife and three children, so I have some experience combining career and family life, as well as a good understanding of the complications that working across different time zones adds to this.