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MSL Opportunity

PostPosted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:18 pm
by Nathan
Dear Forum Members,

After a protracted job search for a MSL, I am considering asking a well respected scientist and medical doctor who serves on the scientific advisory board for a major biotech company to arrange an informational interview. Through the years, I have developed a relationship with his laboratory and know several former post-docs and professors in his lab. Presently, I am writing a patent on a siRNA for the treatment of fibrotic diseases (eg IPF, kidney fibrosis, liver fibrosis) based on the research I have done. This siRNA has potential uses in the treatment of various cancers for which my PI is not interested because his grants don\'t address questions related to cancer. His research efforts are focused on liver cirrhosis.

Several well respected cancer labs (eg Gil Smith at the NIH, Valerie Weaver at UCSF, and Zena Werb\'s lab) have expressed an interest in my research efforts. Without disclosing all of my findings to them, I am confident that this siRNA has a therapeutic use in oncology and would attract commericial interest based on their advice. I would like to leverage this expertise to gain a MSL position in oncology or GI. At this momment, I don\'t know how to proceed without disclosing too much.

The issue for me in competing for a MSL is that I don\'t have an advanced clinical degree (MD or PharmD). Presently, I am a PhD/MS full time student at Southern Methodist University who is doing his thesis at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center while working full time as a laboratory manager. I have 15 years experience in cell biology and five publications. Two of my publications will be published in the JCB. I was the primary author on both papers while working as a senior research associate.

I am frustrated that my experience has not captured the attention of MSL hiring managers. Further, I just don\'t have the time to apply to a bunch of online ads, followup by phone, and hope that someone reads it who knows what they are looking at. Most likely, my applications are getting screened out by HR who are just looking for credentials and general guidelines given by the hiring manager. I want to cut to chase and see if the MSL option is realistic. Otherwise, I am considering law school and patent law after obtaining a MS.

Is this a reasonable approach or asking too much of the board member? I don\'t want to upset this PI or look unreasonable in my request because my boss knows this PI quite well. The biggest objection that I have faced in my search is that my education and experience is narrowly focused (eg one gene, one protein, or a single pathway) as well as lacking a clinical focus. Any advice on how to proceed with this?