Career Pathways Communities


Career Pathways Communities, a novel educational model developed as an initiative of our NIH BEST grant and first launched in Spring 2017, are peer learning communities--each themed around one of eight career pathways categories. Each Community is joined by two guest professionals (i.e., a Ph.D. scientist experienced in one or more careers within the career pathway) and facilitated by cBCD staff.

Learning objectives

By the end of the experience you will be able to…

  • Compare attributes of careers within the career pathway
  • Articulate how skills developed in an academic setting translate into the career pathway
  • Identify actions that will enable reaching your career-related goals
  • Reflect on your progress toward goals and seek support where needed

Additional benefits

  • Build connections with a professional in the career pathway
  • Build peer networks that will enable ongoing sharing of resources and experience
  • Support progress toward career-related actions identified in your Individual Development Plan


What are the Communities and when will they take place?

Each Career Pathways Community is themed around a different career pathway category.
Communities in Spring 2020-Fall 2020 are anticipated to be:

Spring 2020
Fall 2020
Research in Academia & Government
Research in Industry
Business & Commercial Development
Academic & Research Administration*
Policy, Legal & Regulatory Affairs
Public Health, Medical Testing & Patient Care
Science Education & Outreach*
Science Communication & Publishing
Science Education & Academic Administration X  









* Combined in Spring 2020.

Professionals joining Career Pathways Communities in Spring 2020

Research in Academia and Government (careers in this category):  
Meeting Times: 10a.m.-12p.m. on May 4, May 20, and June 8
Peter Chien.jpg Dr. Peter Chien, Director at Models to Medicine Center, Institute for Applied Life Sciences, UMass Amherst
Michele Lemons.jpg Dr. Michele Lemons, Assistant Professor, Assumption College
Research in Industry - Group A (careers in this category): 
Meeting Times: 2-4p.m. on May 29; 3-5p.m. on June 8 and June 22
Sagar Kathuria.jpg Dr. Sagar Kathuria*, Principal Scientist, Sanofi Genzyme
Deanna Navaroli.png Dr. Deanna Navaroli Follit*, Senior Scientist II, AbbVie
Research in Industry - Group B (careers in this category): 
Meeting Times: 3-5p.m. on May 21; 2:30-4:30p.m. on June 1; 10a.m.-12p.m. on June 19
Carolyn Duffy.jpg Dr. Caroline Duffy*, Bioprocess Scientist, Cytiva (formerly GE Life Sciences)
Sally Trabucco.jpg Dr. Sally Trabucco*, Senior Manager, Product Development, Foundation Medicine
Policy, Legal & Regulatory Affairs (careers in this category):
Meeting Times: 10a.m.-12p.m. on May 5; 1-3p.m. on May 14 and May 26
Mikayla Thompson.jpg Dr. Mikayla Thompson*, Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs, CMC, Biogen
Chris Pickett1.jpg Dr. Chris Pickett, Director at Rescuing Biomedical Research
Science Education & Academic Administration
Meeting Times: 10a.m.-12p.m. on May 14, May 28, and June 15
Kristen Willems.jpg Dr. Kristen Willems*, Assistant Professor, Regis College
Sean Clarke.jpg Dr. Sean Clarke, Communication Instructor & Biotech Liaison, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

* UMMS student or postdoc alumni

** Due to campus event scheduling complexities in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we do not yet know which date will be Meeting 1 for this Community. Please hold both of these dates/times for now. We will notify you soon with the confirmed date.


Eligibility and process for participation

BBS Ph.D. students: BBS Ph.D. students are required to participate in two Career Pathways Communities: one community in Spring of their third year, and a different community in Fall of their fourth year. The time commitment is estimated to be six hours per semester, along with brief homework to prepare for the meetings. 
To participate: Instructions have been sent by e-mail to request your top three preferences for the learning communities in which you would like to participate in Spring of 2020.

For postdoctoral scholars and advanced graduate students across all graduate programs: Postdocs and advanced students are encouraged to join Career Pathways Communities. Students in a stage of training earlier than third year should not apply. Postdocs and advanced students will be selected based on best fit for this learning opportunity, based on application responses. Update: due to limited resources in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, CPC may not be opened for opt-in participation in Spring 2020. Check back here and watch for email announcements to student/postdoc listservs.

View the archive of past Career Pathways Communities >