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July 2015

Job Lore: Brianna Sleezer

Job Lore: Brianna Sleezer

Brianna Sleezer, a neuroscience PhD graduate student in the Hayden Lab, is URBEST’s (Broadening Experiences in Scientific Training) first intern that has been matched with a host: The Children’s Environmental Health Network. Brie made things happen by connecting with Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, the Executive Director for CEHN, at a URBEST Career Story. Before Brie left for her three-month internship at CEHN, she agreed to answer some questions for URBEST Job Lore, a new blog category that will help guide URBEST trainees to find their own internships, skill-building activities and future jobs.

Evolution of a Company and a UR PhD Graduate Student

Evolution of a Company and a UR PhD Graduate Student

Career Story Blog Post By Ernest Smith, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at Vaccinex

I entered graduate school in the summer of 1994, a couple weeks after graduating from St. John Fisher College with a Biology degree. I joined UR’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology, which afforded me a wide range of labs to work in. Over the following nine months, I did rotations in labs that focused on Immunology, Virology and Biochemistry. Even as a graduate student, I have always been more interested in developing new technologies than I have been in discovering new biology. I see discovery research as a form of detective work; you uncover the facts, follow the leads and present your case. You don’t change the facts; you just try to understand them. In contrast, I found inventing new technologies exciting because you are changing the reality and making something exist that didn’t exist before. Although building a knowledge base through discovery research and understanding biology well enough to intervene and treat diseases are both critical, I was most excited at the prospect of inventing technologies that are used to solve intractable biology questions.