The question PhD students are frequently asked is ‘what will you do next?’. Before I became involved in Evolve Biomed 2015, I thought that if you wanted to stay in science the only two options available were continuing in academia or going in to industry. However, from being involved in Evolve Biomed 2015, I realize that the biomedical landscape is changing and that there are many great opportunities available to early-stage researchers.
With rising research and development costs, alternative ways of promoting biomedical innovation have emerged. Translational research is now key. Big companies, academics and clinicians are increasingly collaborating on projects. Whole centers are now dedicated to helping people develop their own ideas from bench to bedside. Accelerator programs are helping startup companies develop and grow.
A PhD provides a great education in research methods and techniques, however we are often very focused on our own specific topic. What I like about Evolve Biomed 2015 is that it aims to inform early-stage researchers like myself on the biomedical innovations being developed outside our areas, the changing biomedical landscape and where we fit into it.
The speakers come from a variety of sectors including technology transfer, government, start-ups and digital accelerators. These are people that I would not otherwise meet in my normal research life. I think it will be inspiring to hear people from all sectors of the biomedical community give their side of the story, speak about their research and discuss the future of biomedical innovation. I believe having a better understanding of the biomedical ecosystem as a whole and the people involved will allow me to make more informed and educated choices on what direction to go in.
Another feature I like about Evolve Biomed 2015 is the inclusion of smart health as an event theme. We are all familiar with using technology to stay connected to one another every day but how can it be used to improve our health? I have always been interested in therapeutics and I didn't know much about smart health before working on Evolve Biomed, however some of the healthcare technologies being developed in Ireland and abroad are fascinating. I think these technologies will revolutionise healthcare; it will be interesting to see if others agree with me!
I hope to learn a great deal by being apart of Evolve Biomed 2015 and use this knowledge to help accelerate biomedical innovation as I continue in my career.
By Rachel Bermingham
Director of Communications
Evolve Biomed 2015