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Science Lives

Science Podcasts

Science Lives provides information about lesser-known careers that rely on a science education and scientific way of thinking. Scientists working in these fields tell us about their jobs and the personal journeys that led to them. Science Lives strives to be both informative and inspirational, providing reassurance to those unsure of what their next steps are and where they will lead


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Science Lives provides information about lesser-known careers that rely on a science education and scientific way of thinking. Scientists working in these fields tell us about their jobs and the personal journeys that led to them. Science Lives strives to be both informative and inspirational, providing reassurance to those unsure of what their next steps are and where they will lead




Rachel Kline, Science Engagement with People of Faith

In this episode, I speak with Rachel Kline, Program Associate for the Dialogue on Science, Ethics, and Religion at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rachel entered college at MIT thinking she would be an astrophysicist, but when her physics classes didn’t resonate with her, she changed her major to neuroscience. After earning her bachelor’s, she went to graduate school in pharmacology at Boston University. After passing her Ph.D. qualifying exams, she realized that she...


Vay Cao, Marketing Manager

In this episode, I speak with Vay Cao, Senior Marketing Manager for Natera, a molecular diagnostics company. Interested in science at an early age, Vay studied microbiology as an undergraduate at Penn State University, and then neuroscience as a graduate student at Brown University, where she earned her PhD. But her deeper interests lay more at the intersection of art and human behavior, and so although her first job was as a field application scientist, she soon transitioned into customer...


Melanie Peffer, Science Communicator

In this episode, I speak with Melanie Peffer, the best-selling author of Biology Everywhere. Melanie earned both a BS and a PhD in molecular biology from the University of Pittsburgh, and was poised for a career doing academic research. While in graduate school, she began volunteering at a local zoo and became intrigued in how students learn scientific concepts, and this prompted her to switch fields for her postdoc to study educational psychology. She then landed a tenure-track research...


Joseph Mocanu, Global HealthTech Impact Investor

In this episode, I speak with Joseph Mocanu, Founder and Managing Director of Verge HealthTech Fund, a venture capital fund investing exclusively, and globally, in impactful healthcare technologies at the earliest stages. Joseph attended the University of Toronto both as an undergraduate and graduate student, earning a BSc in molecular genetics and molecular biology and a PhD in medical biophysics. During graduate school, he also served as Director of Research and Development for a medical...


Thomas Lentz, Scientific Instructional Designer

In this episode, I speak with Thomas Lentz, Scientific Instructional Designer at Promega Corporation, a supplier of reagents and instrumentation for life science research. Growing up, Thomas had a strong interest the natural world, and, while an undergraduate at Texas A&M, discovered that he really enjoyed molecular biology and virology. He continued following these interests while a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and assumed he would eventually do research as a...


Alexis Katsis, Relationship Manager

In this episode, I speak with Alexis Katsis, an infectious disease expert working freelance as a Relationship Manager. From an early age, Alexis wanted to be a scientist, and in college studied biology, earning a BS in biotechnology from Rutgers University. After working for two years, she decided to get a MS in public health microbiology to access jobs having a greater impact. Afterwards, she worked at the Centers for Disease Control, but again returned to school, this time to earn a PhD in...


Lauren Shields, Professional Services

In this episode, I speak with Lauren Shields, Head of Solutions Delivery at Benchling, an R&D cloud software company headquartered in San Francisco. Growing up, Lauren always wanted to become a scientist and a professor. She majored in biology as an undergraduate at MIT, and went to graduate school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she earned a PhD in biomedical sciences. However, along the way she discovered that although she enjoyed the intellectual aspects of science,...


Myeashea Alexander, Anthropologist and Science Communicator

In this episode, I speak with Myeashea Alexander, The Rockstar Anthropologist. Anthropology and science communication and outreach have been long-term interests for Myeashea. In her role as The Rockstar Anthropologist, she writes a blog about science, culture, and anthropology; runs a mobile bone lab for schools and youth groups which provides a hands-on learning experience that includes forensic anthropology, archaeology, history, math, art, and culture; and produces a video series on...


Yamilée Toussaint Beach, Dance Technologist

In this episode, I speak with Yamilée Toussaint Beach, Dance Technologist and Founder and CEO of STEM From Dance. Based in New York City, STEM From Dance gives underrepresented minority girls the awareness and preparation for a STEM education through the creative and confidence-building aspects of dance. Yamilée grew up on Long Island, and although she considered becoming a professional dancer after high school, she instead enrolled at MIT, where she earned a BS in mechanical engineering....


Ro'ee Gilron, Industry Scientist

In this episode, I speak with Ro’ee Gilron, Lead Scientist at Rune Labs in San Francisco. Growing up in Israel, Ro’ee was an avid reader of science fiction and popular science literature. After graduating high school and completing his compulsory military service, he attended Brandeis University, attractive due to its focus on liberal arts, and earned a BS in neuroscience. He then returned to Israel, where he received a PhD in cognitive neuroscience from Tel Aviv University, afterwards...


Janet Chao, Ocularist and Anaplastologist

In this episode, I speak with Janet Chao, an ocularist and anaplastologist with a private practice in Las Vegas, Nevada. Anaplastologists provide custom, non-weight-bearing prostheses for patients who have suffered loss of anatomy due to injury, disease, or congenital origin, and ocularists deal specifically with the fitting and fabrication of artificial eyes. In college, Janet majored in bioengineering and minored in chemistry, but struggled to see where these would take her professionally,...


Melanie Stegman, Biochemist and Video Game Developer

In this episode, I speak with Melanie Stegman, Assistant Professor at the Center for Advanced Entertainment and Learning Technology at Harrisburg University in Pennsylvania. Melanie was interested in biochemistry from an early age, and worked in biochemistry labs while earning an BA in political science. After college, she started writing a story about Amy the Amylase, intending to make molecular cell biology less scary for everyone. To get the biochemistry right in her stories, Melanie...


Janae Carrothers, MESA Program Director

In this episode, I speak with Janae Carrothers, MESA Program Director at Spokane Falls Community College in Washington. MESA stands for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement, and is an academic preparation program that supports pre-college, community college, and university-level students from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Janae has a BS in biology education and an MS in zoology, both from Washington State University, Pullman. Growing up “in the woods” in rural Washington,...


Gaëlle Batot, Project Manager

In this episode, I speak with Gaëlle Batot, Project Manager for ARUP Laboratories, a national clinical diagnostic reference laboratory. Initially planning on going to medical school in her native France, Gaëlle didn't pass the entrance examination and so instead trained to become a laboratory technician. This lead her to graduate school in Grenoble, where she earned a PhD in structural biology, followed by postdoctoral fellowships in the United States. While volunteering for the postdoc...


Mark Beaman, Winemaker

In this episode, I speak with Mark Beaman, Winemaker for Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery in Sonoma, California. After growing up on a farm in rural Washington, Mark attended Whitman College, where he focused on geology because it combined his love of science, being outdoors, and being physically active. After earning a BA in geology-environmental studies, Mark spent two years in Africa as a Peace Corps Volunteer. Needing work after returning home, he took a job as lab technician at a winery in...


Madison Rice, Medical Illustrator

In this episode, I speak with Madison Rice, Medical Illustrator at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. Madison was life science major in college, earning a BS in microbiology from Mississippi State University. Building on her long-time interest in art, in her junior year she also began taking art classes to satisfy a minor in visual art. She then completed a two-year master’s program in Biomedical Visualization at the University of Illinois, Chicago before beginning...


Glenn Watson, Medical Science Liaison

In this episode, I speak with Glenn Watson, Medical Science Liaison at LivaNova, a medical device company. Glenn was a Psychology and Neuroscience double major at the University of Delaware, and earned his PhD in neuroscience from Pennsylvania State University. During graduate school, he had an internship in the Technology Transfer Office, and as a postdoc at Duke University had a fellowship in the Office of Licensing and Ventures. While looking into other non-academic career options, he...


Jayla King, Undergraduate Student

This episode breaks from the usual format in that I will be interviewing someone who has not yet begun their career as a scientist. My guest today is Jayla King, a senior at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. When she graduates in the spring, Jayla will be the first person in her family to have earned a four-year degree. In high school, Jayla focused on engineering, including completing college-level coursework, and presumed she would continue studying engineering in college. However, once...


Mallory Mintz, Intern Scientist

In this episode, I speak with Mallory Mintz, Intern Scientist in the National Park Service’s Scientists in Parks program. A first generation college student, Mallory graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geology, and then worked for several years as a research assistant at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. She left that position after the pandemic hit, and moved across the country to the Olympic Peninsula for her current internship. In this episode, we’ll talk about her passion for...


Morgan Merriman, Instructional Designer

In this episode, I speak with Morgan Merriman, Instructional Designer at the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences at the National Institutes of Health. Interested in science at an early age, in high school Morgan became particularly intrigued by research and the scientific method, which led to her studying biology and working in a lab in college. She went to graduate school expecting to earn a PhD in Neurobiology, but ultimately decided that she was more interested in...