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A Career in Life Sciences

This blog is contributed by Priyanka Kumar, a Grade 11 student.

Dr. Sheldon M. SchusterPresident – Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, California, USA.

Dr. Sheldon M. Schuster
President – Keck Graduate Institute of Applied Life Sciences, California, USA.

In all my experiences with ParentEdge, my most recent one, where I interviewed a person closely linked with a field that I could one day step into, is definitely among my favourites. I was given the opportunity to interview President Schuster of the Keck Graduate Institute, Claremont, California (part of the Claremont consortium of colleges). President Schuster is an expert in Molecular Biology, Protein Biochemistry, and DNA Protein Biosensors, and is a leading figure in the field of Applied Sciences. 

As somebody with a growing interest in Biology, the talk with President Schuster opened my eyes into a whole world of exciting possibilities. The field of Applied Sciences is one that is developing quickly and rapidly. It is buzzing with innovation and invention.What is not so obvious however is that it is the convergence not only of all sciences, but also of economics, finance, marketing and even law and basic social skills.

President Schuster shed some light on the pros and cons of the field and went as far as to detail out the kinds of background qualities required for working in Applied Sciences.

Career Options in the (Applied) Life Sciences

  • Research and Development- both identifying new technologies and converting technologies into useful products
  • Cost management
  • Government interfacing

Academic Requirements

  • A strong understanding of any one of the sciences is absolutely essential for a career in this field. The most successful people in this field, no matter what their actual job, have a strong science background.
  • An understanding of government policies and market trends to be able to bring the cost of products down, and gain approvals from the government.

How to prepare for this sort of a career-

  • Focus on a good background in science
  • Hone your communication skills- writing and speaking
  • Develop quantitative skills
  • Study actively- don’t fall prey to rote learning
  • DO research, don’t be a passive participant
  • Read anything and everything you can lay your hands on

Also Read: The Value of a Liberal Arts Education

These were some of the highlights of the interview for me. However, as you can probably imagine, there was so much more to the talk than just this. From insulin pumps to curing cancer, the field of Life Sciences is poised to revolutionize the field of healthcare.

Check out the Cross Roads article in the current Parent Edge issue for a deeper, more detailed look into careers in Life Sciences!

Interested to know more?


Watch this video of Dr. Sheldon M. Schuster talking about the trends in Life Sciences.



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ParentEdge is a bi-monthly magazine for discerning Indian parents who would like to actively contribute to their children’s education, intellectual enrichment and stimulation. The magazine’s premise is that learning is a continuous process, and needs to happen both in and outside of school; thus parents have an important role to play in shaping their children’s interests and intellect.

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