Cierra Sharp discovered an interest in scientific writing. Her third year pharmacology and toxicology classmate Anna Lang says the session on patent law was one of her favorites. Lang and Sharp are two of the University of Louisville students taking a pilot graduate-level class called “Career Opportunities in the Biomedical Sciences.”

It’s not the typical class. Kevyn Merten is an assistant VP of Research and Innovation who is teaching the class which features 10 weeks of speakers discussing their jobs. Sessions include industry research, law/policy/regulatory, science communications and a resume workshop.

“Because of cuts in federal grant awards, the number of jobs in faculty research are pretty limited,” Merten said. “This class is designed to tell students about other options.”

According to Chris States, director of pharmacology and toxicology graduate education, the class offers students “a chance to do some networking while preparing them for non-academic jobs.”

Andrew Gibb is pursuing his PhD in physiology and is a student in Merten’s class. He hopes to find a job in academic medicine but says he’s glad he heard from speakers that “there are other opportunities out there.”

Julie Gosney expected to become an academic researcher but after hearing a medical writer from Humana talk about her profession, Gosney thinks she might pursue a similar career. “I’m surprised at what I learned” she said.

States says the classes have been a success and he’s planning to continue and expand them into other fields.

Mark Hebert
Following a 28-year career as a radio and television reporter, Mark Hebert joined the University of Louisville as the Director of Media Relations in 2009, serving as the main spokesperson. In 2015, Mark was named Director of Programming and Production. He’s now producing and hosting a radio show about “all things UofL”, overseeing the university’s video and TV productions and promoting UofL’s research operation. Mark is best known for his 22 years as the political and investigative reporter for WHAS-TV in Louisville where he won numerous awards for breaking stories, exposing corruption and objectively covering Kentucky politics. In 2014, Mark was inducted into the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame.