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Rena DesRosiers

Graduation Year: 

2008

I graduated in '08 after working in Alice Cheung's lab.  I still remember my first memories of phenyl chloroform ethanol DNA extraction!  I had my first internship at Dana Farber Cancer Institute in my freshman summer, before sophomore year.  Then I worked in Alice Cheung's lab for 3 semesters and with my recommendations from my professors at UMass did an REU at Harvard Medical School called SHURP: summer honors undergraduate research program.  Back then I was interested in grad school but instead leaned heavily on the idea of working with the degree that I got, plus my internships. It worked out well because my first job was at a successful startup called FoldRx, so successful it attracted Pfizer to finance its lead drug candidate, Tafamadis, and because of that became a Pfizer subsidiary.  After working 3 years in pharma, I came back to academia to get professional skills in molecular biology. Now I'm lab manager, safety officer, and research associate in Jagesh Shah's lab at Brigham and Women's in the Harvard Institute of Medicine.  I'm working on mitosis, among other things, doing research on the spindle checkpoint.  I really like it here. Who knows where I will be in 5 years!  It could be grad school, it could be here, or back into industry!  Thanks, UMass!