Christopher Schafer
Genetic, Molecular, and Cellular Biology, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Alumni

Christopher Schafer joined the PIBBS program in 2004 and was mentored by Dr. Robert Maxson. Chris enrolled in the Genetic, Molecular, and Cellular Biology (GMCB) Ph.D. program while at the same time enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration program at Pepperdine University. He obtained both his Ph.D. from USC and his MBA from Pepperdine University in 2011. After completing his degrees, Chris received an NIH Research Fellowship to work at the University of California – Los Angeles. Chris’ advice to students nearing graduation would be to start looking for jobs immediately. Utilize the several resources and workshops available to you for resume assistance. Be sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and start compiling your personal and professional references. Chris learned early on that he wanted to work in industry when he realized his work interests were more aligned with the business-related aspects of science. For students interested in the PIBBS program, his advice is to go online to the PIBBS website and review the faculty and their research focus, try to find topics that interest you, and consider contacting the PI and their post-docs to determine the feasibility of working in this lab as well as the culture. Chris feels that the PIBBS program prepared him for his career by providing him with an in-depth understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms of disease and taught him how to communicate complex concepts to an audience effectively. His favorite thing about the PIBBS program were the rotations. The rotations allowed him to experience a variety of different environments and research topics. He currently works as a Medical Science Liaison – Oncology for Spectrum Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is an Instructor of Biology and Anatomy at Moorpark College.