2020 election cycle thread

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AgelessDrifter, Dec 31, 2018.

  1. Velox

    Velox TZT Abuser

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    Congrats, it's a shit ton of work. I thought you had your PhD already for some reason. Staying in Academia?
     
  2. Kilinitic

    Kilinitic 6,000 feet beyond man and time

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    Thanks. It was a lot of work. When I started my degree I thought it would be easy. I really underestimated the amount of work required. I have very mixed feelings about getting the degree rn, but have been told that isn't out of the ordinary. Some regret in spending 5 years of my life on it. I do not plan to stay in Academia, although my adviser + department chair + many others strongly encourage me to do so. If the pay was better and there was more security that would be the dream. I'm actually feeling pretty depressed about everything rn.

    I'll probably end up working for one of the big 3 (Qiagen, Cepheid, BioFire) that dominate the market for rapid + automated POC nucleic acid testing. In all honesty, I'm just about the most desirable person in the world to those three companies (from an engineering + science R&D standpoint). After a talk I gave two years ago, one of the CEOs told me I have a standing offer to work in any R&D capacity I would like when I graduated (either in a scientist, engineer, math/stats, or programming position). I'll probably end up taking a scientist job there in the end. I don't particularly want to work for any of them, but the pay would be nice, the work easy, and I think I'd make a notable positive impact in the field. I've also received (unprompted) a few job offers from local companies but they're all for pretty standard fair molecular assay design projects and I have concerns about the permanence of the positions (a lot of biotech companies right now have fallen into copious amounts $$$ bc of covid and its all about to dry up). I wish there was an interesting startup to work for or something. DNA/RNA diagnostics kinda sucks, because it hasn't even really became "mainstream" yet and the market is already heavily monopolized by a few large, increasingly inflexible corporations.
     
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  3. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    I am happy for u (+ ur new iphone) :oldsmile:

    pls give us hot biotech stonk tips as you progress through the industry
     
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  4. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

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    So what you're saying is yolo everything into QGEN
     
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  5. Kilinitic

    Kilinitic 6,000 feet beyond man and time

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    I think QGEN in general isn't a bad buy... I own some QGEN stock. That entire market is going to go up, but all of the companies are heavily invested in (or owned by companies invested in) other areas of research + diagnostics that could have a downturn that fucks w/ the $tocks. Some ppl claim that Qiagen straight copied their rival's platforms, though. Everyone thought thermofisher was going to buy them back in 2020 but that deal fell through. Cepheid was first to market by quite a bit of time and is the only company that has a device that is technically approved for POC testing. The others can only do "near POC" testing. BioFire has certainly had the most transformational impact on the market/diagnostics as a whole in the last several years, but is owned by a large french company. you could buy their stock, too. I've said it b4, my fav stock is thermofisher.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
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  6. Kilinitic

    Kilinitic 6,000 feet beyond man and time

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    COVID has been great for the molecular diagnostics market as a whole, but the market for automated POC molecular diagnostics hasn't really been impacted by coronavirus. Not to say COVID hasn't been incredible for PR for the field and these companies. It's just that the companies listed above have been growth-limited by manufacturing since the very beginning. There just isn't much automation involved and its complex. That's a large part of why you don't see (or didnt preCOVID) POC testing in smaller community clinics yet, either. These companies are all very smart with well thought out business plans. Their salesforces only initially targeted large (and now midsized) hospital systems because those sales are the most efficient, and the demand is much higher than the supply. So instead, in response to COVID you have a bunch of (1) other large diagnostic companies trying to use covid to finally carve a niche in the space before the pandemic ends (e.g., Abbott's "ID NOW" platform) and (2) a bunch of borderline-completely-fraudulent startups using the pandemic to sell garbage and get $$ from investors.
     
  7. Velox

    Velox TZT Abuser

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    Yeah, I've heard that the academic situation in the life sciences is rly difficult with many people going through several temp postdoc positions. On the engineering side in Europe it's mostly 2-4 years of postdoc and then you are either in or out. One nice thing in AI currently is that the hype is so big some companies allow you to do academic research and occasionally even publish. Even some start-ups do this. I believe Ageless is in one of those? That way nets you a bit of both worlds, but it was pretty unusual until 5 years ago. I don't know if there is anything comparable in the life sciences atm?

    Still, you learned a lot and got a fancy title. I think a PhD in *tech/science is a worthwhile experience even if it's not a net win in pure $ terms.
     
  8. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    I am, yeah
     
  9. Kilinitic

    Kilinitic 6,000 feet beyond man and time

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    I have a degree in engineering, so it isn't really comparable to someone with a degree in molecular biology or biochemistry. Those people have a real hard time finding jobs whether in academia or industry. As far as looking for a job in academia, I think it's pretty similar here for engineering or life sciences. After 3-5 years of postdocs you should pretty well know whether you'll even have the chance of a tenure track position. I don't want to be poor for another 3-5 years so that I can get a professorship where I'll initially only make like 80k (which is tolerable but not gr8). Also, if I take a postdoc position it will be a pay cut vs my graduate school salary, which is a hard sell.

    As for publishing, if I got a job in R&D publications are expected as the norm whether you're part of a large company or startup. I can still publish whether I get a job in engineering, biomath, or as a scientist. But it isn't really the same though and is much more applied. Right now, I do basic research that I then apply 2 develop new design paradigms/methods/tools and demonstrate proof of concept stuff. I can't do that in industry. In industry my publications will be more about developing/validating/exploring new instruments + clinical trials from a commercial perspective. Not particularly exciting, but not the worst.
     
  10. Velox

    Velox TZT Abuser

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    I thought the life sciences / medical engineering were very hush-hush with trade secrets and stuff. My impression is that it's not that common that you get to publish in an industry R&D position even in engineering. I know some people even at big American corporations that don't publish even though they have some kind of R&D/scientist title.
     
  11. Kilinitic

    Kilinitic 6,000 feet beyond man and time

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    I think in general that is correct, but I don't really know. However, in molecular diagnostics there are still a lot of certain types of publications, and even more in rapid/POC diagnostics. In the last couple years (particularly moreso now bc COVID) everybody wants rapid POC molecular diagnostics. But in the last decade commercial entities really had to fight tooth and nail to get clinicians to accept the idea and change the fundamental philosophy surrounding diagnostics. For a long time the focus has been on algorithms (deciding who is tested) as the best front line practice in diagnostic medicine, and that ideology has been problematic in regard to regulatory pathways, insurance reimbursements, and even adoption of rapid testing techniques by clinicians. It isn't obvious or objectively true that rapid POC diagnostics = good and demonstrating that has been a huge FDA and clinical hurdle. That might play into why so many proprietary platforms and commercial test assays get published in some form--because historically there wasn't a lot of acceptance and it wasn't thought to be useful outside of research. The MD who runs the biggest molecular diagnostic laboratory in my state told my adviser ~20 years ago that nucleic acid diagnostics would never be a thing.

    A lot of new instruments are described in publications with sometimes surprising detail, but of course there are important particulars that are not disclosed. New commercial assays are almost always published in some form. New applications of nucleic-acid testing are just about always published as proof-of-concept studies by companies (often in collaboration with some clinicians but driven by the companies). Many particulars might not be disclosed and are secret but articles are still occasionally published in top tier journals. A more recent phenomenon is that the rapid automated POC companies publish epidemiology-type studies. Their platforms often report back all the test results automatically to the companies (deidentified) and provide a plethora of epidemiological data that has never before been accessible at the same scale, so they publish based off the data. These include more traditional epidemiological studies, but also include things like application of ML for predicting yearly+seasonal variation in flu activity etc.
     
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  12. Kilinitic

    Kilinitic 6,000 feet beyond man and time

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    Rapid frontline nucleic-acid testing as part of an initial diagnostic response seems like it makes a ton of sense rn, but even 5 years ago at any talk on the subject at least 20% of MDs during Q&As were really using the platform to scoff at the idea and say it was a complete waste of time. It really had to be pushed on a medical community that was unwilling to embrace it and taught that such testing is an enormous (and potentially dangerous) waste of resources.
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  13. BanedenHR

    BanedenHR TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    wait this isn't spamalot
     
  14. TulionKT

    TulionKT Spamaton Will Rise Again

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  15. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard Lord

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  16. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard Lord

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  17. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard Lord

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  18. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard Lord

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  19. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard Lord

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  20. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

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