Stacie Bloom on Leaving Academia for a Science Industry Job

In Chapter 9 of 19 in her 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, Stacie Grossman Bloom answers "What Did You Find Most Challenging Transitioning Out of Science Bench Research Into the Field?" Working in a protective university science environment as a post doc, Grossman Bloom finds the greatest challenge leaving the security of the academic culture for outside work. By building a strong working relationship with her boss, Nobel Laureate Paul Greengard, she is able to test an outside opportunity by interning twice a week at Nature Medicine.

Stacie Grossman Bloom is the Executive Director at the NYU Neuroscience Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center. Previously, she was VP and Scientific Director at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS). She earned her PhD in Neurobiology and Cell Biology at Georgetown University and did a post-doctoral fellowship at Rockefeller University in New York City. She earned her BA in Chemistry and Psychology from the University of Delaware.


Erik Michielsen: What did you find most challenging transitioning out of science bench research into the field?

Stacie Grossman Bloom: I think the most challenging thing was getting my mind readjusted to the fact that I was leaving that track. You know, that’s the only track I really knew and then I was entering into sort of uncharted territory. I think also the university is a very protective environment. Nobody is--It’s not like at a law firm where you have x number of years to make partner, and if you don’t make partner, you sort of have a tough decision to make. You can waiver around in a university lab as a post doc for infinity and nobody is ever going to kick you out. So, making the decision to leave a track and leave the security of the university atmosphere, I think was the most challenging.

Erik Michielsen: How did you get over it?

Stacie Grossman Bloom: I just did it; it was like ripping off a band-aid. I did it more slowly than others. I was really fortunate, I was in a laboratory, as a post doc, of a Nobel laureate who was very flexible in what he allowed me to do and let me leave the lab part-time to pursue an internship at Nature Publishing Group. Nature is a great scientific journal and it’s based in New York City. And he let me sort of dip my toe in the water and feel it out. And, I got the internship at Nature and then when it came an offer for a full-time position, it was a little bit easier than pulling off a band-aid.