In Chapter 6 of 19 in her 2011 Capture Your Flag interview with host Erik Michielsen, Stacie Grossman Bloom answers "What Do You Believe is the Greatest Long Term Value of a PhD Investment?" She notes that the training required to get a PhD creates a transferable skill set that allows one to solve problems in creative independent ways. She shares how her PhD in cell biology and post doc in molecular neurobiology proved extremely transferable in her career. Specifically, she used the core skills learned during her PhD to become an editor at Nature Medicine and also applies the skills in her role at the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS), which she held at the time of this interview.
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 do you believe is the greatest long-term value of a PhD investment?
Stacie Grossman Bloom: I think the greatest long-term value of a PhD investment is that the training required to get a PhD, what it really, I think teaches you more than a specific niche that you are working on research-wise is it teaches you how to solve programs in creative ways, independently. I think it’s a very transferable skill.
I mean my PhD is in cell biology. I did a post doc in molecular neurobiology. That’s what my PhD is in and that’s what I was trained in. That doesn’t mean that I couldn’t become an editor at Nature Medicine and understand a much broader range of scientific topics. I would say now, even in my current job, I oversee not only life sciences and biomedicine but also now physical sciences and engineering, which was like a foreign language to me, but I think when you have a PhD you acquire skills that allow you to help figure out other areas.