Career Center

In the Spotlight: Toufan Parman, Ph.D.

Applying a multidisciplinary education to a fulfilling new career in toxicology

Stanford Affiliation: Postdoctoral Scholar
Department: Hepatology and Gastroenterology
School: Medicine
Non-Profit, Contract Research Organization
Position: Associate Director, Mammalian Toxicology
SRI International, Menlo Park, CA

By the time I did my 4th year of postdoctoral training, it became clear to me that I wanted to work in an industry where I could utilize my diverse and multidisciplinary education away from the bench yet have the opportunity to carry out basic research in toxicology and cancer if I wished to do so.  It was not clear to me where I could find such position.  I utilized all my resources and invested quite a bit of time in learning about a broad range of applications for which my skills and background are suited, and I enjoyed what I found along the way.  The position of Toxicology Study Director at SRI International fulfilled my career objectives and was ideal fit for me at this point in my career.  I am learning a great deal about biotech industry, drug development, writing research proposals, dealing with clients and business in general, while I apply my expertise.  It is rewarding to see that what I do is important and will impact and improve human life in a more immediate fashion. The resources that I found immensely helpful in making this difficult transition from academia to industry were the Stanford Medical School Career Center (SoMCC), the Stanford Career Development Center (CDC), the Association of Women in Science (AWIS) and all those kind individuals in my network.  It is my experience that the most important step in finding a right job is to first determine your short term and long term career goals and make sure this path is one that you truly enjoy pursuing because you are in it for a life time. 

Toufan Parman
July 26, 2005

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