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Life Science Zurich Young Scientist Network

Zurich Life Science Day 2014


Life Science Zurich Young Scientist Network (LSZYSN) invites you to the 5th annual information and networking event where academic researchers meet life science companies, consulting firms and entrepreneurs.

zlsdprogram (PDF, 211 KB)

The «5th Zurich Life Science Day» takes place on the 29th January, 2014 at the Irchel Campus of the University of Zurich, and will offer:

  1. two parallel sessions on career development topics
  2. a company exhibition
  3. free CV checks
  4. networking opportunities
  5. personal "meet the company representatives" timeslot

Please note: all company meeting slots are now FULLY BOOKED!



Session A

Session B




UZH Career Services

ETH Career Center

Kelly Scientific


Welcoming & Introduction by LSZYSN

Keynote LectureProf.Ada Yonath, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2009, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel.


Coffee Break & Company Exhibition


The Importance of Recruiters in the Life Sciences Realstaffing Pharma & Biotech Recruiting Agency

Nye Bidwell, Director

My CV - Questions and answers

ETH Career Center

Martin Ghisletti, Director

Rahel Chopathar, Project Manager


Building a Career in Academia

Prof. Michael Hengartner, President of the University of Zurich (from February 1st, 2014)

Careers in Non-Governmental Organizations

International AIDS society (IAS)

Dr. Sébastien Morin, Research Officer

Dr. Shirin Heidari, Senior Manager


Cold Lunch & Company Exhibition


Careers in an International Pharma Company 


Dr. Johannes Michel, Associate Director Sales

Dr. Daniela Gunz, Director Clinical Research

Careers in Big Biotech

Biogen Idec

Dr. Natascha Schill Senior Director Medical Affairs


Careers in Big Healthcare Companies

Johnson & Johnson

Seda Alan, Talent Acquisition Partner

Careers in Big Pharma


Dr. Sabine Ledderhose, Medical Director

Dr. Rob Chisholm, Country Manager


Coffee Break & Company Exhibition


Careers in a Global Contract Research Organization

Clinipace Worldwide

Ran Frenkel, Managing Director

Dr. Florian Gebhardt, Clinical Research Associate

Careers in Start-Ups: A Success Story


Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, CEO


How to Successfully Manage an Assessment Center Interview

Department of Psychology of the University of Zurich

Dr. Pia Ingold, Scientific Assistant

A Consulting Career

AT Kearney International AG

Markus Stricker, Partner Dr. Klaus Bredl, Manager

17:30 - open end

Networking Apéro

Speakers and Talks

Prof. Ada Yonath, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry 2009 - The Amazing Ribosome

Professor Ada E. Yonath is the current director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science. She was born in Jerusalem in 1939. Dr .Yonath received her B.Sc. in chemistry in 1962 and M.Sc. in biochemistry in 1964 from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She went on to carry out her doctoral studies at the Weizmann Institute, where she attempted to reveal the high-resolution structure of collagen. She continued working on fibrous proteins (muscle) in her first postdoctoral year at the Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and then moved on to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to study the structure of a globular protein staphylococcus nuclease. After completing her postdoctoral research in 1970, she returned to the Weizmann Institute. There, she initiated and established the first biological crystallography laboratory in Israel, which for almost a decade was the only laboratory for such studies. Then, from 1979 to 1984, she was a group leader with Heinz-Günter Wittmann at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. She was a visiting professor at the University of Chicago from 1977 to 1978, and she headed a Max-Planck Institute Research Unit at DESY in Hamburg, Germany (1986–2004) while conducting her research activities at the Weizmann Institute. In 2009, Ada Yonath was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry, along with American scientists Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas Steitz, for her work on mapping the structure of ribosomes, becoming the first Israeli woman to win the Nobel Prize out of ten Israeli Nobel laureates, the first woman from the Middle East to win a Nobel prize in the sciences, and the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.


Professor Ada Yonath will talk about the efforts, talents and dedications that were needed for her to succeed in science reflected through her scientific career and interesting personal moments. She will share her thoughts on building a career in science and advise young scientists on the next steps in their professional development.

The Importance of Recruiters in Life Sciences

Nye Bidwell, Director

Realstaffing Pharma and Biotech Recruiting Agency

With over 15 years experience in the staffing sector, Nye is an experienced people manager and has been a key driving force in the planning and development of some of the most successful new ventures within the SThree group. Currently an SThree Regional Director in DACH for Real, a global leader in pharma, biotech and medical devices recruitment, Nye has been a key stakeholder in the development of the company's own talent acquisition strategy. Based in Munich, he has experience of working in the staffing sector across Europe, including partnering with many leading pharma, biotech and medical devices organizations.


Aim: to give an overview of the services offered by recruiters and how this can help career development. Four key areas will be covered in the presentation: (1) Overview of Real and SThree (2) How a recruiter works (3) What a recruiter offers (4) Ongoing career support.

My CV - Questions and Answers

Martin Ghisletti, Director ETH Career Center

Before joining ETH he worked in a variety of management positions in Human Resources. At Hewlett Packard Switzerland and AXA Winterthur he was HR Director and a member of the extended management board. Martin Ghisletti has a degree in business administration from the University of St. Gallen (HSG). Martin Ghisletti has an extensive knowledge of the jobs market, and is familiar with what companies think and do as part of their university recruitment and general careers management activities. His valuable skills and experience have been built up on the basis of many performance reviews and interviews, and he is happy to share them with students and doctoral students, both in personal counseling and at events, helping them to plan their careers.

Rahel Chopathar, Project Manager ETH Career Center

Rahel Chopathar was involved in the pilot project ACAP (Academic and Career Advisory Program) at ETH implementing Career Services for students and companies from 2006 to 2008. From 2009 until getting back to ETH where she joined the Career Center in September 2012 she worked as a Project Manager and Deputy to the Director at the EPFL Career Center in Lausanne. Rahel graduated in Architecture at ETH and worked afterwards for several years in the telecommunication industry. Her experience covers Project Management, Marketing and Management Consulting in start-up as well as in well established companies, in particular Red Cube, Orange Communications and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Rahel Chopathar has a broad understanding of ETH and its sister school EPFL as well as the Swiss job market. She is happy to share her experience with students and doctoral students at events as well as in individual counseling to advise them in all career related subjects.


Thanks to a broad recruitment experience and a large number of CV trainings with students and doctoral students, the members of ETH Career Center know about the important aspects of a CV as well as the uncertainties and questions that come up when setting up a CV for the first time. ETH Career Center illustrates these questions with a self-produced video and gives answers and explanations.

Building a Career in Academia

Prof. Michael Hengartner

Michael Hengartner is a full professor of molecular biology and the current dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Zurich. The Swiss-Canadian citizen grew up in Québec City, where he studied biochemistry at the Université Laval. After his PhD studies with Nobel laureate H. Robert Horvitz at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he founded his lab in the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in the USA, where he stayed for 7 years. In 2001 he joined the Institute of Molecular Life Sciences of the University of Zurich as the Ernst Hadorn Endowed Chair in Molecular Biology. He holds an Executive MBA from IMD, Lausanne and is the recipient of several awards for his work in the field of programmed cell death, among them the Swiss National Latsis Prize. In 2010 he received Credit Suisse award for the best teaching at the University of Zurich. On June 24, 2013, the Board of the University of Zurich appointed Professor Michael Hengartner as the new President of the University of Zürich, following his nomination by the academic senate. His four-year term will begin in February 2014.


Michael Hengartner will emphasize the important factors to consider when building a career in academia, by reflecting on his own personal experiences. In addition, as he was part of many search committees for new professors at the UZH as the Dean of the Faculty of Science, he will point out determining criteria for the selection of talented individuals in the academia. Finally, Professor Hengartner will shortly compare careers in the academic and industrial world.

Careers in Non-Governmental Organizations

Dr. Sébastien Morin, Research Officer

Dr. Shirin Heidari, Senior Manager

International AIDS Society (IAS)

Before joining the IAS, Dr Heidari was a researcher at the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and also worked for a national HIV organization in Sweden. She has a doctoral degree in clinical virology from the Karolinska Institute. Dr Morin trained in biochemistry at Laval University (Canada) before completing a postdoc in biophysics at the University of Basel (Switzerland).


The International AIDS Society (IAS) is the world’s leading independent association of HIV professionals. It is a global movement of people working together to end the HIV epidemic. It is located in Geneva, where it interacts with diverse governmental and non-governmental organizations. The research promotion team at the IAS strives to promote scientific research as a critical component of the global HIV response. The research promotion programmes foster high-quality, innovative research across disciplines to help strengthen research capacity, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. The research promotion team operates by highlighting research priorities, mapping knowledge gaps and mobilizing key stakeholders to accelerate research progress. Dr Shirin Heidari, former Senior Manager for Research Promotion, and Dr Sébastien Morin, Research Officer for the Industry Liaison Forum, will share from their experiences in leaving “bench” for “desk”, and provide insights into working for an international organization in the global public health arena. They will also explain how their academic training and research background are utilized.

Careers in an International Pharma Company

Dr. Johannes Michel, Commercial Manager, MSD Merck Sharp and Dohme AG

Johannes Michel studied Food Science and Biotechnology in Vienna at the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences and received his PhD in the field of bacterial Cytochrome P450 enzymes from the ETH Zurich. Johannes joined MSD Merck Sharp and Dohme in 2007 as a sales representative. After 1.5 years of field work and customer experience, he moved to Brand and Customer Management for various specialty products and therapeutic areas and quickly later took the marketing responsibility for one of MSD`s biggest growth products. Since July 2012 he is responsible for the Primary Care sales team in the French speaking part of Switzerland.

Dr. Daniela Gunz, Director Clinical Research, MSD Merck Sharp and Dohme AG

Daniela Gunz joined MSD in 1999 as Clinical Research Associate. She studied Experimental Biology at the ETH in Zürich and made her PhD at the Institute of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology in Zürich in the field of DNA damage recognition. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund in the UK for 2 years before joining the pharmaceutical industry. After almost 15 years in the business, she currently holds the position of Clinical Research Director overseeing the clinical trial activities of MSD in Switzerland.


MSD in Switzerland (local affiliate, international headquarters and manufacturing in and around Lucerne) has app. 650 employees and offers a wide variety of jobs and career opportunities. Johannes and Daniela will discuss their entry into the pharmaceutical industry and elaborate on various jobs in Marketing and Sales as well as the Medical Department. In addition, they would like to show you the possible career moves and employee development at MSD.

Careers in Big Biotech

Dr. Natascha Schill, Senior Director Medical Affairs

Biogen Idec

Natascha Schill joined Biogen Idec in 1996 as a post-doctoral fellow and has worked in multiple roles of increasing complexity and responsibilities. She covered a variety of functions and therapeutic areas, and has been located in different countries (USA, Netherlands and Switzerland) Natascha spent over 10 years in the POandT organization (process development, contract manufacturing, quality, CMC leader of biologics and small molecules, biosimilars development), followed by various leadership roles in the commercial organization (Leader Fumapharm integration, General Manager Fumaderm business unit, Leader ex-US STRATIFY JCV launch). In 2012 she moved into the Medical Affairs organization as the Head Strategic Planning and Operations, Medical Affairs Region EUPlus where amongst others she oversees multiple excellence projects.


Drawing on 17 years of experience at Biogen Idec, Natascha shares what she has learnt in the various functions she has worked in over the years and discusses what it takes to assume a leadership position in a Big Pharma company.

Careers in Big Healthcare Companies

Johnson and Johnson

Seda Alan, Talent Acquisition Partner

Seda is a member of the Talent Acquisition Team of Johnson and Johnson in Switzerland, based in Schaffhausen, recruiting for the Pharma Sector at Cilag AG. Her job and goal is to present the exciting career opportunities within Johnson and Johnson in Switzerland, and in particular to acquire professionals and most importantly a new generation of talent that is passionate and likes to take on new responsibilities. Seda is an experienced Recruiter with more than 5 years of Talent Acquisition expertise, throughout many sectors. She has been with Johnson and Johnson for more than a year now and holds a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Applied Sciences Winterthur.

Dr. Claudio Cescato, General Manager Janssen Supply Chain, Cilag AG (JandJ), Schaffhausen

Claudio Cescato graduated from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ) with a Degree in Chemistry. He received his PhD in Chemistry from the ETHZ in 1996. Also in 1996 he started his career in the Industry in a mid-size Pharmaceutical Company in Switzerland as Manager of the Analytical Department in Quality, later adding responsibilities for QA and Technical Registration. Claudio joined Johnson and Johnson in 2001 as Manager QA for Packaging and Change Control at Cilag in Schaffhausen. Throughout his years within Johnson and Johnson he took several positions with increasing responsibility in the area of Quality Assurance for Biologics and Parenterals and manufacturing operations. In August 2008 Claudio transferred internationally to Janssen in Beerse/Belgium and took the role as Business Unit Director for Steriles and later became the Senior Director Site Quality for Beerse from 2010 until beginning of 2013. He is now the General Manager for Janssen Supply Chain Schaffhausen at Cilag AG.

Wolfgang Epple, Business Unit Director Parenteral Manufacturing, Cilag AG (JandJ), Schaffhausen

Wolfgang Epple, Director Business Unit Parenterals in Janssen Supply Chain Schaffhausen, started his career with Johnson and Johnson in 2006. Before taking his new role as a Business Unit Director, Wolfgang has been Head of the Biological and Parenteral Injectables Production unit at Cilag AG in Schaffhausen for the last six years. His career also includes eight year experience at Sanofi-Aventis in Frankfurt / Main (Germany) and Paris (France). Wolfgang took several positions with increasing responsibility in the area of Quality, Manufacturing and Global Capacity Planning. Wolfgang Epple holds a BSc in Biotechnology from the University of Applied Science Weihenstephan (Munich) and an Executive MBA from the University of Giessen.


Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies in Switzerland is one of the leading health care companies in the world, with more than 275 operating companies located in 60 countries, focusing on three sectors: Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices and Diagnostics and Consumer Healthcare. In this joint talk given by Seda Alan, Claudio Cescato and Wolfgang Epple, the Johnson and Johnson representatives will give an insight into the Johnson and Johnson Family of Companies, combining all three sectors and the various Career opportunities for Life Scientists in the business segments: Pharma, MDandD and Consumer. Claudio Cescato and Wolfgang Epple will especially focus their talks on their first steps into the Business industry after graduation and about what day-to-day working life at Johnson and Johnson is like.

Careers in Big Pharma

Dr. Sabine Ledderhose, Medical Director, Takeda

Sabine Ledderhose studied chemistry and received her PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Göttingen (Germany). After advanced training in quality management she joined the pharmaceutical industry as Regulatory and Medical Affairs Manager. Since then she held positions as Head of Scientific Affairs and Qualified Person in a family-owned enterprise as well as in big pharmaceutical companies. Since July 2012 she leads the Medical Department of the Swiss affiliate of Takeda.


Structure, tasks and responsibilities of the Medical Department of the Swiss affiliate of a global RnD focused pharmaceutical company like Takeda is presented. Opportunities as well as future developments are discussed.

Dr. Rob Chisholm, Country Manager, Takeda

Rob Chisholm graduated with a joint honours Degree in Pharmacology and Immunology from Strathclyde University, Glasgow. He went on to study for a Masters in Biochemical Engineering at University College London. Over almost 20 years working in the pharmaceutical industry he has held various International roles with management consulting firms and big pharma companies including GSK, the UK’s leading pharmaceutical company and Japan’s number one pharmaceutical company, Takeda. Rob is now General Manager for Takeda Switzerland.


Big pharma needs to continually reinvent itself through the application of innovations in medical science. Individuals that understand medical science have an advantage in a highly competitive corporate environment that requires executives to understand how best to invest in the development and commercialization of applied medical innovation.

Careers in a Global Research Organization

Ran Frenkel, Managing Director, Cliniplace Worldwide

Ran Frenkel, Managing Director EMEA of Clinipace World Wide, based in the European headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland. With over 20 years of experience in the life science industry, Ran has excellent knowledge and understanding of its challenges and pressure, and extensive knowledge and contacts of key players in the pharmaceutical development arena. He is known for his ability to work closely with life cycle leaders, leading groups of investigators to best performance. Ran’s career spans experience of working across a large number of companies from the smallest start-up ventures, through Biotech and Medical Device companies to large CROs and drug companies. Ran specializes in performing high-level consultancy to clients in clinical research, operations and regulatory aspects. Ran obtained a pharmacy degree from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel in 1993.

Dr. Florian Gebhardt, Clinical Research Associate, Cliniplace Worldwide

Florian Gebhardt, studied biology at the University of Tuebingen, Germany, followed by a doctorate in biochemistry and some post doctoral work at the University of Queensland, Australia. His PhD research was in the field of Alzheimer’s Research, on the mechanism of abnormal glutamate transport in AD human brain. Florian joined Clinipace Worldwide in June 2012 as a Clinical Research Associate


Tips how to successfully land your first clinical research job. As in many other professions, prior experience is commonly expected; but how can you get experience if nobody wants to hire you? There are many ways to enter the field - From pharmaceutical company, through biotech and medical device to a CRO (Contract Research Organization). However, be prepared to start at an entry-level position. Any background you may already have related to science, medicine, and clinical practice is useful, but for clinical research you will need to learn and master a whole new set of processes based on regulatory requirements before moving up the career ladder.

Careers in Start-Ups: A Success Story

Jan Lichtenberg, CEO


Jan Lichtenberg was the CEO and founder of Advanced Micromachining Tools AMMT GmbH, a company that is the world market leader for speciality wet etching equipment for silicon, glass, quartz and porous silicon. He obtained his Ph.D. in Microtechnology and Microfluidics from University of Neuchatel and became the team leader of the microfluidics and biosensor research group, deputy director of the Physical Electronics Laboratory at the ETH Zurich. Then, he worked as the Head of Research and Development in Uwatec AG (Johnson Outdoors) and Hocoma AG. In March 2009, he started his own company, InSphero AG, which is a spin-off of ETH Zurich and the University Zurich, is supported by Venture Kick and CTIstartup. InSphero is a company that provides solutions to pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies in the fields of oncology and toxicology.


InSphero is a company that provides solutions to pharmaceutical and biotechnological companies in the fields of oncology and toxicology. Using a unique and patent-protected cell-culture platform, InSphero is the first commercial producer of organotypic, scaffold-free, three-dimensional microtissues for drug development and screening. The company’s CEO, Dr. Jan Lichtenberg, will share his experience in starting up a company and the important factors to consider when building a career in start-ups.

How to Successfully Manage an Assessment Center Interview

Dr. Pia Ingold, Postdoctoral Researcher

Department of Psychology of the University of Zurich

Pia Ingold holds a diploma in Psychology and in Economics from the University of Freiburg (Germany) and obtained her PhD from the University of Zurich for her work at the department of Work and Organizational Psychology. She has conducted interviews at assessment centers for more than 300 graduates from Swiss universities, who received extensive feedback on their performance as training for future applications. Since 2011 her main research focus on personnel selection is complemented by applied work in certifying assessment centers of Swiss companies in collaboration with Swiss Assessment and SQS. Pia is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the department of Work and Organizational Psychology at UZH working on personnel selection and self-presentation behaviors. Pia also teaches seminars on industrial and organizational psychology topics such as personnel selection and work motivation.


How to successfully manage an Assessment center is an increasing fear among nowadays-young scientist looking for a chance out of academia. During an Assessment Center interview candidates face different exercises (group discussions, role plays, presentations, etc) that are used by trained assessors to analyze several dimension of the behaviors of the candidates. Pia’s talk will try to address the following hot-spots: What is an Assessment Center? What does a typical day in an assessment center for selection purposes look like? What are the typical exercises? What are the behaviors typically assessed? What can help me to achieve better ratings? What cues can tell me what is actually being assessed?

A Consulting Career

Dr. Klaus Bredl, Manager

Markus Stricker, Partner

AT Kearney

Science x Consulting = Immediate Impact. A.T. Kearney is a global team of forward-thinking partners that delivers immediate impact and growing advantage for its clients. A.T. Kearney has always valued diversity and inclusion. In the words of Tom Kearney, ‘The true strength of this firm, as in any organization, lies in the fact that we are all different. . . . The strength inherent in this firm rests upon these collective and diverse interests. They are all we have.’ Indeed, this principle is also lived regarding consultant’s background. You don’t need to have a business background. Our consultants have very different educational backgrounds, interests, and career pathways. De facto, many of our consultants are MDs or PhDs who have collected professional experience in hospitals, research laboratories or pharmaceutical industry and now transfer their medical and scientific know-how and experience into daily consulting life.

Does Life Science and A.T. Kearney represent a symbiosis? Yes! We offer a stimulating working environment and exciting opportunities for graduates from life science programmes. Typical projects cover the global health eco-system: from optimizing the pharmaceutical value chain via governmental health policy strategies up to creation of new businesses in consumer health and health services. We team with companies across biopharmaceuticals, medical devices, distributors and pharmacies, payers and providers to address their strategic and operational issues. Consulting at A.T. Kearney is characterized by project-driven learning and development, applying a pragmatic and collaborative working style. Our unique culture is an essential enabler for our strategy and supports our consultants in achieving their personal desires and objectives.

You want to learn more about Consulting at A.T. Kearney? We warmly invite you to attend our presentation at the Zurich Life Science Day 2014

Lecture halls and company exhibition

Company exhibition participants:

  1. Biogen Idec
  2. MSD
  3. Celgene
  4. Jobvector
  5. Eidgenössisches Personalamt EPA
  6. Life Science Zurich
  7. Tosoh Bioscience SA
  8. SwAPP (Swiss Association of Pharmaceutical Professionals)
  9. Ruwag
  10. Swiss Re
  11. Humabs
  12. Centre for Information, Counselling and Training for Professions relating to International Cooperation
  13. IMS Health
  14. Promega
  15. Contact Singapore
  16. Hutman Diagnostic
  17. Novimmune
  18. Nikon
  19. Kelly Services
  20. UZH Career Services
  21. ETH Career Services


Registration is now closed. See you at ZLSD 2014 on January 29th!

Pricing Information

Registration costs are as follows (coffee breaks, cold lunch and apéro are included):

Bachelor/Master students: 20 CHF

Graduates / PhD students: 30 CHF

Postdocs: 40 CHF

ETH & UZH Alumni: 50 CHF

Young Professional 70 CHF

External / other: 100 CHF


Weitere Informationen zum Gebäude

By public transport you can reach us via Tram lines 7 and 14 at station «Zürich, Milchbuck» or Tram lines 9 and 10 at station «Zürich, Universität Irchel». You can easily plan your trip at SBB.

By car you can reach us at Winterthurerstrasse 190 in Zurich. There is a parking garage on campus. You may plan your trip with Google Maps.

Weiterführende Informationen

Online registration is now closed

Thank you and see you at ZLSD 2014 on January 29th! Please note that all company meeting slots are now fully booked

Download the ZLSD Program

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