Research Sciences

Do you love science and seek a career in research? This industry consists of alumni with various backgrounds, including both academic and private research. Our professionals have backgrounds ranging from microbiology and epidemiology to physics and chemistry. With such a wide reach, it is fitting that landmark research takes place in different settings, from universities to the private sector, and by people of equally varied backgrounds. The diverse field of research is tied together by a drive for knowledge, and our panelists will be able to share some of their experiences. Come learn from our experienced panelists about the multitude of pathways for continuing your research endeavors in academia and other organizations in your future career.

Panel Participants

Lizette Durand, SB'01, PhD'07, VMD'12 (UPenn)

Veterinary Medical Epidemiologist , US Public Health Service - CDC

Dr. Durand graduated from the College in 2001 with a degree in biochemistry and chemistry and went on to get her PhD in microbiology from the University of Chicago BSD in 2007. While in the College, she was a member of the swimming and track teams. She was also involved in OLAS. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary School, she joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2012. She currently serves as a medical epidemiologist in the Division of Global HIV/TB, where she oversees HIV surveillance programs in multiple countries. She continues to be an active member of the University community by serving on her class reunion committee.

Sarah Jane Quillin, SB'09, DPhil, MPH (Northwestern) expected 2019

PhD Candidate, Northwestern University

Ms. Quillin graduated from the College in 2009 with a Bachelors of Science in biochemistry, a Bachelors in chemistry, and a minor in HIPS (History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Science and Medicine). As an undergraduate, she did biochemistry research under mentor Dr. Marvin Makinen and developmental biology research under Dr. Ivan Moskowitz. After graduation, she worked as a research technician at the College until 2012, studying bacteriology under Dr. Jess Leber and pathology under Dr. Alexander Chervonsky. She is currently a PhD, MPH Candidate studying host-pathogen interactions in the lab of Dr. Hank Seifert at Northwestern University, and recently presented work at the International Pathogenic Neisseria Conference in Manchester, UK. Her research has been published in Molecular Microbiology, Infection and Immunity, and PNAS.

Charlie Semenchuk, AB'01

Sr Manager, R&D Information Research - DevOps, AbbVie

Mr. Semenchuk graduated from the College in 2001 with a degree in psychology. While in the College, he was a member of the varsity football and track and field teams as well as a member of Phi Gama Delta. Mr. Semenchuk has spent his entire career involved in Drug Development research with varying roles from the clinical field to technology solutions. Currently Mr. Semenchuk's focus is on leading the technology solutions for Pharmaceutical Development at a major Biopharmaceutical company in North Chicago. He is married with three children and currently resides in the far North Suburbs. Mr. Semenchuk is still actively involved with the Graduate Board of Phi Gama Delta at UChicago.

Mary Upton, AB'99, PhD'05 (UIUC)

Physicist, Argonne National Laboratory

Ms. Upton graduated from the College in 1999 with a degree in physics. While in the College she played rugby and was active in the Society of Physics Students. After receiving a PhD in physics from UIUC in 2005 she did a post-doc at Brookhaven National Laboratory. She subsequently moved to the Advanced Photon Source at Argonne National Laboratory where she is a beamline scientist. In her role as a beamlime scientist she performs condensed matter research, maintains a beamline, and assists outside users with their experiments.