A day in the life

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From the Lab to Catalyze – Susan Barendrecht, PhD

“My ambition to make a larger contribution to society is why I decided to switch to Catalyze, where I come across impactful solutions on a daily basis and meet ambitious people with innovative ideas from across the world. In this position, I can make direct impact by supporting researchers in the development of their road to success, and bringing in the funding they need.”

Looking away from academia 

Reflecting on her PhD career at the Fraunhofer Institute, Susan highlights the importance of this challenging experience for her personal development:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my PhD, it was an important learning experience which helped me to develop my problem-solving and analytical skills. At times, living in another country and being fully responsible for managing my own project was highly challenging, but it taught me to be perseverant and self-reliant. However, it also made me realize that my ambition to cure Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and have a real impact on AD patients was unrealistic.”

Although making important strides in Alzheimer’s research during her PhD, Susan shares how she became motivated to explore new possibilities, where she could apply her skills and expertise on a broader scale.

Susan says, “Although there is an urgent need to answer critical basic research questions about AD before this devastating disease can be cured completely, I realized this field was not the best fit for me. I was looking for a role closer to the market, where I could have an impact on patient’s lives and on society as a whole.”

Read more about Susan’s transition from the lab to Catalyze.