3 Questions with Natalie Danziger, A’17, Pathology Research Associate, Foundation Medicine

Welcome to “3 Questions with …”, a recurring feature on the Career Center blog. We’re asking alumni of all graduation years and career interests to share a bit of their experiences and advice. 

Natalie Danziger, A’17, Pathology Research Associate, Foundation Medicine

1. In just a few sentences, please tell us about your current job/graduate program/vocational endeavor.

I work as a research associate at a biotech company called Foundation Medicine Inc. that offers genomics sequencing for cancer patients. The goal of my company is to help people with cancer find personalized treatment options to improve their outcomes and quality of life. In my role, I work for a team of pathologists supporting research projects by developing patient data sets, performing analyses, writing abstracts and manuscripts, and coordinating collaborations with academic partners. My particular research focus is breast and gynecologic oncology.

2. How did your time at Tufts influence your career journey?

At Tufts, I majored in Biochemistry and worked in the McVey lab; these two parts of my academic experience really shaped my interest in the research of molecular biology and genetics which has been the common thread of my work experience. My classwork also helped me to develop strong science literacy which has been invaluable as both a reader and writer in my current job. Additionally, my time as an athlete at Tufts was probably the best preparation for the corporate environment among most of my college experiences. The ability to balance individual and group goals and placing a strong value on your own perform for the benefit of your team have helped me be successful at work.

3. What advice would you offer to a student who wants to pursue a career path like yours?

Developing skills across several areas is really key to giving yourself the flexibility to find the role that will fit the best for you. Organizational skills, writing abilities, personal skills, and scientific understanding will all be needed in some combination to be successful in the biotech industry. More broadly, you probably won’t love every job you have after you graduate, but if you can continue to learn about what you like and don’t like and build skills as you go, you will find the right opportunity where you will be successful and professionally satisfied.

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By Malakia Silcott
Malakia Silcott Associate Director