Career Possibilities: Discovery and Research 

In the world of business, careers are no longer linear or predictable. What was once a clearly sign-posted path as you progressed through milestones, a career road map is now circuitous presenting new challenges and opportunities at every bend. Life-long careers in one sector or one company are becoming a rarity as new technologies and shifting social norms disrupt traditional careers. Both employers and employees are seeking more diversity of experience, lifestyle flexibility and alternative paths.

This panel is designed to help you think about your career path and the different options that are open to you. The panel will have an informational interview type feel with panelists sharing their career paths, a look at what their job entails, transferrable skills for those looking to make a change, tips for uncovering opportunities, advice for others, and how to make brave leaps. This panel discussion will be moderated by Elissa Hobert, Senior Scientist at Flagship Pioneering.

Panelists include
- Andy Hurwitz, SVP Head of R&D, Mana Therapeutics
- Kristine McKinney, Director, Target Biology and Translational Medicine, Arrakis Therapeutics
- Karel Otero-Gutierrez, PhD, Principal Scientist, Eisai US 
- Kathy Seidl, VP Immunology, SQZ BioTech
- Lani San Mateo, Head of Product Development for Microbiome Solutions, Johnson & Johnson

Panelists' Bios are Below


Date and Time:  
February 10, 2021
4:00-5:30 PM EST

4:00-4:05pm: Welcome
4:05-5:10pm: Panel discussion
5:10-5:30pm: Small group speed networking (2 rounds)




Members, Students, Postdocs: $5; Non-Members: $15

Given our mission is to promote women's development in STEM we would like to offer a free spot in our workshops to those in transition between jobs or who cannot afford the ticket price. Please contact [email protected] if you qualify.



Check out the other events in this series
1/20: Career Possibilities Panel: New Commercial Strategy, Product Planning, Marketing
3/03: Career Possibilities Panel: Clinical, Regulatory, Development
3/24: Career Possibilities Panel: Portfolio Strategy, Project Management, Scientific Operations
4/14: Career Possibilities Panel: Medical Affairs-Comms, Publications, Medical Science Liaison
5/05: Career Possibilities Panel: Business Development and Intellectual Property


Elissa Hobert, Senior Scientist at LARONDE

Previously, Elissa worked at Moderna, where she focused on improving mRNA therapeutics. Prior to joining Moderna, Elissa was an NIH postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School. Elissa received her BS in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her PhD in chemistry from Yale University. She has volunteered at WEST events since 2015 and was the recipient of the WEST Giving Back Award in 2016.

Kathy Seidl, VP Immunology at SQZ BioTech

Kathy received her Ph.D. in Genetics from Stanford University where she trained in the laboratory of Leonard and Leonore Herzenberg studying B cell development and antibody formation with a focus on autoreactive antibody responses. She then did her postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School, The Children’s Hospital in the laboratory of Dr. Frederick Alt with a focus on DNA rearrangement events that occur during normal B cell development resulting in antibody formation. Since 2000, Kathy has worked in the biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry in preclinical drug discovery and development in both autoimmunity and oncology.  Recently at the end of 2020, Kathy joined Takeda as Head Immuno-Oncology Biology and Translation. Prior, Kathy served as VP Immunology, Research and Development and Strategy, at SQZ Biotech, Watertown, MA where she oversaw multiple cell therapy research programs in the areas of oncology and autoimmunity applying the novel cell squeeze® technology.   Prior positions include bluebird bio in Cambridge, MA and Novartis Institute of Biomedical Research in Basel, Switzerland and Cambridge, MA where she held several positions with increasing responsibility developing therapeutics for oncology and autoimmune disease through small molecule, cell therapy and biologics modalities.  Additional roles in pre-clinical and translational research include Daiamed, Wyeth, and Pfizer where Kathy worked on small molecule and biologic modalities for immune regulation, including selective Jak inhibitors such as tofacitinib.

Dr. Lani San Mateo, Head of Product Development for Microbiome Solutions at Johnson & Johnson

Dr. Lani San Mateo is Head of Product Development for Microbiome Solutions within the World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA) at Johnson & Johnson. In her current role, she is partnering with Janssen R&D and external collaborators to build a pipeline of clinical assets aimed at disease prevention via modulation of the microbiome. Prior to her role in the WWDA, Lani led a Discovery group within Janssen Immunology that delivered numerous New Molecular Entities for clinical development in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Lani completed post-doctoral training at the University of Pennsylvania, received her Ph.D. in Microbiology and Immunology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, her M.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan, and her B.S. in Biology from the University of the Philippines Diliman.