Rob Kallmeyer, PhD, teaches psychology and ethics courses for nurses in training at Christ Hospital.

Kathy Crable translated her PhD in biochemistry into a successful career as a medical writer.

Nicole Tepe added a law degree to her PhD in pharmacology and cell biophysics to become a patent attorney.

All are successful in their fields. All say they are pleased with their contributions to science and they are satisfied with their lifestyle choices. All provide real-life role models for post-doctoral graduates who may think their career choices are limited to academic medicine or Big Pharma.

More than 200 PhD students and post-docs learned about these career alternatives and more at a career development workshop held March 19 at Cincinnati Children’s and co-sponsored by the University of Cincinnati and the American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (ASBMB).

“We have hundreds of graduate students and post-docs training at Cincinnati Children’s and the University of Cincinnati. They all want to know what their next job will be,” says Sandra Degen, associate chair for Academic Affairs at Cincinnati Children’s and interim chair of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Microbiology at UC. “In this setting, we are primarily focused on biomedical research. But not everyone is interested in a university career.”

While many PhD graduates do eventually become principal investigators, many other opportunities exist. Some find careers in government as researchers, program directors, policymakers and regulators.  Beyond teaching at the college level, more high schools are seeking PhDs to teach life sciences.

“University training grants are increasingly competitive and increasingly evaluated by whether their graduates stay in science,” Degen says. “So universities need to do a better job at educating graduates about the full spectrum of career opportunities.”

The March symposium was the largest post-graduate career workshop held at Cincinnati Children’s and UC. Degen predicts the workshop will become an annual event.

For more information about the symposium, contact Degen at

For more information about careers in biochemistry and molecular biology, check out Career Insights in ASBMB Today.