ASCB-KGI Biotech Course

A Week-Long Course offered by The American Society for Cell Biology and Keck Graduate Institute, with support from Biogen

July 9-14, 2018, Claremont, CA (arrival on July 8)

Applications for the course have closed for 2018. We will announce 2019 dates soon.



International and U.S. applicants are welcome. Advanced graduate students with at least three years of scientific research experience, postdocs, and non-tenure-track junior scientists within 7 years of graduating with their PhDs are eligible to apply. The course will introduce PhD scientists to the competencies they need to thrive in industry and will expose them to the culture and infrastructure of life sciences companies through MBA-style case-based teaching, professional development sessions, and a team-based project. Learn about the process through which academic science is commercialized, and gain invaluable insight into the way industry views scientific research. Learn about careers for scientists in industry, and how to best leverage your analytical PhD skill set!

Keck Graduate Institute (KGI), a leading provider of professional education for scientists interested in business aspects of the life science industry, has conducted intensive courses similar to this one for the past five years.

What Does It Cost?

Registration for the course is $525, which includes tuition, curriculum materials, lunches, snacks, and several dinners. Accommodations at the Pitzer College dormitory (single rooms) is an additional $350, which includes six nights. Participants will be responsible for all travel costs to and from Claremont, California (located in the greater Southern California area).

About the Course 

Morning sessions will introduce students to industry dynamics within the bioscience industry. Classes will include discussion-oriented lectures and highly interactive MBA-style case studies exploring dilemmas faced by bioscience companies. Topics will include commercializing science, business models, market assessment, innovation management, and networks and entrepreneurship. Participants will break into smaller groups to focus on short problem-solving exercises.

Most afternoons will be devoted to professional development with panels of industry guests and speakers who will share in-depth information about industry R&D, career paths for scientists entering industry, and effective networking strategies.

Participants will also take part in a fun but challenging team-based rapid prototyping project that will integrate technical and business deliverables. The goal of the project is to introduce participants to interdisciplinary teamwork that is common within industry, along with project management and presentation skills.

Of those attending the course in:

28 have nonacademic/industry jobs
5 are postdocs
1 has a postdoc in pharma
1 is an MD
4 have faculty positions
26 have nonacademic/industry jobs
3 are postdocs
3 have jobs in regulatory affairs/tech transfer
1 has a postdoc in pharma
1 is an MD/PhD
1 is a biomedical engineer
1 has a faculty position
21 have nonacademic/industry jobs
11 are postdocs
1 is a postdoc in biotech/pharma
3 have jobs in regulatory affairs/tech transfer
3 have faculty positions
1 is a biomedical engineer
11 have nonacademic/industry jobs
1 has a job in philanthropy
18 are postdocs
2 have faculty positions

2018 Course Schedule

Commercialization of Science
Steve Casper
Market Assessment
Scott Motyka
Bioscience Business Models
Steve Casper
Bioscience Business Strategy /Innovation
Joel West
Social Networks and Enterpreneurship
Denise Dunlap
Project Presentations
Lunch and talk by Andrew Shaw, Genentech Lunch
Career Panel
Lunch and talk by Judy Heyboer Lunch
Career Panel
Lunch Travel Home
Project introduction Work on Projects Work on Projects Work on Projects Work on Projects

How to Apply

You must be a member of the ASCB to apply. Not a member? Join now, then apply for the course as a member-applicant.

You Will Need to Submit Two Documents:

  • One document containing a personal statement followed by your CV. The personal statement should be no more than one page or 500 words and should answer this question: Why do you think industry is a better fit for you than academia, and how can this course help you achieve your desired career path?
  • A recommendation letter from your advisor or another person of your choosing.


For additional information, contact Thea Clarke, Director of Communications and Education, American Society for Cell Biology, 8120 Woodmont Ave, Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20814, 301-347-9304. Keck Graduate Institute is located at 535 Watson Drive, Claremont, CA 91711.