More than three hundred people attended the 22nd annual University of California Systemwide Symposium on Bioengineering and Biotechnology Showcase, known as BIC, held August 8-10 at UC Santa Barbara. The three-day event, which had been on hold during two years of the COVID pandemic, featured diverse opportunities for graduate students to interact closely with industry representatives and like-minded graduate students from all ten UC campuses, and to learn about diverse paths to success in the industry.
“The industry component made this much more than an academic conference,” said Ryan Stowers, assistant professor of biological engineering and mechanical engineering and an organizer of the event. “Students who are more on the industrial track got to hear first-hand how some successful people navigated the professional terrain from grad school to their current positions.”
The event included many invited speakers presenting on a range of topics, a poster session, and a panel of professionals who took questions about pathways to biotech careers, and a kind of “speed dating” analog in which students paired with industry experts for ten minutes of rapid-fire exchange before switching to a different expert.
One junior faculty member from each of the ten UC campuses competed for the Shu Chien Early Career Lecturer Award, which went to UC San Diego assistant professor Daniela Valdez-Jasso, with Jury Awards going to UCSB assistant professor Siddarth Day and UC Davis assistant professor Randy Carney.