Explore Career Pathways in the Microbial Sciences

There are many career options available with a degree in microbiology, from industry to consulting, to working in non-profits. Do you know what career options are available to you?  
"Career Pathways in Microbiology," a 3-part webinar series, consists of virtual career panels focused on government, foundation/non-profit and industry/biotechnology sectors. These sessions are for students, postdocs and anyone else who is interested in learning about where a degree in science can take you.
Join us for live 1.5 hour  career panels, featuring 2-3 panelists who have various job functions in government, foundation/non-profit and industry/biotechnology. The career panel will  explore the available roles, necessary experience and skills needed to enter the field. 


Tuesday, July 26, 2 - 3:30 p.m. ET | Career Pathways in Government
Junia Jean-Gilles Beaubrun, Ph.D.

Junia Jean-Gilles Beaubrun, Ph.D.

US Army Medical Center

Supervisory Microbiologist

Junia Jean-Gilles Beaubrun, Ph.D., has been in microbiology for over 20 years. She currently serves as the chief of the Biological Analysis Division for ARMY Public Health Command Europe to provide laboratory support to the military. Prior, she was a research microbiologist for Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA and worked on method development for foodborne pathogen detection. 

Cesar A. Perez, CQA, RAC, Ph.D.

Cesar A. Perez, CQA, RAC, Ph.D.

Food and Drug Administration

Director of the Division of Establishment Support, Office of Regulatory Programs (ORP), and Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH)

As director, Perez provides strategic leadership to the division and serves as the technical authority and principal advisor to the office director on multiple medical devices programs. The division is responsible for the development and implementation of policies and processes related to medical devices’ imports, registration and listing, exports, regulatory inspections/audits and compliance programs.

Tuesday, August 2, 2 - 3:30 p.m. ET | Career Pathways at a Foundation/Nonprofit
Emily Lescak, M.S., M.A., Ph.D.

Emily Lescak, M.S., M.A., Ph.D.

The Wikimedia

Senior Research Community Officer

Emily Lescak, M.S., M.A., Ph.D., is passionate about helping researchers do their best work, connecting people and lowering barriers to participation in STEM. She is currently the senior research community officer at the Wikimedia Foundation, where she focuses on building and supporting a thriving ecosystem of researchers working on the Wikimedia projects. Her research background covers population genetics, evolution, ecology and host-microbe interactions in fish.

Carolyn Shore, Ph.D.

Carolyn Shore, Ph.D.

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Director of the Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation and a Senior Program Officer with the Board on Health Sciences Policy

Before joining the National Academies, Carolyn Shore, Ph.D., worked on a variety of science policy issues, including antibiotic stewardship and innovation, food safety, plant and animal health and agricultural trade policy. She holds a doctoral degree in microbiology and molecular genetics from Harvard University.

Kenneth B. Yeh, M.S.

Kenneth B. Yeh, M.S.


Senior Director

Yeh works at MRIGlobal, an independent nonprofit research organization, where he creates partnerships and reinforces best practices to develop technical solutions in the areas of biodefense, biotechnology and global health security. Yeh’s work spans from detecting and identifying biological agents to fielding cooperative biological research studies among global partners. His academic degrees are in microbiology.

Tuesday, August 9, 2 - 3:30 p.m. ET | Career Pathways in Industry/Biotechnology
Estevan Santana, Ph.D.

Estevan Santana, Ph.D.


Senior Manager of State Policy

Estevan Santana, Ph.D., focuses on healthcare policy issues that affect patients and the pharmaceutical industry at the state level. Throughout his policy career, Santana has worked in government at both the state and federal levels, at a biopharmaceutical trade association and private industry.

Gary Pestano, Ph.D.

Gary Pestano, Ph.D.

Biodesix Inc.

Chief Development Officer

Prior to joining Biodesix, Pestano held senior positions at Ventana Medical Systems, a member of the Roche Group. Pestano’s experiences are specialized in high complexity molecular diagnostics for oncology and virology. Pestano received his Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology at City University of New York, focused on vaccine development for novel HIV-1 variants. He conducted his post-doctoral training in cancer immunology at Harvard Medical School.

Brittany Niccum, Ph.D.

Brittany Niccum, Ph.D.

Beckman Coulter Life Sciences

Commercial Product Manager

Prior to joining Beckman Coulter Life Sciences, Niccum studied the evolution of bacteria at Tufts University as a postdoctoral fellow using cheese as a model organism. She also studied microbial evolution at Indiana University for her Ph.D. She has created constructs for countless E. coli and uses her experience as a bench scientist to inform her work as a product manager. She started as an applications scientist at Beckman Coulter Life Sciences.

Learning Goals

  • Explore the variety of careers in the microbial sciences outside of academia. 
  • Learn key skills and experiences needed to enter the occupation. 
  • Connect with mentors in different microbial science careers.
  • Understand how to identify which career paths are more suitable for an individual. 
  • Learn high-level approaches to applying for a job in the microbial sciences. 


  • Live, 1.5 hour  event featuring 2-3 panelists from government, foundation/non-profit and industry/biotechnology followed by open Q&A for the remainder of the session.  
  • Attendees will receive a link to the recording after the live event. 


This series of webinars is open to students, postdocs, early-career scientists and educators who are interested in career options available for themselves or their students.

Registration Details

Deadline to register is July 26, 2022.
  • ASM Members: FREE.
  • Non-Members: $25/session.
Please note that you do not need to attend every session.
No refunds will be given. All registrants will receive a link to the recording after the live event. 

Contact Information

Shilpa Gadwal, sgadwal@asmusa.org