Bist Career week – Round table: Becoming a Group Leader

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Join us for BIST Career Week to prepare for your future! The week will consist of five days packed with morning workshops and afternoon round tables, with inspiring speakers from different backgrounds, trajectories, and jobs.

This year’s round tables will be focused on a variety of career possibilities including scientific group leadership, science communication, pharma and industry, data science, and consultancy. Wherever your next move may be (inside or outside academia!), the BIST Career Week is for you.

Round tables are a great opportunity to meet people working in different jobs and sectors. Join us and learn what they did and how is a normal day in their jobs. All related to science, but all different: come and get inspired!


Round table 1: Applying to GL positions


Irene Marco-Rius, Junior Group Leader at IBEC

Irene Marco, PhD, Junior Group Leader at the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia. She holds degrees in Physics (BSc, Autonomous University of Barcelona), Medical Physics (MSc, Heidelberg University) and Biochemistry (PhD, University of Cambridge). Her main line of research is the development of magnetic resonance (MR) tools to study metabolism in vitro and non-¬invasively in vivo in order to diagnose metabolic pathologies and evaluate early response to treatment. Specifically, Irene has been using the molecular labelling strategy “dynamic nuclear polarisation” (DNP) that provides 50,000 times more signal than under standard MR conditions since 2011. She has experience in using preclinical and clinical MR scanners, has led design and testing of MR protocols and developed DNP-MR tools to advance the field.



Cristina Mayor-Ruiz, PI of the Targeted Protein Degradation & Drug discovery Lab (IRB Barcelona)

Cristina Mayor-Ruiz obtained her PhD in 2017 at the CNIO (Madrid) under the supervision of Óscar Fernández-Capetillo. She explored mechanisms of resistance to genotoxic and targeted anticancer therapies. In 2018, she joined the group of Georg Winter at CeMM (Vienna) supported by EMBO and Marie Curie postdoctoral fellowships, where her research interests focused on different aspects of chemical biology and targeted protein degradation (TPD). Since January 2021, she leads the “Targeted Protein Degradation & Drug discovery” lab at IRB Barcelona. Capitalizing on her expertise in the field, her research focuses on (1) developing screening strategies to identify monovalent degraders and other proximity-inducing drugs with therapeutic interest, and on (2) tackling exciting biological questions that, either benefit from the high kinetic resolution provided by TPD, or that involve E3 (dys)regulation dynamics.

LinkedIn  Web

Sakari Vanharanta, Group leader at MRC Cancer Unit, University of Cambridge

Sakari Vanharanta studied medicine at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and completed his PhD work on human tumour genetics under the supervision of Lauri A. Aaltonen in 2006. After some time in clinical training he joined the laboratory of Joan Massagué at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, where he conducted his postdoctoral work on the molecular mechanisms of metastatic cancer progression. He joined the MRC Cancer Unit at the University of Cambridge as a tenure track programme leader in 2014, with promotion to Programme Leader in 2019.


Marija Buljan, Group leader at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, EMPA

Marija Buljan graduated Molecular Biology in Zagreb, Croatia, after which she completed her PhD in Computational Biology at the University of Cambridge. She did her PhD work there at the Welcome Trust Sanger Institute. Afterwards, she was a postdoc in Systems Biology groups at MRC LMB Cambridge, DKFZ Heidelberg and ETH Zurich. Since 2020, she is a group leader at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology. Her group works closely with medical doctors and explores application potential for data analysis in shaping nanomedicine and informing material design for medical applications.

LinkedIn  Web



Five workshops and five round tables throughout the July 5-9 week.

See here the complete Career Week programme

If you need any additional information you can write to

Note that the Career Week activities are designed for BIST Community members, but they are opened to the whole scientific community and the access to the events is free.