Early Career Leadership Spotlight — Mahantesh Biradar
We’re taking time over the following weeks to get to know the members of the GSA’s Early Career Scientist Committees. Join us every week to learn more about our early career scientist advocates.
Communication and Outreach Subcommittee
National Yang Ming University, Taiwan
Lipid levels are a well-known risk factor for cardiovascular disease and are influenced by genetic and environmental factors. Plasma high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has been consistently associated with the reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), but the causality of this association has not been carefully examined in some worldwide populations, including the Han Chinese. The majority of studies have been carried out in European populations, but there are unique sets of genes associated with lipid levels in European versus East Asian populations.
To address this question, I study genes associated with CVD and examine the causal relationship between the genetic markers and the disease. Studying these genetic markers helps scientists identify people who may have a higher risk of getting CVD and to help them choose suitable therapies based on their genetic profile. This knowledge will have a greater impact on precision medicine.
As a PhD-trained scientist, you have many career options. What career paths interest you the most?
I’m interested in developing my career at the intersection of industry and academia. I would like to choose a career path that requires a biomedical science background and is also looking for someone who is passionate about social media strategy, digital marketing, and community development.
I developed an interest in marketing for two main reasons. First, articles about careers outside academia stressed the importance of cultivating diverse skill sets that would be needed for future job requirements. Secondly, my bioinformatics and data mining research means that I spend most of my time on the computer, which gives me a chance to learn more about blogging, science communication, social media strategy, and community development. I also enjoy connecting and networking with people outside of academia to learn about how things work in industry.
In addition to your research, how else do you want to advance the scientific enterprise?
I love bringing people together to establish productive collaborations that help nurture great ideas and bring out innovation. Scientific research is challenging, and there are many tools to help make research easier and more fun, but there is a lack of awareness about what’s out there. After speaking to a group of researchers, I realized that the community needed a single platform where they could learn about tools for literature reviewing, writing, collaborating, and publishing. I had already made a collection of tools for my own use, and I thought it would be great to share it with the rest of the world. With this idea in mind, I set up a platform called Research Stash, which is a curated collection of tools and news for STEM researchers. The platform helps software creators showcase their tools in a way that makes them easy for researchers to find.
As a leader within the Genetics Society of America, what do you hope to accomplish?
As a part of the Communication and Outreach Subcommittee, I would like to connect with like-minded early career scientists across the world to exchange ideas. I think my experience and skills in the areas of social media strategy, digital marketing, and web design can really contribute to the group’s outreach efforts by introducing the latest trends in social media.
Social media has been one of the greatest platform innovations since print media. It allows us to learn about the latest research and reach a target audience for a variety of science communication efforts. I look forward to researching and creating communication items that highlight the contributions of the genetics community to the larger scientific community and the general public.
Previous leadership experience
- Representative—Molecular Medicine Program for Graduate Students’ Association, Academia Sinica
- Secretary & Treasurer—Graduate Students’ Association, Academia Sinica
- Contributing writer—Biotechin.Asia