WIB-Capital Region: Arti Santhanam, TEDCO
In this installment of the WIB-Capital Region Member Spotlight we are featuring Arti Santhanam, who currently serves as Director of the Maryland Innovation Initiative (MII) at TEDCO and has been a member of the Capital Region chapter for many years. In this Spotlight she gives insights and perspectives regarding her career path.
1) Tell us about your background (both educational and professional) I grew up in India and came to the United States to do my PhD in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Rutgers. After finishing my PhD, I went to the National Cancer Institute for my postdoctoral fellowship. My postdoc lab was technically a laboratory focusing on cancer prevention, but my PI was very open to multidisciplinary projects. This worked in my favor because I did not have a deep background in the cancer field, so I had the opportunity to learn a handful of new techniques. This included RNA biology, crystallography, and computational biology among others and this really provided me with a more wholistic approach to understanding disease and treatments. Toward the end of my postdoc I focused on starting a family, and once I had my daughter I decided to take a bit of a break. This also gave me time to think about my future. I knew I didn’t want to be a traditional scientist working in a lab, but I wasn’t quite sure what other careers might fit my broad skillset. Funny enough, as I was leaving on the last day of my postdoc one of the PIs that our lab had collaborated with came up to me and asked, “What are you going to do now?”