by: Jeffrey D. Bears
Greetings fellow members of the Hopkins Biotechnology Network! My name is Jeff Bears, and this is my first time writing for HBN. I am currently in my final year of the master’s program in biotechnology and will graduate in May 2015. I am quite excited to write for HBN this year because it is such an exciting time to discuss the plethora of issues related to the biotechnology field. I am a multi-disciplinary individual, and I hope this leads to great articles throughout the year.
Let me begin by sharing a bit about myself. I grew up in southeastern Massachusetts and attended Colby College as an undergraduate. I earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and, along the way, developed a multitude of interests spanning mathematics, science and business. Upon graduating from Colby, I entered Harvard University where I earned a master’s degree in biostatistics. I then studied genetics at Yale University, earning a master’s degree in 2006. Finally, I combined my passion for math and science into a law degree, which I earned at Boston College Law School in 2009.
While in school, I had the opportunity to experience a vast array of settings. For example, I interned at the National Cancer Institute for a month studying the true meaning of randomization in clinical trials. I also worked as a biostatistical consultant at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Boston Children’s Hospital. Through my graduate research rotations at Yale, I gained first-hand laboratory experience in the fields of pathology, genetics, computational biology and immunology. Finally, I gained legal experience at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Boston office of a large, international law firm.
I have now been practicing law for the past five years, and I developed expertise in intellectual property and corporate law. I began my career in a large law firm’s intellectual property practice group. While an associate there, I handled intellectual property litigation matters, patent prosecution, and intellectual property licensing. I also joined another law firm where I focused on start-up company formation, venture capital financings and intellectual property licensing. After a few years in law firms, I decided to go “in-house” and worked in the Office of the General Counsel at the University of Massachusetts, focusing on all aspects of its intellectual property matters. Finally, I am currently the Assistant General Counsel at a healthcare/biotechnology company that produces reports for pharmaceutical companies and the like spanning all aspects of the healthcare and biotechnology world as well as providing customized consulting work for our clients. It has been a very fulfilling career to date, as I have been involved with the sciences and entrepreneurship from the legal perspective. It is quite satisfying to help people build their companies and protect their inventions.
In addition to my full-time practice, I also teach online as an adjunct. I teach statistics and business law online at the undergraduate level, and this has given me a great opportunity to share my knowledge with students and guide them in fulfilling their own career ambitions. All the while, I have been working toward my master’s in biotechnology here at JHU.
I love the intersection of science, law and business, and I hope that, over the course of this year, I can share that perspective with you and open everyone’s eyes to the vast opportunities that are out there for us as JHU graduates. I feel there is always something to learn, and, in our fields, we are constantly surprised and challenged. JHU obviously has a stellar reputation, and the connections and experiences we develop here will be invaluable in our future endeavors. That is why I am most excited to write for HBN this year – to help everyone make the most of their studies and be aware of all that is out there.