20 May 2019
In 2017, seven candidates joined our inaugural Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at PMI Science, covering a vast array of topics, from plant genomics to human behavioral psychology. Our R&D Center in Neuchâtel, Switzerland – called ‘the Cube’ – houses those projects, as well as the tools, techniques, methods, and knowledge that helped our Postdocs reach their research potential.
The Cube offers a foot in both academia and industry, giving our postdocs access to equipment that you’re unlikely to find in most other postdoctoral environments, while also providing the freedom to cover research topics outside of what you’d expect from a tobacco company!
So, of all the institutions and options available, why did they choose PMI? We’ll proudly let our postdocs speak for us…
Systems toxicology assessment of chemicals in zebrafish
Why did you join PMI?
Joining the PMI postdoctoral program was a great prospect to try a completely new industrial environment. I am very happy with the training and experience I received. I was given opportunities to manage this project, foster innovative collaborations, and explore multi-omics approaches.
Was your mentor helpful?
I received fantastic support and guidance from my mentor, who was focused not only on the project but also on my personal and professional development.
What would you tell potential postdocs?
Take advantage of the various courses that are offered to employees, such as the public speaking course. They are well designed and the skills you’ll learn will be useful not only on this job but throughout your career.
Why choose PMI? Has it lived up to your expectations?
It was a great job offer with very nice location. Yes, and more.
Did you have doubts about joining PMI?
No doubts, smoke free vision is great for me. I’m also all about personal freedom.
How much did your mentor help?
Perfect guidance with a lot of freedom.
What would you tell others about being a PMI postdoc?
Best place to work. You gain business experience and still do great science.
Valuable compounds in tobacco plants
Mohamed Bilal Fares
Assessment of neuroprotective effects of alkaloids in Parkinson's disease
Why did you choose PMI?
I chose PMI for my postdoc as I found it to be an exciting and challenging opportunity that would allow me to apply my knowledge and expertise in developing neuronal models of Parkinson’s disease, but also to investigate the puzzling inverse association of Parkinson’s with smoking and nicotine consumption. I also assessed that this experience would broaden my horizons as I would learn how applied science is performed within an industrial setting, in a stimulating, interdisciplinary scientific environment. Over the past two years, PMI has lived up to all these expectations.
What advice would you give to future postdocs?
I encourage future postdocs to consider PMI as a venue where they can build on their scientific expertise and contribute to shaping and executing exciting interdisciplinary scientific projects, but also a place where they can grow and develop key soft and leadership skills that would enrich their experience and talent portfolio.
Our Chief Scientific Officer, Manuel Peitsch, also extends his thoughts about the importance of our postdocs, “I am very happy with the first wave of our post-doctoral program. Over the last two years, the seven talented scientists enrolled in the program have made significant contributions to our innovation, prepared over 15 publications, and presented their results at conferences in 15 countries.”
Everyone at Philip Morris is immensely proud of everything our postdocs have achieved, and we look forward to welcoming the next wave of researchers.