Career Ladder

Career Ladder

Learn how chemists got their job


Joslynn Lee

This Native American chemist’s path through industry and education eventually led her back to academia and home

By Alexandra A. Taylor


Dionne Hernández-Lugo

An openness to learning new things took this chemist from pharma to NASA

By Tien Nguyen


Jason Pontrello

This former professor does contract work from home as he raises 4 boys

By Giuliana Viglione


Amber Wise

This former chemistry professor is helping cannabis regulators make science-based decisions

By Britt E. Erickson


Vartika Joshi

Education and travel helped this Indian chemist build her career in the chemical industry

By Laura Howes


Catherine Goffinet

This Ben & Jerry’s flavor guru made a career out of her love of food and chemistry

By Arminda Downey-Mavromatis


Luis Martínez

This synthetic chemist is now teaching students to create companies rather than molecules

By Matt Davenport


Anne Mallaband

This English chemist worked in industry before moving to academia and European science policy

By Andrea Widener


Vy Dong

From first-generation college student to award-winning catalysis chemist

By Alexandra A. Taylor


Curtis Ho

Organometallics lecturer uses his calling as a Buddhist monk to help calm the stresses of academic life

By Melissa Gilden


Raluca Ellis

This chemist turned museum programmer is inspiring the next generation of scientists."

By Samantha Jones


Jonathan Schroden

This physical chemist turned defense analyst goes far with problem-solving and data-analysis skills

By Cici Zhang


Hannah Follis

This formulation chemist turned cosmetics entrepreneur whips up bold fragrances and daring lip colors

By Melissa Gilden


Andrew Davis

This polymer chemist puts his industry background to work preserving documents at the Library of Congress

By Arminda Downey-Mavromatis


Rebecca Robbins

Exploring industry led this former professor to a career as a color chemist at a confections company

By Linda Wang


Chloe Poston

This chemist carved a path away from the bench to become an expert on the scientific workforce

By Bethany Halford


Kabrena Rodda

This chemist and military academy grad found a varied career in national security

By Jyllian Kemsley


Yun He

Opportunities in academia and industry call chemist from China to the U.S.—and back again

By Jean-François Tremblay


Dana Garves

This bench chemist built her own business around the craft beer boom

By Craig Bettenhausen


Michele Ramirez-Weinhouse

This former pharma chemist got back to her roots at the only school on the Hawaiian island of Lanai

By Melissa Gilden


Regina Easley

This research chemist’s career took some unexpected turns before she fell for oceanography

By Alexandra A. Taylor


Paula Olsiewski

This chemist made the leap into biotech, then entrepreneurship and beyond

By Emma Hiolski


Michael Malaska

Chemist turned a hobby into a job in space science

By Taylor C. Hood


Mark Olson

Nonconventional career track leads supramolecular chemist from Texas to China

By Emma Hiolski


Mary O’Reilly

This science illustrator combines her passion for research with her love of art

By Alexandra A. Taylor


Kusai Merchant

A chance encounter at an ACS national meeting led this chemist to a career on Capitol Hill

By Linda Wang


Xiaoxi Wei

A fascination with organ transplantation inspired this ‘biohacker’ to cofound her own company

By Taylor C. Hood


Karen Goodwin

A passion for chemistry drove this one-time homemaker to become a tenured professor

By Alexandra A. Taylor


Warren Samms

From science-loving Wichita schoolboy to crime-solving chemist

By Ryan Cross


Lynn Soby

Passion for addressing global problems led her to the helm of IUPAC, the "United Nations of chemistry"

By Jyllian Kemsley


James Schiller

A life-changing event plus encouragement led to a career in the pharma industry

By Taylor C. Hood


Michael Okoroafor

Polymer research took this packaging innovator from academia to industry

By Alexandra A. Taylor


Elliot Richman

A lifelong love of learning moved this chemist from lab bench to newsroom to classroom

By Ryan Cross


Julia Fahrenkamp-Uppenbrink

A love for science lit the path for this Science journal editor

By Taylor C. Hood


Angela Hoffman

Self-reliance and an unlikely start in teaching helped make Sister Angela Hoffman a standout educator

By Alexandra A. Taylor


Eric Breitung

Networking helped this industrial chemist transition into a career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

By Linda Wang


Joan Frye

Science fiction inspires physical chemistry professor turned NSF program director

By Alexandra A. Taylor


Salvatore La Rosa

Children’s Tumor Foundation vice president for R&D leaves behind music for a medicinal chemistry career

By Andrea Widener


Paul Dietze

Chemistry professor turned patent attorney says there’s life after being denied tenure

By Linda Wang

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