Tips for Working in Industry & Success in Management: Interview with Crystal Shih

By Tyler Ford

Crystal Shih Twitter Image-01.pngCrystal Shih is an Investigator III at Novartis, a multinational pharmaceutical company based in Switzerland. After completing her PhD in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering with Harry Gray at Caltech, Crystal moved on to a Postdoc in the chemistry department at MIT. Crystal now works on protein therapeutics at Novartis - listen to learn more about Crystal’s exciting career path, to gain insight into industry research, and to get advice on how to succeed in your own career. One pro tip from Crystal - be agile and willing to move on to new projects when old ones prove unsuccessful.

Listen to the interview with Crystal Shih

Podcast breakdown


Chapter 1: Who is Crystal Shih? Crystal's educational background and position at Novartis.

Chapter 2: What's a lab group in industry? The collaborative nature of working in industry and how delegating can empower people

Chapter 3: How Crystal advanced at Novartis, and how to prepare yourself for success by having a development conversation with your manager early on.

Chapter 4: Crystal's approach to management and the importance of realizing that different people have different management needs. How Crystal developed her management skills - training, learning from peers, and being receptive to those who report to you.

Chapter 5: The types of science that Crystal works on at Novartis, how she's learned to prioritize projects, and how she sets metrics for success. The importance of thinking about the big picture and not just the next experiment.

Chapter 6: Advice to scientists who are planning on working in industry. The importance of recognizing and leveraging your unique skills set while also adapting to needs as they arise. Tips on applying for industry jobs and deciphering job listings. Mobility between different positions at Novartis.

Chapter 7How Crystal developed her science communication skills and how they've helped her at Novartis. The importance of mentorship in developing career skills.


Many thanks to our guest, Crystal Shih.

Crystal ShihCrystal Shih leads project and scientific teams at the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research to develop novel biologics for the treatment of various diseases, from heart failure to Alzheimer’s.  You can follow her on Twitter @ShihCrystal.



Special thanks to our sound engineer/producer, Eddy Page!

Eddy_Page.jpgEdward B. Page is a Digital Media Production Specialist at Addgene. He is the audio engineer and producer for the Addgene Podcast. 



Additional Resources from Addgene

Topics: Science Careers, Podcast, Science Career Options

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