The Center for Life Beyond Reed

Division of Student Services

Marcia Yaross

Class year: \'73
Major: Biology
Company/organization: recently retired from Johnson & Johnson
Job title: Consultant

I would love to connect with students. In addition or instead of attending the Schmooze, I am available for one:one meetings during the weekend. Drop me an email and we'll arrange a time to meet. I arrive on Thursday.

How did you get where you are? (e.g., education, brief work history, mentors)

I went straight to graduate school after graduating from Reed, and obtained a Ph.D. in Developmental and Cell Biology from the University of California at Irvine. I then spent 8 years doing basic research in stem cell biology in post-doctoral positions while pursuing an academic career until I realized I preferred analyzing and communicating scientific data to generating it at the bench. I found a great fit in the medical device industry, where I spent the last 27+ years, in a series of roles including senior management positions in clinical, quality and regulatory affairs at Pharmacia Ophthalmics, MiniMed Technologies, Allergan, Advanced Medical Optics and most recently, Biosense Webster Inc., part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, where I was was Vice President, Worldwide Clinical, Regulatory and Health Policy until my retirement from full-time work a few months ago. I am now an independent consultant, specializing in clinical and regulatory strategies for medical device product development.

What lessons have you learned along the way that you'd like to pass on to current Reed students?

Critical thinking and the ability to communicate clearly are highly transferable skills that a Reed education can provide. As a biology major, I was unaware of career options beyond academia and medicine. It turns out that there is a much broader variety of ways that those educated in the sciences can find meaningful work.

In what ways you think you can help Reed students?

I am happy to discuss my own experiences and mentor those interested in science careers in the corporate world.

What else should students know about you? (e.g., volunteer engagement, avocations, interests)

I love to hike and travel. I've also become active in the Reed Alumni Association over the past 5 years. I'm currently on the Alumni Outreach Committee and one of the Alumni Trustees of the College.