Nathaniel (Neil) Lim
Senior Director, Radiochemistry & Radiopharmaceutical Development, Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, wholly owned subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Company
All in all, the experience I had at UConn Chemistry has impacted the success I am enjoying today, and I have no doubt that the same experience would be still be suited for new students today.
What is your current (or most recent) job, and what does a typical day look like, and how did UConn prepare you for this role?
My typical day consists of working in a multi-disciplinary environment with talented individuals doing drug discovery, drug development, regulatory filing and clinical supply.
Tell us about your experience as a Chemistry student at UConn.
Going to UCONN and joining Christian Brückner’s group no doubt helped me get to where I am today. Christian was a supportive mentor who never ceased to challenge us in being the best that we can be. Christian imparted life lessons which, to this day, not only help me in my job but also with my family life.
I owe a lot of gratitude to Mrs. Hurley and Dr. Howell as well. They both helped me focus and got me to the finish line. I was also fortunate to have great teammates and friends in Raymond Brinas, Nabyl Merbouh and Jason McCarthy.
Staff support was also amazing: Martha Morton, Marv Thompson, Emilie Hogrebe, Charlene Fuller, Deb Avery to name a few.
On the social side, I had a lot of fun just hanging out with other graduate students, learning about their country, experiences, and diverse background. Civic pub, Huskies, Husky blue, Fishing trips with John Tanaka. It was an honor just to be invited to join him on a couple of trips.
Scientific collaborations and research proposal writing were quite important experiences for me, and they were very impactful. From ones led with Christian and Hilary Jenkins (Crystallography), Annelie Skoog (UConn Marine Sciences), Hedley Freake (UConn Nutritional Sciences), and ones I tried but miserably failed at. The skills learned from this exercise, I still carry on each and every day at work.
All in all, the experience I had at UConn Chemistry has impacted the success I am enjoying today, and I have no doubt that the same experience would be still be suited for new students today. An environment comprised of caring people that made learning fun and memorable.
Can you tell us about your experience post-graduation?
After graduation, I accepted a joint postdoctoral appointment at University of British Columbia and TRIUMF, a large institution up north. This was the big league for me per se, where I applied what I learned in graduate school to a related project, allowing me to gain understanding and skills on working with radioactive isotopes. From there, I was recruited by Avid Radiopharmaceuticals who were looking for a radiochemist to grow with the company.
What is one piece of advice that you would give to current students?
Have fun while developing and sharpening ones scientific, social, EQ, spiritual and financial skills. Balance accordingly.