September 15, 2014

Opportunities for Grad Students and Postdocs to Participate in BALSA

The BALSA Group aims to provide its members with real-world opportunities to experience the business of science.

This summer, a BALSA team was tasked by Monsanto to understand the key drivers and consequences of food waste in the United States.  The team analyzed the poultry and non-poultry supply chains for both corn and soybean to determine pain points that are most susceptible to food waste.  The 6 week engagement with Monsanto will serve as the foundation for specific food life cycle analyses and studies of how genetically modified crops could impact food waste in future engagements. 

In this BALSA-Monsanto collaboration, Brett Maricque (Ph.D. candidate in Computational and Systems Biology) served as the advisor, Greg Orf (Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry) served as the project manager, while Thomas Campbell (Ph.D. candidate in Chemistry), Dan Carlin (post-doctoral fellow in Anatomy and Neurobiology), and Amelia Nguyen (Ph.D. candidate in Plant and Microbial Biosciences) served as the consultants.

The BALSA Group aims to provide its members with real-world opportunities to experience the business of science.  Projects are intended to help members develop transferable skills applicable to academic and non-academic career trajectories including, but not limited to, management and technology consulting, intellectual property, sales and marketing, research and development, and technology transfer. Through BALSA, members will have the chance to meet, work with, and learn from other BALSA consultants and leaders of the St Louis business community.  We welcome participation by all Postdoctoral Fellows, and Ph.D. students, Law students, MBA students, and MD students in the St Louis region. No prior consulting experience is required.

A top priority in The BALSA Group is to train, educate, and expose members to a wide array of opportunities in which they can apply their knowledge and skills beyond academia.

BALSA has three value points:

  • We provide data-driven consulting solutions to promote sustained growth of emerging technologies and scalable businesses.
  • We provide hands-on experience with the business of science and technology, focusing on the development of transferable skills and professionalism.
  • Our group of young professionals strives to support, expand, and shape entrepreneurship of technology and innovation in the Saint Louis region and beyond.

Graduate students or post-doctoral fellows interested in completing a BALSA project should contact Kate Keefer at