Sixsense Panel: Careers in Scientific Consulting & Medical Communications

1024 512 Office of Research Trainees


November 3, 2023 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM 

Part 1 - Sixsense Panel: Careers in Scientific Consulting & Medical Communications

The UHN Office of Research Trainees (ORT) is hosting an exciting and engaging virtual career panel with the Sixsense Strategy Group. The Sixsense Strategy Group is a boutique consulting firm in downtown Toronto that specializes in scientific strategy and communications for a variety of life science sectors.

On November 3rd, you will hear from a panel of science & strategy consultants and medical communication specialists who will share insights into these career areas! You will have to opportunity to ask questions to members of the Sixsense team including (speaker bios below):

  • Ben Dickinson, MSc, Senior Medical Communications Manager
  • Patris Alves, MSc, Science & Strategy Consultant
  • Joshua Low, MSc, Science & Strategy Consultant
  • Christy Yeung, MSc, Medical Communications Manager

The event is open to everyone! All event registrants are asked to make sure they have read and agree to abide by the ORT’s Code of Conduct.

Part 2 - Medical Communications and Life Sciences Consulting Workshops

The panel will be followed by two hands-on workshops to build skills in medical communications and life sciences consulting. Limited spots will be available. These workshops will be free and only open to those who attended the panel event on November 3, 2023. Registration info coming soon!

Sixsense workshop: Exploring Medical Communications. November 22, 2023. Zoom. 5:30 -7:30 pm.

Exploring Medical Communications | November 22, 2023 | 5:30 – 7:30 PM (ET)

We will be joined by Medical Communications Managers, Holly Szczepanski and Eddy Cruise, from sixsense strategy group! Workshop participants will learn more about what Medical Communications is and how these offerings are approached at sixsense.

Attendees will also get a chance to work through a Medical Communications case study in groups to apply what they have learned.

Exploring Life Sciences Consulting | November 24, 2023 | 4:00 – 6:00 PM (ET)

We will be joined by Kail Iyer, Science and Strategy Consultant, and Victoria Agapova, Senior Science and Strategy Consultant, from sixsense strategy group! Workshop participants will learn more about strategic thinking and how it is applied to science and strategy consulting at sixsense.

Attendees will also get a chance to work through a business case study in groups to apply what they have learned.

Speaker Bios

Ben Dickinson, M.Sc.

Ben joined the sixsense team in 2019 as a Science and Strategy Analyst after working in a medical device startup in downtown Toronto. Prior to this, he attended Western University where he graduated with a BSc and MSc in Developmental Biology. Throughout this time his research projects focused on a molecular mechanism linking stress and anxiety to depression (undergraduate thesis) and the role of oxidative stress in early development (graduate thesis).

In his role as Sr. Medical Communications Manager, he helps support cross-functional teams in creating engaging scientific narratives through various medical communications deliverables.

Ben has a passion for cooking, when he isn’t hand-making pasta or putting pizzas in his wood-fired pizza oven, he’s likely outside barbequing a brisket.

Patris Alves, M.Sc.

Patris completed a Bachelor of Science (Honours) majoring in Biology at Queen’s University then continued her education to complete a Master of Science in Molecular Science at Toronto Metropolitan University (formally Ryerson University). Her research focused on understanding the regulation of TFEB and RAB7 and elucidating their contributions to lysosomal adaptation. While completing her Master of Science degree, Patris had the opportunity to complete an internship as a Scientific Advisor/Medical Writer at Auxly. Following this, she kick-started her pharmaceutical consulting career at Amaris Consulting as a Life Science Consultant. This experience further sparked her interest in scientific consulting and strategy and led her to sixsense strategy group. For over two years she has had the pleasure of working at sixsense by supporting and providing strategic guidance to a diverse set of clients in the life science sector.

Joshua Low, M.Sc.

Joshua joined sixsense strategy group towards the end of graduate school. He completed his undergrad in Biotechnology and went on to complete an accelerated MSc in developmental biology and genetics at Queen’s University. His research focused on understanding the relationship between insulin signaling and oncogenesis in Caenorhabditis elegans. Joshua’s research caught the attention of a pharmaceutical company, which got him interested in that space. During undergraduate and graduate school, he volunteered at a long-term care unit of a hospital. This experience also led him to take an interest in healthcare and step away from the bench. Today, Joshua’s work focuses on understanding the science and business of his clients’ assets to better recommend strategies to address their areas of focus.

Christy Yeung, M.Sc. 

Christy completed her undergraduate degree with a double major in Biology and Psychology at Queens University and went on to complete a MSc in Laboratory Medicine & Pathobiology at the University of Toronto. Her research focused on investigating the role of intermitting fasting on promoting metabolic homeostasis through modulations of the intestinal microenvironment. While completing her graduate degree, Christy participated in the Graduate Management Consulting Association (GMCA) where she sparked an interest in stepping away from bench-side research to pursue a career that lies in the intersection of life sciences, healthcare, and business. This led her to begin my journey at Sixsense Strategy Group as a contractor while completing her thesis. Upon completing her degree, Christy joined Sixsense Strategy Group full-time where she works alongside her colleagues to provide their clients with insightful and custom strategies that are uniquely tailored to their business needs.

Holly Szczepanski, M.Sc.

Holly is a Medical Communications Manager with sixsense strategy group – a boutique consulting firm downtown Toronto. Prior to joining sixsense as a contractor in October 2021, followed by a full-time position in December 2021, she obtained her MSc in Gastrointestinal Sciences from the University of Calgary. Her thesis focused on uncovering novel mechanisms by which smooth muscle participates in intestinal stricture formation in the context of fibrostenotic Crohn’s disease. During her time in graduate school, Holly realized her passion for communicating science and knowledge translation (spending hours on BioRender for her seminar presentations was her favourite part). This is what led her to sixsense strategy group, where she leads the development of strategic medical communications outputs for clients in the pharmaceutical and biotech sector. She is also a proud University of Guelph alumni (BScH Bio-Medical Science ’18). Beyond work, Holly enjoys playing ice hockey, a good hot yoga session, and knitting!

Eddy Cruise, MSc 

Eddy has been a medical communications manager at sixsense strategy group since 2020. Prior to this role, he completed a master’s in Biochemistry at Western University where he studied small molecule inhibitors of protein kinases.

Kali Iyer, Ph.D.

Kali completed her undergraduate degree at McMaster University in the Integrated Sciences program and went on to the University of Toronto where she completed her PhD in the department of Molecular Genetics. Kali’s research was focused on discovering novel molecules to kill human fungal pathogens. Throughout her time in graduate school Kali was actively involved exploring different careers in both industry and government and attended or organized many networking events. She was also involved in the University Consulting Group which gave Kali her first exposure to consulting. Near the end of her degree, she started working on contract for sixsense, and then began as a full-time Analyst in 2022. Since then Kali has worked up through the company to be a Consultant where her work focused on managing external and internal teams to ensure they support and provide valuable insights to their clients in the pre- and post-launch phases of asset development.

Victoria Agapova, M.Sc.

Victoria is a Senior Science & Strategy Consultant at Sixsense Strategy Group. She joined Sixsense in 2020, after completing her Master of Science degree in Clinical Anatomy at Western University. During her studies, Victoria gained extensive experience as a researcher and science communicator while investigating the inflammatory processes underlying stroke and Alzheimer’s disease co-morbidity. Throughout her time at Sixsense, Victoria gained extensive experience leading strategic and medical communication projects for Medical Affairs and Patient Advocacy functions at pharmaceutical companies. She appreciates gaining insights from leading healthcare professionals and patient advocates during advisory boards and enjoys providing strategic counsel to support pharmaceutical product launches.