Eric Nehrlich's Bio

As of March 2006, I am a member of the Software Management Training Program at Fog Creek Software in New York City. I'm doing a little bit of everything right now, from handling tech support emails and phone calls, to doing a little bit of sysadmin stuff, to participating in meetings on sales and marketing. Here's more background on the thought process leading to this move.

From May 2005 through February 2006, I worked for Applied Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in taking decision analysis tools developed in the pharmaceutical industry and applying them to the problems of small biotech companies and public health agencies. I was a member of the technology team, developing the software tools to support consultants as well as doing custom applications for other clients. It was a new realm for me, being the first job I'd had that didn't involve a lab or instrument hardware of any sort, but it was interesting learning a new field.

Before Applied Strategies, I worked at Signature BioScience, a biotech startup that developed a technology for characterizing cells and proteins by bouncing microwaves off them. When Signature BioScience ran out of money in April of 2003, MDS Sciex, a Toronto-based manufacturer of mass spectrometers, bought the technology (they had previously been a partner company) and hired a few of us to continue working on it. It was kind of a disappointment for Signature to go down, since I had been there for two and a half years and watched it grow from 40 people to over 150, and move into a swanky dot-com space in downtown San Francisco. It was a great environment and I learned a lot from the roller coaster ride of the experience. But the twelve of us re-hired by Sciex carried on, and after two years of continued research and development, the bioimpedance technology had been proven to be effective and was launched as a radically new cellular assay for drug discovery (see pictures of the prototype). Once the instrument was out of the hands of research and into the realm of product development, I decided it was time for a new challenge, hence the move to Applied Strategies.

Before Signature, I worked at San Francisco Industrial Software, a small computer consulting company specializing in developing applications such as high end data acquisition and industrial testing. We mostly programmed in LabVIEW, a graphical programming language developed by National Instruments that proved to be far more powerful than I expected when I first started work at SFIS.

I was once a physics Ph.D. student at Stanford University. I left the PhD program with a master's degree in June of 1998, when I decided that particle physics was not all that I had hoped it would be. While I was there, I worked in Pat Burchat's lab as part of the BABAR collaboration. In my "copious free time", I sang in the Chamber Chorale and sometimes even got around to playing volleyball or weight lifting at one of Stanford's athletic facilities.

I graduated from MIT in May of 1994 with a B.S. in Physics, and 2 classes short of a double major in Electrical Engineering. During my senior year, I realized that I just could not deal with the university environment and classes for another 6 years, and that I needed to take a break before going on. My advisor, Prof. Robert Jaffe, after discussing this with me, suggested working at CERN for a year. I thought this was a great idea, and, with his help, managed to secure a one year internship at CERN with MIT professor Ulrich Becker working on the detector, L3. So that is where I spent a year from July of 1994 to 1995.

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