Speaker Bio: Cynthia Fuhrmann, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of the RNA Therapeutics Institute & Principal Investigator for Professional Development Hub

University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School

Pronouns: she/her
Identities: white, woman, mother, scientist, educator, practitioner-scholar, change-maker, nature enthusiast

Cynthia Fuhrmann, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of the RNA Therapeutics Institute and Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology at UMass Chan Medical School. Fuhrmann’s work sits at the nexus of practice, scholarship, and policy to advance the professional development of early-career scientists. She has 18 years of experience founding professional development programs for graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and early-career faculty—at University of California San Francisco and then at UMass Chan.


Her early study of graduate students’ career interests has been cited in numerous national reports. Her educational innovations have been funded by the National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation, and Burroughs Wellcome Fund, and awarded two innovation awards from the Association of American Medical Colleges. She is a pioneer of Individual Development Plans, including co-developing myIDP (the first such tool, used worldwide), integrating career planning into curricula, and co-developing survey instruments for studying IDP use. Her national service includes serving on boards, projects, or review panels for the Association of American Universities, Council of Graduate Schools, National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.

She leads the Professional Development Hub, a cross-stakeholder national initiative to advance equitable, evidence-based practices in STEM PhD professional development to foster a diverse STEMM ecosystem. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UCSF and B.S. in Chemistry at University of California, Davis.

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