Speakers' Bureau Directory: Dien Bard

Jennifer Dien Bard
Degree: PhD
Employer: Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California  90027


Primary Employer: Hospital/Clinic; Other N/A
Scientific Specialty: Clinical microbiology or immunology; Other N/A
Job Title: Director of Microbiology and Virology, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pathology
Years in position: 18 months
Presentation Type: N/A
Video Call Type:N/A
Day to day responsibilities:
Overall, I have clinical service, administrative, research and teaching responsibilities. Plate rounds and infectious disease rounds is one of the day-to-day responsibilities that is consistent. Otherwise, each day can be quite diverse; one day can consist of multiple clinical consults with clinicians and other healthcare workers and the next can be primarily focused on research, test development or manuscript preparation. I am also a member of multiple committees including Antimicrobial stewardship, Infection control, and Quality, which requires some time commitments. Interactions with vendors and other members of industry to discuss new technologies or possible projects is also a common occurrence.

What do you love about your job?
I love how diverse the job is. I enjoy the clinical aspect of the job and the interactions with infectious diseases and other clinicians but also the ability to my research knowledge in the clinical development of diagnostic testing. I also enjoy the teaching opportunities with clinical laboratory scientists, medical students, residents and fellows. The job also requires some traveling to meetings and conferences and to present my work. It provides me with the opportunity to engage with colleagues and learn about new technologies.

Degrees, experience, license(s), and skills required for position:
A PhD, preferably related to Microbiology, is required for an applicant to apply into the CPEP programs for Medical Microbiology. This 2-year fellowship will qualify you to take the American Board of Medical Microbiology (ABMM) exam to become board certified, which is highly sought after by employers seeking candidates for director positions. In addition, any experience in the clinical microbiology laboratories would be an asset. I personally had experience as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in the microbiology laboratory prior to enrollment into the CPEP program and found it to be extremely helpful throughout my training.

Tips/Advice for how to secure a job in microbiology upon graduation:
Visit clinical laboratories and possibly volunteer to ensure that you completely understand what is involved in the day-today operations of a clinical microbiology laboratory and a Director position truly encompasses. Attend conferences relating to the field to build network and to increase your knowledge in the subject. Continued research in clinical microbiology and publications are an asset in securing a position in a CPEP program.