Rachel Garlick, Guarini '21

Rachel Garlick, Guarini '21

Rachel Garlick is an alumna from the molecular and cell biology doctoral program and has created a startup, Eris Biotech, that has been accepted into the YCombinator, a world-renowned training program for startups.

What is your hometown and where do you live currently?

I'm a Utah native, and I'm currently living there now.

Where did you earn your undergraduate degree? 

Brigham Young University

What was your degree program at Dartmouth and when did you graduate? 

I was a doctoral student in molecular and cell biology and graduated in 2021.

Why did you choose Dartmouth to pursue your degree?

I chose Dartmouth because I wanted to get my PhD at a school that was focused on mentoring and training PhD students. Dartmouth prioritizes their PhD students allowing them to get a lot of exposure to training they may not receive at other institutions.

What is your area of research and what inspired your research? 

I've always been interested in cancer research but became interested in immunology during my undergraduate work. The immune-oncology field has been expanding with incredibly impactful technology and discoveries. This inspired me to join Yina Huang's lab which had an immune oncology focus.

What is your current position and what path did you take to get there?

I'm currently a cofounder at Eris Biotech. It has been an exciting journey! During my time at Dartmouth, I quickly realized an academic career wasn't for me, but I still wanted the opportunity to direct my own destiny. After working for two years after my PhD at a startup company, I reconnected with an old friend and colleague from my undergrad years. We decided it was time to make the leap and start something on our own. Eris Biotech was launched, and shortly after we were accepted into YCombinator, a world-renowned training program for startups. Although we've only been on this journey for a few months, we've been able to make progress at record speed, and we're excited for the path ahead.

How did Dartmouth prepare you for your current position?

Throughout my time at Dartmouth, I learned to be resourceful and build grit. I had to start a new thesis project from the ground up several times throughout my PhD. Although it caused a lot of stress at the time, it taught me how fast you can get results if you're organized and clever. I also learned when to move on and when to give projects the extra push they need to get going. This has been essential in working in startups.

How do you fill your time when you are not working? 

I play soccer, snowboard, bake, and hike (a hobby I really started to do consistently while at Dartmouth).

What is your favorite memory of your time at Dartmouth? 

I really enjoyed building the Dartmouth Biotech Club. It was a new challenge and very rewarding to help students find a career they were excited about. While at Dartmouth I used to have "cook nights" with a group of fellow students. We would learn to cook each other's favorite food and it grew into quite the event. We spent time supporting one another, laughing, and eating excellent food! Many of us are still close friends today.

What advice do you have for current students? 

Make as many friends and connections with your fellow graduate students as you can and take time for professional development. Your fellow students and colleagues at Dartmouth are all part of your network after graduation. They have been essential in connecting me to people that have impacted my career greatly. Additionally, it's not enough to just graduate with a PhD. You need to have developed additional skills to be successful in the workforce. Don't be afraid to take a little more time during your PhD to do an internship or attend professional development events. They will pay off!