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Leaving academic research is a gut wrenching decision, even if you never wanted an academic position in the first place. I’ve always been more interested in the applications of science rather than the theories. I like being able to have a tangible outcome from my hard work, like a sensor, a diagnostic assay or a drug. Knowledge for knowledge’s sake just doesn’t get me excited. I need to at the very least see a path for utility in the very near future. So, I actually never really wanted an academic career, but I didn’t realize until I got to grad school that you weren’t supposed to tell anyone that. In fact, it’s a wonder I was even accepted to graduate school, as I wrote in my application essays that I wanted to go into ...