Scientist Development Program

Scientists aren’t born, they’re created out of a passion to change lives for the better. Initiated in 2011 by the Aclaris subsidiary, Confluence Discovery Technologies, our scientist development program was designed to foster the minds of young scientists who have graduated from college with a 4-year degree and who want to make an impact.

Members of the program will have the opportunity to gain real-world experience, particularly in drug development and discovery. Generally, these young scientists spend one to three years in our program before moving on to a graduate program in the sciences or to a medical school.



Total number
of participants:

14 associate



Time with

1-3 years



Schools represented: Washington University in St. Louis, University of Missouri, Johns Hopkins, University of Iowa, Ames


areas of post placement

Post program placement: medical school, graduate school for Ph.D. programs, pharmacy school, and associate scientists at Aclaris

Hear from graduates of the program

I experienced an incredibly supportive environment in which to foster my interest in basic science research and it gave me exposure to drug development and pharmacology. I was able to secure a medical student summer research fellowship in large part because I had a set of pre-existing lab skills.

Taryn Surtees M.D.
pediatric neurologist
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Resident, University of Michigan/Ann Arbor

I'm about to enter my third year in the Washington University neuroscience Ph.D. program. My experience gave me a strong foundation in the principles and techniques of pharmacology and molecular-cellular biology, and also introduced me to a team-based scientific approach.

Andrew Luskin
graduate student, Ph.D. program
Washington University Program in Neuroscience
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

The experience I had on the biochemistry team was invaluable. I learned how to work in a collaborative environment, ask for help when I needed it, and eventually learn how to work independently. It’s that experience that makes me want to return to the industry.

Kevin Kramer
graduate student, Ph.D. program
Molecular Pathology and Immunology graduate program
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

I benefited greatly from my experience. It was really helpful to see how the industry works and how a drug is developed. I also learned how to design biology experiments which was really useful for graduate school. Finally, it really set the standard for me on what a positive work environment looks like and the importance of having great mentors.

Mythili Ramachandran
graduate student, Ph.D. program
pharmacology and toxicology
University of California, Davis