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Yael Mayer

There is an abundance of training resources available for those who want to continue learning, whether that be to advance in their current career or transition to something new. The people here are brilliant, inviting and engaging — that’s the type of environment I am proud to be a part of.”

Yael Mayer

Research Projects Associate, Office for Research and Business Administrator, Center for Synthetic Biology

Yael MayerIn 2009, Yael Mayer was an Administrative Assistant at the University of Chicago-based lab of Milan Mrksich when Mrksich was recruited to Northwestern. When the lab moved to Northwestern, so did Mayer. “I was unsure for a long time if higher education was where I wanted to build my career,” says Mayer, “but Northwestern affords me such a dynamic work environment that I can’t imagine leaving.”

Now, she holds roles in both McCormick School of Engineering’s Biomedical Engineering Department and the Office for Research’s Center for Synthetic Biology. Mayer’s career has grown to include research administration, becoming a Certified Research Administrator in 2017. In addition to developing proposals and managing awards, she plans conferences, seminars and outreach activities. “I started off doing mostly clerical work and now oversee a $10M+ grant portfolio for my Principal Investigator (PI) and the Center.”

However, Mayer’s favorite aspect of Northwestern are her coworkers, who she considers her extended family. “My colleagues are the best and the brightest and they push me to give everything I’ve got,” she says. She relies on these relationships when her deadlines loom and to-do lists get long, and she takes pride in the way her research team can lean on her. “I’ve been there through most of their academic trials and tribulations, but I’ve also had a front row seat to all of their successes,” says Mayer. “I’m pretty confident they are going to change the world.”

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