Neurolex Fellow: Aditya Muralidhar

NeuroLex Laboratories is a seed-stage diagnostics company applying speech analysis to detect various health conditions early, before full-blown symptoms occur. Our core vision is to pioneer a universal voice test, like a blood test with extracted features and reference ranges, for use in primary care to detect psychiatric and neurological conditions. Over the past year, we have expanded our team to over 5 people, launched 7 research pilots, built a pipeline of over 80 startup and research collaborators, and have been featured in various press outlets such as the Atlantic and PsychNews. See more details about Neurolex here!

Read below to see what we learned from speaking with Aditya Muralidhar

1) How did you get started working in Neurolex? What was it like getting the job? How did you stand out from other applicants? Why did you join?

Answer: Neurolex is an early-stage startup, and Aditya joined this organization under an unpaid fellowship/internship.  He met with the company’s CEO before the application went out, as he admired the CEO’s leadership, compassion for others, and how detailed his plans were for carrying out his mission.

When applying for the internship, Aditya didn’t do much to “stand out” from the other applicants; instead, he focused on what aspects of the job aligned with his personal values.

Aditya was drawn to Neurolex because of the CEO’s high compassion for others and the CEO’s years of experience that Aditya felt like he could learn from.

2) What does your day-to-day schedule look like? Do you ever have any off time? Which hours are the most important in the day to you?

Answer: Aditya’s job is a part-time fellowship; it is not structured like a 9-to-5 day job.  At minimum, the CEO expects his interns to put in 2 hours a month so they can make progress on their own personal projects related to the company’s goals.  After that, they can contribute as much as they want; the more they put into their projects, the more they get out of it and the more they learn.  Depending on the month, Aditya has done anywhere from 3 to 4 hours a month to 20 hours a month.  His fellowship is geared towards students currently in school, much like Aditya, and the CEO gives those students free reign to contribute what they want to contribute.  In addition, there is an employee meeting on the last Thursday of every month so everyone can come together and update the others on what they’ve been working on.

3) What kinds of people have you met during your time at Neurolex (i.e. patients & employees)?  What projects do they work on?  What are their passions/interests both inside and outside of the company?

Answer: Neurolex does not have a central office like typical corporations.  Instead, it has 3 accelerators, one of which is here in Atlanta.  The startup contains a board of directors, the CEO, and 30+ students who are working as interns. All the work employees do is done remotely.  As a result, Aditya has not had much of a chance to meet other people working for Neurolex because of how busy everyone is with their own projects and how far apart everyone is from each other.  However, there is a group chat on Slack they use to keep in touch with each other.  The people he has interacted with have somewhat similar interests as him in areas such as research, coding, business, etc.

Aditya does not report to the CEO that often, as he mainly just focuses on his own work, but he will go to the CEO if he needs advice or a resource.

4) Do you keep in touch with patients after you finish treating their cases? Is there ever truly an “end” to their cases?

Answer: Aditya is mainly interested in the business side of Neurolex, so he does not directly interact with mental illness patients.  He was always passionate about anxiety, so he puts together these 2 interests together in his work.  He sets up business plans for anxiety resources, such as grants, awareness events, and business partnerships.  He is basically a catalyst for helping others actually carry out clinical trials and research related to anxiety, as he is not interested in conducting clinical trials himself.

5) What would you say is the most important thing to know for people, particularly BME students, looking to get into the startup industry (or an internship/co-op)?

Answer: He says to “get experience (in the industry) very early.” He recommends specializing in 1 or 2 types of skills; you should make progress on those in your free time and do your best to get experience in what you want to specialize yourself in.

When you want to apply for a job, you should learn how to sell yourself.  To do that, do what you’re passionate about regardless of what other people think. Then when you’re interviewed, you should talk about experiences in ways that naturally show your passion for what you do.  That will stand out to interviewers more easily.

6) What are your plans for after you finish working at Neurolex? Do you want to go back to school for anything, or are you planning to find a job at another company?

Answer: He has a concurrent internship with Halyard, which will continue after his fellowship with Neurolex ends.

He also has 1 semester left to graduate.  After that, he will try to get a full-time job at Halyard, going straight into the industry instead of going to graduate school.

7) When getting a full-time job in the industry, would getting a graduate degree help increase your chances of getting the job?

Answer: “I don’t think it’s wise to get a grad degree just because you assume that’s what industry wants; make a decision based on what the industry is and what you want to go into.  But don’t just take my word for it, do your own research and figure out what you want to do.”

Edited by: Hannah Geil