Allyson Davidson, Ph.D.


joined DHC in the fall of 2018
Primarily in cell therapy: downstream “process development”
There’s a lot of satisfying variety and closure: you get in, you get out, you get the work done. Remote employment and the ability to flex our brains and lives around our projects gives us all the chance to be at our best.
I’ve found my data science experience to be in particular demand at Dark Horse because this space can feel so abstract sometimes, making it hard for clients to forecast out effectively. Presenting a five year quant model to clients based on what they’re doing now and seeing them identify what they need down the line is the best feeling: I can help people see what they need to know to make solid decisions.
Allyson with her dog lovingly licking her face
I seem to have a pattern of adapting to opportunities that present themselves. Looking back, I’ve lived in seven states and all of those moves were to places I’d never been, to do something I’d never done before. When I got my first job they needed me right away so I wrote my doctoral thesis in a month and a half—something I now realize was highly atypical but at the time was just what I needed to do. When I needed to complete a project for which the right tools just didn’t really exist, I started programming what is on track to become our proprietary web-based quant modeling software.

I attempt to wake up before my two young kids so I can get a calm start on the day with just a moment or two of sanity! I work out of a dog-friendly co-working facility so I (electric-assist) bike the couple of miles there with my 70-lb rescue dog, Petra, behind me in her trailer. She’s the kind of dog who spreads goodwill and a sense of calm so she’s the perfect office dog.

I may have been the first Dark Horse outlier in this respect because I hadn’t worked with anyone here before joining the team. My colleagues and I have such complementary skillsets that the chance to work with all of them was an easy decision to make.

Dark Horse has offered me such a wide variety of experience—a breadth of knowledge you’d never get at a single company. I encounter more each year here than in any five given years in the industry. In an average month, I’d say we’re all working with 3-10 clients and that keeps it incredibly interesting.

Growing up, my primary intent was to go to college (I’m a first-generation college grad) but I didn’t have a particular avenue in mind other than a kid-sized dream of being a movie critic. My math and science teachers were so supportive and encouraged me to apply to elite schools as a means of getting a more complete financial aid package and sure enough, I ended up with a full ride to Vanderbilt. I liked my schooling but the culture shock of moving from rural Idaho was intense, so I focused on my end goal of getting a job. I met my husband through a craigslist ad for a housemate and we were friends for a long time before realizing that actually, were a lot more than friends. And just like that, every step forward has been about opening my eyes to the possibilities around me and making the most out of every opportunity.

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