How did your background in the biological sciences help you?
My background and training in the biological sciences provided me with a strong understanding of biological and scientific processes. This has served as the spring board for all my professional endeavors. This background has opened the door for research, development and practical positions in Biotechnology.
How many years have you worked in the field? Where have you worked?
I have been working in some aspect of biotechnology for about 20 years. Starting off running clinical assays developed using immunology and genetic technologies while in college, then in research generating recombinant proteins and genetically modified proteins and teaching microbiology. Then moving into product development of medical devices and pharmaceuticals made by microorganisms, contract process development for biotechnology products and pre-clinical vaccine product development. Currently as a provider of contract biotechnology services like fermentation and assay development.
What do you like most about working in biotechnology?
I enjoy the diversity of products, processes and solutions that Biotechnology offers. These offerings run from small molecule therapeutics and large biologically active proteins made by wild type and engineered microorganisms to ecosystem engineering with modified plants or algae and beyond. Biotechnology’s broad contributions to medicine, informatics, environmental and industrial applications is a source of constant and continual amazement.
What are some areas of opportunity for those just going into the field?
Biotechnology will continue to offer opportunities through the integration of disciplines to solve new problems in energy and medicine. In addition, quality and regulatory issues and work are areas of growth and possibilities.
What advice do you have for current students interested in biotechnology?
I would say build a strong base of knowledge in chemistry, biology and engineering and bring all that knowledge with you in your approach to biotechnology.