Graduate Spotlight: Lauren Langis ’11
In Support of Student Diversity
One of the defining characteristics of the MS Biotechnology program is the diversity of its student body – both in country of origin and past experiences. Alumnus Lauren Langis embodies the latter, as her experiences leading up to her admittance to Georgetown were as unique as any.
Lauren attended the United States Naval Academy for undergrad where she majored in Political Science but was also exposed to a curriculum heavily focused on engineering and mathematics. After serving her commitment as a Naval Officer on the USS Spruance (DD 963), a naval destroyer, she attended the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where she discovered an interest in science and biotechnology.
From there, Lauren sought a program that would build upon her piqued interest in science, and contribute to her growing breadth of knowledge. She decided on Georgetown’s Masters in Biotechnology for its broad curriculum options and the various career paths they afford, including: biopharma, intellectual property, regulatory affairs, and finance.
Before committing to the program, Lauren met with its director, Dr. Chirikjian, and was convinced of Georgetown’s commitment to diversity and supporting students who may not have a traditional science background. Although the science courses seemed daunting, Lauren knew she would be successful based on her work ethic – which was tested, refined, and strengthened throughout her previous experience in the Navy and at law school.
This work ethic, combined with fellow student and professor support, proved to be enough. Lauren successfully completed her biotech internship in Global Public Policy at Merck & Co. Inc., and continued working there after graduating in 2011. Through the experience gained at Merck and leveraging the network she built, she subsequently secured a position in Global Regulatory Affairs at Biogen Idec in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She currently works in Regulatory Affairs – Global Labeling at Novartis, which entails working cross-functionally to create the Core Data Sheet (CDS) which is the foundation for the packaging and drug information for every drug product on the market. Her role establishes the company’s position about what every product actually does, and helps ensure transparency to patients and prescribers about the minimum safety and maximum effectiveness of a product.
Lauren appreciates that the diversity amongst Georgetown’s graduate student body reflects the current landscape of working in big pharma – both rely heavily on groups of multinational individuals successfully working together for the betterment of innovation and health. Working collaboratively in diverse groups of peers at Georgetown helped prepare Lauren for her functions within the biopharma industry.
Reflecting on her time at Georgetown, she remarked: