You-shin Chen (2007)
Senior Scientist, FAST Diagnostic Systems, LLC
The memory goes back to 2006 when I first joined the Master’s in Biotechnology program at Georgetown University. I had just graduated with a B.S. degree in Biotechnology from Washington State University but had little exposure to business courses. On the first day of orientation, the program director (and also biotech entrepreneur) Dr. Jack Chirikjian gave an inspiring and humorous opening speech about how we will be offered a variety of different science and business courses, along with the practical training opportunity, all in two semesters. I soon realized that this program would be challenging yet rewarding.
The time I spent during my studies was indeed very productive. We were offered diversified courses in different topics including biochemistry, drug design, intellectual property, finance, bioinformatics, bioethics, management, and marketing. Hands-on experiments taught us good laboratory and manufacturing practices, fermentation, and bioprocessing. I particularly liked how the program offered a great amount of flexibility to cultivate different professionals.
The program welcomed students from different background and with different dreams, and helped them fulfill their goals by all means.
The opportunity to work in a biotechnology company as an internship student helped me to identify and explore my career goals as I experienced the job duties in different positions at the company. I learned that the product is the foundation for a successful biotech company. Therefore, after the program, I chose to pursue my Ph.D. degree to be involved in research and development. Throughout my Ph.D. studies, I applied skills and knowledge gained through the Biotech program every day. I practiced how to design experiments, lead a project, and manage a lab. Now I have graduated with a Ph.D. degree and am working as a Senior Scientist in a start-up biotech company, developing a molecular diagnostics platform. I dream of having my own biotech company one day, helping patients defeat cancers with personalized medicine.
My experience at GU has helped me build a solid foundation to be a successful scientist. In addition, the connections built with a very diversified and international group of classmates allows me to get a better picture about global biomedical research and healthcare. What still amazes me now is that the program never stops adapting to the state-of-art biomedical knowledge and techniques. This spirit has certainly become a driving force for me to keep moving forward with my career.