Biotechnology Alumni Highlights

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Name: Scott Gygax, PhD
Position: Vice-Chair and Program Director, Biotechnology, Department of Medical Laboratory and Biotechnology

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Biotechnology Alumni Highlights

 

Dante Moyer (Class of 2020)-Regulatory Affairs Manager

Currently, I am finishing up my job at a biotech startup that is headquartered in Canada. The company focuses on rapid COVID-19 testing and is interested in creating a rapid multiplex diagnostic system for respiratory diseases. For this company I was originally involved with the science side of the business – creating SOPs and designing experiments. After the first month though, my role with the company evolved and I ended on taking on projects and leadership positions that were involved with the regulatory aspect of the company, creating and implementing a quality management system (QMS), competition research, investor presentation creation, and strategy planning. My time with the company is coming to an end at the end of June as I prepare to begin medical school at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM), where I am going to begin my training to hopefully become a pediatric surgeon.

            The biotech program really set me up for success at a startup. On top of the obvious preparation such as teaching me scientific basics in biotechnology and a little about business/investing, I was able to learn a number of other skills that really helped me in the workforce. These included the ability to present well, write out my thoughts in a grant proposal or for a paper, and work in a leadership role. Additionally, and probably most importantly, because of the breadth of information that we learned and had to be tested on and present on in the program, I came out with a strong ability to talk to people from all professional backgrounds and talk as in-depth or as high level as possible to allow anyone to understand what I was doing. This included explaining to C-suite execs and potential investors what our products were, what we were researching, and why we were different from our competitors. I was also able to talk with our scientists and engineers about the business plan, how we wanted to position ourselves, and why it was important for us to focus on certain aspects of the product vs others. Without the biotech program, I would have been prepared to talk science with science-based people, and maybe a little business with business-based people, but because of my training in the program I was able to evolve my presentations and how I explained certain topics based on the people I was talking to, which allowed me to not only thrive in my job, but to also help those I interacted with to more fully grasp complex concepts outside of their field of interest.