Jeff Behrens, course director for HST 590, has founded a few start-ups in his time, and has also studied the obstacles to starting and funding successful biotech companies as part of his doctoral research. “In tech, it is common for first-time entrepreneurs to launch companies and raise significant capital; however, in life sciences this is much more rare,” he says. “And I wanted to learn, why is that?”
Caroline Boudoux, MEMP PhD, ‘07, Assistant Professor, Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal
If you ask Caroline Boudoux what influenced her most during her time as an HST student, she says her most meaningful takeaway was the importance of finding the right mentors. She emphasizes that multiple mentors are needed for different aspects of life. “You can’t expect one person to have all of the experiences that you need for your life.”
Biju Parekkadan, PhD '08, Assistant Professor of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital
Towards the end of Biju Parekkadan’s tenure in HST’s Medical Engineering and Medical Physics (MEMP) PhD program, he received a wake-up call. He had traveled to India to observe medical practices and the healthcare system as a whole. During the visit, he presented his latest research about using cell therapy to reverse acute liver injury.
A local doctor asked, “When can I use this?” Parekkadan had no answer. “I realized there was more I could do to advance this technology. I was leaving a lot on the table.”
Meet Nina Menezes. Currently the Associate Director of Healthcare Strategy at Becton Dickinson (BD)—a global medical technology company that seeks to advance healthcare by improving medical discovery, diagnostics, and delivery of care—she admits that pursuing a medical career was never her dream. But with strong influences in her family and her own thoughtful consideration of the viability of such a career, she entered university intending to study medicine.
Timothy P. Padera, MEMP PhD, ‘03, Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School
Tim Padera works to fight cancer and disease by focusing his research on a far-reaching system of the body—the lymphatic system. As part of the Edwin L. Steele Laboratories for Tumor Biology at Massachusetts General Hospital, the Padera Laboratory uses novel intravital microscopy tools to examine how the lymphatic system drives the progression of cancer through metastatic spread as well as impairment in anti-tumor immune function.