UST’s MCTM Route to a Fascinating and Rewarding Career in Biotech
As Illustrated by Three Graduates
A unique and challenging program at the University of St. Thomas-Houston is a perspective-changing gateway to a career in the biotech community, whether you choose to focus on finance, business, management or innovation in that field. Three 2020 graduates of UST’s Master in Clinical Translation Management (MCTM) program demonstrate the degree’s rewards. Since graduation, all have worked in their chosen fields and have recently secured excellent new jobs or promotions.
An MCTM Degree Offers Attractive Diversity
Kelly Hartman, MCTM ’20, began her new position as Program Project Manager with Houston Methodist Academic Institute in November 2021.
“I work in their Regulatory Affairs and Translational Management office,” Hartman said. “The position allows me to utilize the skills I learned with the degree. It is a significant step forward in my career as I wanted to work directly with promising research in early-stage development. My role is to provide administrative support for biomedical research projects by working closely with the research team, maintaining budgets and assuring timeline adherence.”
Ahmed AlRawi, MCTM ’20, recently accepted a new position as Program Manager of the Accelerator for Cancer Therapeutics at TMC Innovation.
AlRawi said, “I manage a $5 million grant from the state of Texas. The grant allows TMC Innovation to provide business resources to early-stage biotech companies at no cost or equity. This support enables these start-ups to advance their novel therapeutics platforms toward commercialization. In conjunction, I’m managing a cohort of 21 participants—seven of which are biotech start-ups—in an intensive nine-month accelerator program.”
On the subject of start-up companies, Ashley Scott, MCTM ’20, was promoted not long ago to Head of U.S. Business Operations at ARTIDIS, Inc., in the Texas Medical Center.
“Start-up companies are a great place to rapidly develop because you are given the opportunity to wear as many hats as you can effectively handle,” Scott explained. “ARTIDIS first recruited me in June 2021 as senior manager of marketing in the United States, and my mission was to plant a flag in the Texas Medical Center. Mission accomplished. In my new role as Head of U.S. Business Operations, I will support the company’s efforts to develop key collaborations with local healthcare institutions for clinical studies in support of FDA approval.”
Advantages of an MCTM from UST
Scott and AlRawi were no strangers to UST before their time as MCTM students. Scott graduated with a business degree in 2004, AlRawi received his bachelor’s in biochemistry in 2012, and Hartman holds a B.S. in cellular and molecular biology from Ohio University.
“My MCTM degree not only enhanced my learning and credentials, but it also expanded the network of people who continue to enrich my life in every aspect exponentially,” AlRawi said.
Scott said, “There are so many options for career paths to be explored when you understand the clinical translation management process. The MCTM program was the impetus for the cascade of events that led me to where I am currently.”
Hartman noted, “While the MCTM prepares you to take the next steps in your career, it also prioritizes your development as a professional with the workforce. Students build new connections, have access to individuals at the top of their respective fields, and learn how to prioritize your workflows to get the most out of each aspect of the program. You also become part of the UST community, which will continue to support your development—personal and professional—long after you graduate.”
A Word from an MCTM Champion
Dr. Beena George, UST’s Chief Innovation Officer and champion of the MCTM program, said, “With the accelerated timeline of the program, the flexibility of online courses, the access to real-life biotech, and the level of personal attention given to each individual, MCTM students are provided with an ideal environment to prepare themselves for the next steps in their careers.”
To learn more about UST’s MCTM program, go here.