I was born/grew up in: I was born and grew up in India. I completed my post-secondary education in Canada.
I now live in: I currently live in Tampa, Florida.
What I do at work
My job is to take interesting scientific information and help turn it into a commercial product. My work comes under the heading of "technology commercialization". This means that I am a cog in the giant wheel that converts interesting scientific insights into products. For example, research done on cancer in a research lab might become a drug used to treat a certain cancer. The process to transfer such a technology from the lab bench to the bedside of the patient is long, and involved. In my current role, I am involved in all aspects of this process.
My work requires a Ph.D. in one of the hard-sciences (Biology is preferred), and post-doctoral training is an asset. My extensive background in science helps me understand the research that is being done at Moffitt. My training in academic research helps me better understand and appreciate the perspective of the Moffitt scientist/physician whose technology we are trying to license to a company. This helps us negotiate an acceptable deal when the Moffit scientist and an industry partner have different views.
At this stage in my career, I do not make many decisions. I help find and present information that will help the higher-ups make informed decisions. For example, I will often perform extensive research on a potential industry partner. I will summarize this research and present it to my office workers. This will help them make an informed decision.
My career path is
In high school, I wanted to study medicine. For most of my undergraduate years, I was a "pre-med". That is, someone hoping to be accepted into medical school one day. Research was a last minute option that I turned to because my medical school plan did not work out. I noticed that many of the medical school applicants had a Master’s degree. They had done a Master’s program to get research experience. This strengthened their future applications for medical school. As a result, I entered the world of research.
While my early experiences were pleasant, it wasn't until after my Master's degree that I fell in love with research. The area that really interested me was neuropsychological and psychiatric research. I went on to complete doctoral research in this area. To this date, psychiatric research remains most fascinating to me, especially behavioural research. I am glad I was able to participate in this area of research as a doctoral student.
I am motivated by
My biggest motivator is the belief that at least some of my work will result in a product that can help patients or their families and make life easier for them. It gives me a sense of having made a difference in the larger scheme of things.
How I affect peoples’ lives
I have grown to love science. I especially love academic science (as I experienced it being part of relatively small sized, cozy labs). After my post-doctoral training, I had reached the conclusion that the life of an academic professor was not for me. However, I wanted to stay connected to the academic research world. When I learned of Technology Transfer as a career option, it seemed to be the ideal fit for me. It also helped feed my growing interest in the business side of healthcare/pharma. Therefore, when the opportunity to work in my present office presented itself, I grabbed it with all my might!
Outside of work I
I like to create online content focused on south Asian popular culture (which I grew up around), especially as blog posts. I also like to read and to attempt to write fiction. I have published a novella on Wattpad, and have a couple more that are awaiting completion.
My advice to others
Be self-aware, be open to new experiences, and always look at the bright side of things. Life doesn't always pan out the way we intended it to. However, things do always work out in the end in a manner that feels fulfilling and purposeful. Good luck!