Students in the Master of Medical Biotechnology programStudents in the Master of Medical Biotechnology program get training in business to make them valuable to employers.

Grad program adds business skills to biotech knowledge

The Master of Medical Biotechnology (MMB) program, which helps students with a chemistry or biochemistry background acquire business skills as well as upgrade their biotechnology lab skills, has tripled in size since its 2013 inception, says co-ordinator Tranum Kaur.

“This program is unique because it is tailored to both science and business,” he says. “In addition to monitoring market trends to ensure we are teaching the most current medical biotech techniques, we custom-designed our own strategic management of innovation and biotechnology entrepreneurship business courses that train launching and managing of promising innovations into the market, with minimum business risk.”

The 16-month program, run through the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is designed to encourage students to develop successful careers in biotech entrepreneurship, medical and pharmaceutical materials characterization, medical diagnostics or biotechnology product development and monitoring. It offers 10 courses, including drugs from discovery to market, human physiology and mechanisms of disease, and clinical biochemistry.

“Universities must create graduates who are market ready and this successful program saw a jump from 15 students in the first class, to 32 the next year to a recent graduate class of 50,” says department head Bulent Mutus. “We take trained chemistry and biochemistry professionals, some who are already experienced pharmacists and doctors, and upgrade their skills with hands-on lab experience using the latest and greatest in biotechnology.”

Its enrolment is primarily international students who come from China, Nigeria, India, Mexico, Ghana and Russia.

“This program helps you acquire skills that are needed in today’s pharma and biotech industry, because nowadays companies are looking for people with both business managerial skills as well as lab experience,” says Krupa Vasoya, a first-year MMB student and a trained pharmacist from India. “This is a strong program that will get me ready to start my own successful business.”

Classmate Anna Podlesnaia is also a trained pharmacist. She says it was worth coming to Windsor from Russia to study in the MMB program: “UWindsor is a reputable program and I love it. The professors engage your attention and spark your interest.”

In addition to the course and laboratory work, the program fosters industry relationships with field trips and offers entrepreneurship symposiums featuring industry and academic experts.

“We take a holistic approach to ensure students are market ready and train them with the soft skills to be confident,” says Dr. Kaur. “The program’s soft skills workshops round out the education by focusing on everything you need to succeed from leadership qualities, to effectively pitching a product or an idea, and to interview techniques.”