Helping scientific discoveries become medical products with an MS in Biotechnology

Catherine Reville, M.S. in Biotechnology graduate

Early in her career, Catherine Reville found success as a technical sales specialist and life sciences product manager at two different companies, Affymetrix and Luminex. Though she thrived in these roles, she realized she had much to learn about the life sciences industry.

“I was just beginning to understand its complexity,” she says.

As her industry knowledge grew, Reville identified some exciting opportunities for her career. She started pursuing these opportunities through the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Master of Science in Biotechnology Program.

The multidisciplinary MS in Biotechnology Program focuses on product development and technology-based entrepreneurship, combining the study of science, law, and business. Geared toward working professionals with busy schedules, including practicing scientists, technical professionals, attorneys, and businesspeople, the two-year program offers classes on evenings and weekends. Instructors include UW–Madison faculty and biotechnology leaders from private industry in the Madison area.

Through her experiences attending tradeshows and interacting with customers, Reville became interested in the many factors that contribute to a biotechnology company’s success or failure. She realized that to advance her career, she’d have to become more familiar with non-science disciplines and bolster her knowledge about business and entrepreneurship.

Where science and business intersect

The MS in Biotechnology Program had just the resources Reville needed. Her coursework helped her understand how technological discoveries become successful commercial products in the biotechnology industry. Learning from university faculty and industry leaders provided valuable perspectives from both sides of this equation. It also exposed her to cutting-edge research and practical strategies for turning a discovery into a product.

In addition to providing crucial information and insights, the program helped Reville develop her leadership skills. Team-based assignments strengthened these skills and her ability to manage cross-functional groups and projects. In the process, she also discovered her greatest strengths as a leader and project manager.

“The program helped me recognize my core strengths and provided the environment to foster them,” she explains.

Since graduating in 2015, Reville has put her skills and knowledge to work at Deloitte, where she works as a life sciences technology consultant. She helps biopharmaceutical clients implement technology solutions for clinical trial management, medical research, and medical information, important parts of the process of turning a scientific discovery into a medical product. Reville also provides guidance on how to create business processes that are likely to succeed in the life sciences industry, not just the research lab.

Learn more about the Master of Science in Biotechnology Program.

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