Setting the stage for a startup with the M.S. in Biotechnology Program

Biotechnology illustration

After working in the pharmaceutical industry for a number of years, Jason Mlsna began dreaming of launching a biotechnology company. He needed to expand his science knowledge first, though. That’s why he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Master of Science in Biotechnology Program.

Focused on technology-based entrepreneurship and product development, the two-year M.S. in Biotechnology Program prepares students for the industry with a multidisciplinary lineup of science, business, and law courses. And with evening and weekend classes taught by UW–Madison faculty and industry leaders from the Madison area, the program is an excellent fit for busy professionals such as business executives, scientists, and attorneys.

Watch Mlsna discuss the program in the video below.

Cutting-edge science

Mlsna earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business management from UW–Madison, so he felt confident the university’s biotechnology master’s would serve him well. While he was well versed in the business practices and principles that drive the pharmaceutical industry, he knew he needed to study science at a higher level to thrive in a biotech leadership role. Courses in early drug discovery, molecular technologies, and more gave him the foundation he needed.

Mlsna also knew the M.S. in Biotechnology Program could take his professional network to the next level.

Jason Mlsna, graduate of the MS in Biotechnology Program
Jason Mlsna knew the program could connect him to a network of people doing innovative work.

“It was an opportunity to seek out that network of folks that are on the cutting edge of biotechnology,” he says.

These connections will serve him well when he starts his own biotech company, something he hopes to do in the Madison area. Specifically, he wants to apply what he learned in the program on a global scale, by developing and commercializing biotechnological agents and pharmaceutical products.

“There is that ability to take cutting-edge science and commercialize it, and to really build, develop, and grow a pretty amazing early-phase company and hopefully turn it into some great things along the line,” he explains. “I’m excited about the quality of the people and the science here in Madison. That’s one of the things that keeps me in the Madison area.”

Ready for the future

Mlsna is currently a regional sales manager at pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, but he’s closer to his entrepreneurial goals than ever before. Plus, no matter where he goes in the future, he feels positioned for success with his new biotech expertise.

“If you look at the globe today, do you think biotechnology is going to get less important or more important? My bet is that it’s absolutely going to be more important with the evolution of personalized medicine, agriculture, you pick it,” Mlsna says.

In other words, he’s as excited about the future of the industry as he is about his own career.

For more information, see the M.S. in Biotechnology Program website. The program will accept applications for fall 2019 through May 1, 2019, or until the student cohort is full.