From Bench to Biotech

Kendall Square has been called the most innovative square mile in the United States, in part due to the high density of biotechnology and biopharmaceutical companies in the MIT-adjacent neighborhood of Cambridge, Massachusetts — but more so thanks to the generations of MIT-trained doctoral students who have pursued careers in these local companies after graduation. Yet, that innovation ecosystem remains a mystery for many current students.

“Many, or even most, graduate students have no substantive experience with the biopharma industry despite the likelihood that they will pursue careers in this realm,” says Doug Lauffenburger, the Ford Professor of Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Biology. For the last several years, the departments of Biology and Biological Engineering have tried to better inform and prepare their students for that possibility with 7.930/20.930 (Research Experience in Biopharma), a for-credit class providing late-stage doctoral students with hands-on experience in industry.

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