Biotechnology Management
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Biotechnology?


Biotechnology is the commercialization of life science innovations. This includes biomedical products such as pharmaceuticals, medical devices, diagnostics, nutraceuticals, etc. The Biotechnology Track under the HEMA program prepares students for leadership positions in companies involved in the development of life science innovations, from startups to large pharmaceuticals and medical device organizations.

Why did Kellogg create a specialized Center for Biotechnology Management?


Innovation is the foundation of Kellogg, a school that is recognized globally for the speed with which its curriculum adapts to market needs. In 2000, recruiters voiced strong demand for a program addressing the commercialization of life sciences (including pharmaceutical, biotech, medical devices and agriculture). Kellogg responded quickly by creating the Center for Biotechnology to study innovations in the life sciences and to establish a biotechnology major. The new Health Enterprise Management (HEMA) program was created in 2008 as an umbrella for the existing biotechnology and health care programs. The students now major in HEMA with a focus on products (biotech track) or services (HIM track).

What are the experiential opportunities in Biotech?


There are several experiential opportunities for students interested in Biotech. The center was central in designing the Medical Innovations course (HEMA 915-916). This initiative involves students and faculty from the business, medical, engineering and law schools. You can also enroll in a biotech business practicum and work on a industry focused research project in marketing, business development, venture or consulting depending on your interest. One could also participate in Biomedical Intelligence teams. The project is funded by NIH to help start-ups at Northwestern University.

What are some of the networking opportunities I have through the Center?

The center has a vibrant industrial advisory board comprised of a mix of individuals with strong ties to the industry. They contribute by providing mentorship and offering projects for the students as well as valuable research material like BioCentury subscriptions. Students also interact with the biotech members in Illinois through iBIO (Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization) and internationally through BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization). Our alumni support the current students as mentors and as future employers. Programs such as the alumni mixers, bootcamps and speaker series allow students to learn and network. Senior executives are frequent speakers at Kellogg. Download a sample list (PDF 8 KB).

Does the Center offer projects in collaboration with other colleges within Northwestern?


Yes, our students have conducted projects with faculty in other schools at Northwestern. As mentioned earlier, medical innovation course is taught by faculty from other schools and you work with students from law, engineering and medical school.

What are some current projects?


One of the research project is on the economic impact of the biopharmaceutical industry in Illinois. This study will analyze the sector’s direct and indirect contributions to the state economy. In addition, the project will assess the value of companies’ intellectual capital through evaluation of their expected growth. This study intends to generate important policy implications on the innovation policies of the state of Illinois. The center also sponsors new  cases.

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