Career QnA

Read about the career choices our mentors have made to become established biotech professionals. Each month, a new mentor will share their career journeys and advice for those wishing to follow in their footsteps.

May Kazem

Ashraf Amlani - Tuesday, December 28, 2010

May Kazem currently works as a business development intern at the Centre for Drug Research and Development. Previously, she has worked as a senior formulations technician at CDRD and a research associate at Tekmira Pharmaceuticals. May is also completing a Master’s in Health Administration from UBC. She is a graduate of the UBC/BCIT joint B.Sc in biotechnology (honours) program. May has supported many SBN initiatives over the years, initially as an SBN executive and more recently as an SBN mentor. She shares her experiences in the BC biotechnology sector below.

SBN: Describe a typical day at work.


MK: I evaluate the market opportunity and challenges for different therapeutic and diagnostic technologies. My work includes doing quick market analysis of what other drugs and technologies exist that are complementary or competitive in nature to technologies that we bring into the centre. I also investigate the different regulatory and commercialization approaches in development of some of the well known blockbuster drugs.

SBN: What do you enjoy the most about your work?

MK: The fact that I am able to access a wide range of information on different diseases, and their currently available drugs and therapeutic approaches. I have always followed trends in Drug Development as a hobby. It is extremely rewarding to do what you like as a career.

SBN: What are some of the biggest challenges you face as Business Development Intern at CDRD?

MK: Things move at a very fast pace so being able to pull the relevant information for under tight deadlines can sometime be a little challenging. 

SBN: Would you share any challenges you encountered while establishing your career?

MK: Transitioning into a business development role with an academic background and bench research experience was a definite challenge. 

SBN: Any advice you would like to share with those wishing to continue in your footsteps?

MK: Identify what it is that you envision yourself pursuing as a career and then take all the necessary steps to make it a reality.

Talk to May Kazem in person at SBN's Annual Career Expo & Conference on March 1 at the Vancouver Convention Centre

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