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Current Fellows

2019 Coulter Fellows Group Photo
Pooja Acharya

Pooja Acharya

MBA
Lebow College of Business

Why did you choose Drexel?

I heard about Drexel University and its business program when I was pursuing my undergraduate degree. When I decided to pursue my MBA, I realized how closely Drexel aligned with my interests. I chose Drexel because of its curriculum and freedom to personalize coursework. Its focus on hand-on learning and supplementing coursework with real-world experience are what ultimately led me to Drexel University. Drexel also has a renowned science department, which would allow me to network with professionals in the healthcare industry.

What attracted you to apply to the Coulter Fellow Program?

The Coulter Fellow Program was a great opportunity for me to combine my background in Biotechnology with the MBA I am currently pursuing. I was also excited by the idea of being exposed to the commercialization process behind innovative medical products/devices. I believed that this program would serve as an ideal springboard to gain deeper understanding of the healthcare industry and in turn, propel my post MBA goal.

What have you learned so far by being a Coulter Fellow?

I have gained a better understanding of the product journey - from the early stages of research to commercialization. In addition, I also learned how to use data to provide valuable and actionable market insights.

How do you feel this role will impact your future?

Having developed a wider perspective of the healthcare industry and the knowledge on methods for product management/development within the industry through extensive market research and analyses has allowed me to expand my skill set and knowledge. I am confident that this will make me better prepared for a career in the industry.

Fun fact: I am a certified yoga instructor


Ian Dwinell

Ian Dwinell

MD/MBA Program
Drexel University College of Medicine (DUCoM)

Why did you choose Drexel?

I chose Drexel because the university has a great reputation for hands-on experience with its co-op program and because Philadelphia is the original epicenter for medical education and research in the United States.

What attracted you to apply to the Coulter Fellows Program?

The Coulter Program is the perfect expression of my decision to pursue an MBA along with my MD degree by joining the knowledge base of the medical field with the business of innovation.

What have you learned so far as a Coulter Fellow?

I have learned that the process of bring a new drug or device to market is a multi-disciplinary approach and is comprised of some incredibly talented individuals with widely diverse backgrounds and expertise.

How will this experience impact your future?

I feel this role has opened a door onto a new path parallel to the path of clinical medicine that will allow me to contribute to advancement in the healthcare field for decades to come.

Fun Fact: I play guitar, drums, and vocals in Drexel Medical College's rock band that has been led by one of our deans for over two decades.


Dharshini Jayaraj

Dharshini Jayaraj

Masters Program, Business Administration
Bennett S. LeBow College of Business

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your 1st year as being a Coulter Fellow?

The most valuable thing I learnt from 1st year was how important market research for any product or business it is.

What did you gain from your 2nd year as a Coulter Fellow?

I gained more experience on Glucose sensors and how we can use it with other purposes.

Advice for Future Fellows

Please take part in these projects, as they give a sneak peak to the real world

Favorite Drexel Memory

Last minute working before any assignment deadlines.


Alec Lafontant

Alec Lafontant

PhD Candidate, Biomedical Engineering
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems (BIOMED)

Why did you choose Drexel?

I was convinced to choose Drexel by a family friend who is an alum of the School of Biomedical Engineering and spoke very highly of the program.

What attracted you to apply to the Coulter Fellows Program?

I have always been interested in biotech market analysis. My undergraduate minor in engineering management consisted of market research for biotech products which was a good way to learn about the competitive industry landscape.

What have you learned so far as a Coulter Fellow?

It's very difficult to develop devices or drugs for rare conditions and disabilities because of limited market potential. This is unfortunate because even the most practical and helpful solutions will have trouble getting funded because it takes a large amount of resources to get a product off the ground and even more through the FDA approval process.

How do you feel this role will impact your future?

I think this role has given me a different perspective of the medical device development process. As an engineering student, I have been mostly involved with building and testing stages but this role allowed me to focus on commercialization of products including identifying the market potential and possible barriers to success.

Fun Fact: I love cooking and making different foods from all continents


Eugene Mironets

Eugene Mironets

PhD Candidate, Neuroscience
College of Medicine

Why I was Drawn to the Coulter Fellowship Program

The Coulter fellowship allows students to gain valuable insight into how an academic project can progress to a clinical application. As graduate students, we are only taught what to do in order to pursue a successful academic career. I was drawn to the Coulter fellowship because I believed it would allow me to understand one facet of science beyond the academic space to help my career once I finish at Drexel.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your 1st year as being a Coulter Fellow?

Prior to being a Coulter fellow, I had very little knowledge of market research. Learning about this space and how critical it is as a resource for finding the right path to commercialize a therapeutic was very eye opening to me, especially as someone interested in translational biomedical research. I also learned that being a marketable person can often be just as important as the product someone is pitching. Investors often care about whom they are investing in as much as what they are investing in.

What did you gain from your 2nd year as a Coulter Fellow?

Fortunately, I got to work on a similar therapeutic during my second year, but for a completely different clinical indication. This was great for me because not only did I broaden my knowledge of the significance of this drug target, but I also learned considerably more about other CNS disease indications and the market opportunities/obstacles associated with them.

Advice for Future Fellows:

Always keep an open mind as a graduate student when you consider your professional path. We are all still so young and so it is best to not restrict your career trajectory at this stage. Personally, my graduate studies and lab commitment make it difficult to do other professional activities. Furthermore, most academic PhD programs do not prepare trainees well for careers outside of academia. Thankfully, I have a progressive boss who encourages me to find opportunities outside the lab like the Coulter fellows program in order to broaden my interests and make myself a more attractive candidate to employers beyond academic institutes.

Favorite Drexel Memory

I really enjoy going to scientific conferences, especially if they are in another country. Conferences allow you to expand your professional network, regularly meet in face with outside collaborators and see old friends. Additionally, there is something refreshing about listening to innovative science in another country. You almost get the pleasure of going on a vacation, yet it still somehow qualifies as work. I always feel more curious and enthusiastic about my work upon returning from a trip.


Alexander Nwobi Opaluwa

Alexander Nwobi Opaluwa

MBA
Lebow College of Business

Why did you choose Drexel?

After studying and working in Asia and Africa, i felt a US MBA would help connect me with a western business mindset and Drexel was my choice because it's more of experiential learning not just classwork.

What attracted you to apply to the Coulter Fellow Program?

For me, the Coulter Fellowship Program gives me a first hands on experience to perform market research and data analysis. Having an engineering background and business expirence this was a perfect experimental learning for my MBA Experience and work life in the USA.

What have you learned so far by being a Coulter Fellow?

I had a great insight into medical device space of how devices go through different stages of trials then to completion before hitting the market. It gave me a insight of the US medical device industry in comparison to the world at large.

How do you feel this role will impact your future?

This role would impact my future as i have a better understanding of the medical field and also in conducting market research. I feel very confident and interested of my future career move when it comes to medical world.

Fun fact: I speak, read and write Chinese (Mandarin)


Harshita Shah

Harshita Shah

Masters Program, Integrated Biomed Engineering & Business
School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems

Why I chose Drexel

There were many reasons for choosing Drexel University for my MS degree. The main reason was the integrated program. My major in Biomedical Engineering and Business, will prepare me for all the sectors related to biomedical industry. Another reason was the excellent advising committee at Drexel that really drew me to this University.

Why I was Drawn to the Coulter Fellowship Program

Being done my undergrad in Biomedical Engineering, I was always attracted to medical device technology development. My major here, at Drexel (Biomedical +Business) gives me an opportunity to learn about the various aspects of healthcare industry. After reading about the coulter fellowship, I thought it would be an excellent opportunity to put my theoretical knowledge to practical analysis. The attributes of the fellowship that attracted me the most were market research, compliance, nascent stage for medical technology development etc. Coulter program aims in transferring promising technologies developed at Drexel into clinical practice. It is a combination of engineering, research and business that fascinated me the most about Coulter fellowship.

What was the most valuable thing you learned from your 1st year as being a Coulter Fellow?

My 1st year as a Coulter fellow was technically the first job I had in my career. I learned good workplace ethics and team learning. I am glad that I could be a part of a team belonging to different educational (engineers, doctors, marketers, neuroscience students, business students) and cultural backgrounds, working towards a single goal: helping the nascent healthcare technologies to grow at Drexel for a better tomorrow, bringing change in lives of people in unimaginable ways.

What did you gain from your 2nd year as a Coulter Fellow?

My project in the 2nd year dealt with technology that is still not available in the market. I gained a great insight of commercializing the new technology (which was not the case in the 1st year). Market research for such a technology is crucial and I think I gained an experience for lifetime.

Advice for Future Fellows

Coulter fellowship allows you to have good industry insight as a student. It provides a good launchpad if you’re interested in the business side of healthcare or look forward to working in industry after your graduation. Mentored by amazing ladies like Amy and Kathie, you are going to have a good time working here, make sure you make the most of it!

Favorite Drexel Memory

I have many special Drexel memories, but the one that I am going to cherish for the lifetime is sipping hot vanilla latte in Lebow Starbucks overlooking the Korman Centre on a snowstorm day! (I belong to a place where temperature never goes below 65F!)