School of Management Launches Bioscience Management Program

Posted: November 14, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

Advances in bioscience affect every aspect of society. Leaders in the industry need knowledge not only of the advances taking place in the scientific realm, but also knowledge of business techniques and organizational skills. With this in mind, the School of Management created a new program in bioscience management, unique to the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area and joining only a handful of programs like it in the country.

The M.S. in Bioscience Management Program educates managers of organizations that conduct research and develop products and services in the basic sciences, especially those focused on the biological and medical sciences.

Intended for working science managers and researchers who have three to eight years of professional experience, the program concentrates on areas such as teamwork and leadership, project management, industry structure, and forecasting. It is a 36-credit, executive part-time program. It offers domestic and international residencies; technologically enhanced course work to allow students from across the country to participate virtually; a cohort learning community; and a capstone project.

“The program was created based on the premise that many of the failures of getting therapeutics and medical devices and procedures to market are not based on a failure of the science but of management,” says Andres Fortino, director of the program. “By producing management-educated scientists, we can go a long way to improving this picture and benefiting society.”

For course work, two days of face-to-face class meetings–one at the start of the semester and the other at the end–take place at Mason’s Arlington Campus. The rest of the meetings are held through two-hour videoconferences every other week for each course. These technically facilitated sessions are used for discussions, guest speakers, panels, or presentations. An international residency allows students to study in England at Cambridge University for one week, meeting and learning from officials in government and business bioscience centers throughout Western Europe.

“Business is the engine which will turn one of a kind bioscience discoveries into useful products, valuable for society,” says Fortino. “I tell my faculty, ‘The scientist you educate today is the one who will get the product to market that you will need when you retire.'”

The program admitted eight students, who came from as far away as North Dakota, for the fall semester. For more information, visit the program’s web site.

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