Michael Kohan

Biotech student Michael Kohan is an associate at Crossix, a healthcare data analytics company, where he advises pharmaceutical companies on their marketing spend and market strategy. A Pathways student, he received his undergraduate degree from Yeshiva University in economics and public health. He is scheduled to graduate from the BME program in January.

Q: Why did you choose the BME program at Katz?

When preparing to graduate from Yeshiva University, I began looking into my post-grad options. The biotech industry is a black box to most people. We aren’t entirely sure what it is, but it sounds exciting and futuristic. Learning more about the applications of technology to the medical and biological fields intrigued me. The fact that it was also about managing such enterprises attracted me further, because I want to work in the industry but not do research.

Once I realized how affordable it would be through the Pathways program, I was even more convinced. I studied public health as an undergraduate because I wanted to work in a field that I could be proud of, where I felt I was making a positive impact, not just making money. With the COVID-19 pandemic, public health is critically important because it saves lives. The biotech management degree became the perfect way to expand my options and launch my career.

Q: How has the program helped you in your career?

The work is exceptionally relevant to what I am doing in my day job at Crossix. My clients are pharmaceutical and biotech companies, and my courses teach us about all aspects of the biotech industry: legal, regulatory, strategy, financial. As an example, I may learn about a new type of clinical trial in class and then work with a drug that was approved through that pathway. With my education, I now know about new drugs hitting the market and the big players in the field. For example, one project was to create a target product profile for an upcoming drug that was not yet on the market. I also know more about the development and commercialization process than most of my peers at work. Furthermore, I understand the complex regulatory systems in place and how they can significant impact the go-to-market timelines of a product.

Q: What has been some of your favorite moments?

Some of the program’s highlights are the faculty. As a student I benefit from the unique industry connections that they offer, as the faculty are all involved in the industry and help students with their network. Our faculty is diverse, ranging from attorneys, to scientists and physicians, to the president of a biotech company, to the director at a large contract research organization. As a result of their diverse backgrounds, members have been able to bring in unique guest speakers, including people from the FDA, big pharma executives and successful innovators. We get the chance to speak with these industry leaders and ask them our own personal questions while learning from their past successes and failures.

Q: What advice would you give to a prospective student?

Many people come in to the biotech industry thinking it’s something about futuristic prosthetics, but the reality is that many of the therapies being researched and approved today are biological and sit at the heart of the biotech industry. I didn’t understand at first that the biotech industry had broad applications in agriculture and industry. I was under the impression it was a niche in the healthcare industry, but it’s powerful and rapidly growing.

The Katz School of Science and Health is an academic powerhouse in the heart of New York City. It offers master’s programs in five sectors that are redefining the economy: Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, Biotech and Health, Digital Media, and Fintech. In the lab, classroom and clinic, we lead with kindness, integrity, generosity and a commitment to making the world safer, smarter and healthier.

Click here for information about the Bright Futures Scholarship Initiative that offers a total fixed tuition of $25,000 for science and technology master’s degrees.

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