masthead titled celebrating 20 years of the MS in Biotechnology Program at UW-Madison

Celebrating 20 Years of Industry Impact

Read the full story here.

Natalie Betz and class in the Biomanufacturing Teaching Lab

Program Overview Video

Brief presentation from March 2022 with Dr. Natalie Betz, Academic Director

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Photo of Tanesha Norris, Class of 2015, looking through a microscope in the biomanufacturing teaching lab.

"I attribute my career success directly to this program."

Tanesha Norris, MS, Class of 2015
Sr. Director, Assay Products Group, Roche (USA)

Discover Tanesha's career progression... More
Photo of Michael Matter, Class of 2016, sitting in a conference room in the University Research Park

"I was a scientist and became a leader in biotechnology."

Michael Matter, MS, Class of 2016
R&D Supervisor, Exact Sciences

About Michael's career advancement... More
Kenyon Koeper, Class of 2015, wearing a lab coat and smiling to the camera

"I'm helping create gene therapies that will save children's lives."

Kenyon Koeper, MS, Class of 2019
Sr. Project Manager, Sarepta Therapeutics

Discover Kenyon's career success... More
A photo of Catherine Reville in a business suit in a conference room

"I wanted to know how biotechnology companies make decisions."

Catherine Reville, MS, Class of 2015
Director of Corporate Strategy, McKesson

From scientist to decision-maker... More
This is a photo of Matt Brieger, Class of 2016, who is a project manager in Chicago, Illinois. He is wearing a sport coat and is sitting in a conference room in the university research park

"I was interested in pursuing management opportunities."

Matthew Brieger, Class of 2016
Project Manager, First Wave BioPharma

Read about Matt's career pivot... More
A photo of Alex Procak, Class of 2017, wearing a lab coat and standing in front of a microscope in the biomanufacturing teaching lab

"This degree helped launch my career as a consultant."

Alexandra Procak, MS, Class of 2016
Senior Manager, Portfolio Strategy, Astellas Pharma.

See all Alumni Success Stories... More

Program Mission

"To deliver an integrated curriculum in science, business, policy and law preparing students to LEAD the development and commercialization of new and promising technologies.”

“This program has been truly transformative for my career!”

Ashley Hallfrisch, Class 2022, Senior Associate Scientist, Catalent Pharma Solutions (LinkedIn, March, 2022)

The Relevance to Industry

The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated biotechnology’s ability to impact human health and well-being. As new technology discoveries are developed to address on-going health and environmental problems, biotechnology companies and their employees must meet the needs of society while navigating the challenges of commercial industry.

What qualities enable companies to deliver the potential of biotechnology?

Longtime faculty member, Mary Westrick, sums it up best:

A photo of Mary Westrick, PhD and faculty member for the M.S. in Biotechnology Program, UW-Madison

“Diverse cross-functional teams get a product to market faster and beat the competition.”

Mary Westrick, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor, Project Management and Leadership
Vice President for U.S. Phase I, Quintiles (retired)
Vice President for Early Clinical Development, Covance (former)

How can the M.S. in Biotechnology help you make a greater contribution to biotechnology and your career?

Graduates gain practical professional skills, including:

  • Cross-functional knowledge and leadership
  • Ability to communicate to diverse audiences
  • Project and people management skills
  • Technological expertise
  • Product development insight
  • Commercialization understanding
  • Corporate strategy and decision-making
  • Skills transferable across careers in any industry

“This program has provided so many opportunities for growth. I now have the momentum to drive my own career path and make the decisions I need to be successful.”

Katie Meling, Class 2022, Laboratory Manager, Elephas - A tumor imaging company (LinkedIn, March, 2022)

"A best-in-class education that helped take my career to new places I’d only dreamed about!”

Derek Buhr, MS, Class 2014, Automation Engineer III, NanoString Technologies, Inc. (LinkedIn, March, 2022)

The Curriculum

The M.S. in Biotechnology offers a powerful two-year curriculum integrating topics in science, business, regulatory policy and law to explain how technology discoveries become commercial products in the biotechnology industry.

This integrated, interdisciplinary curriculum has been custom designed and continuously refined since 2002 to fulfill the program’s mission of preparing students to lead the development and commercialization of emerging biotechnologies.

Curriculum Themes and Courses

Business Regulatory, Policy & the Law Scientific Leadership & Management
Fall 1 Theme: Technology Assessment Business Fundamentals for Biotechnology Intellectual Property, Patents & Licensing;Biotechnology Regulation & Ethics Molecular Tech I: Diagnostic Testing
Spring 1 Theme: Product Development Biotechnology Operations Molecular Tech II: Biomanufacturing Project Management & Leadership
(May - August) No Classes during Summer Term
Fall 2 Theme: Commercialization & Product Delivery Commercialization Pathways Early Drug Discovery; Molecular Tech III: Assay Development
Spring 2 Theme: Scientific Frontiers, Strategic Planning, & Career Management Sustaining Growth Advanced Biotechnology: Global Perspectives Professional Development & Effective Management
Capstone Research Project

“I use the skills and knowledge gained throughout this program on a daily basis. It has changed my career path for the better and given me a strong knowledge base to succeed in the Biotech Industry!”

Caleigh Rasmusen, MS, Class 2017, Supervisor – Enterprise Sourcing, Exact Sciences (LinkedIn, March, 2022)

A Blend of UW-Madison Scholars and Biotechnology Industry Leaders

An All-Star Cast of Faculty and Instructors

The program’s faculty are recruited from commercial private industry and from across UW-Madison, including the Wisconsin School of Business, the UW Law School, the School of Pharmacy, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the School of Medicine and Public Health, and more.

The result for students is direct access to foremost scientific, business, and regulatory policy professionals, all of whom are committed to your professional growth and career success.

You will be challenged by the faculty and this curriculum, but rewarded with a profound experience and degree that will benefit you for a lifetime.

MS in Biotechnology Program Faculty Group Photo
The M.S. in Biotechnology Program's principal faculty gathered for a light-hearted photo during New Student Orientation. On Wisconsin! (August 2018)

“This graduate program was the catalyst for big changes in my career. I attribute a significant part of my success to the skills and network I developed here.”

Oliver Pentinmaki, MS, Class 2010, Account Executive, Benchling (LinkedIn, March, 2022)

Alumni Success Stories

Career Impact is Immediate and Lasting 

Explore the alumni profiles highlighted below and consider your own career potential.

The cross-functional knowledge our students gain helps them successfully lead their careers toward positions of greater leadership and responsibility.

The results of the M.S. in Biotechnology degree are real:

90% of students cite a “significant or considerable” impact on their careers even before they graduate.

Two decades of alumni success has proven that program participants advance quickly in their careers after graduation, whether by advancement within their existing company or by successfully transitioning to new positions elsewhere.

Colleen Stowe headshot photoColleen Stowe, MS (Class of 2015) Senior Group Leader, Cell & Gene Therapy, PPD

From medical laboratory diagnostics, to clinical laboratory supervision, to quality assurance management, Colleen has created career opportunities over the past decade through continuous professional education and preparedness.

Colleen credits the MS in Biotechnology Program for providing her with comprehensive understanding of how regulatory policies and business factors impact how new clinical tests and devices are brought safely to market.

Discover more Alumni and their Success Stories

“This M.S. program has transformed my career, I would highly recommend.”

Serge Romero, Class 2022, Sr. Program Manager – Product Management and Strategy, Exact Sciences (LinkedIn, March, 2022)

“I wouldn’t have gotten to my current position without this program.”

Vanessa Voris, MS, Class 2021, Nonclincial Medical Writer, MMS (LinkedIn, March, 2022)

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