MS in Biotechnology Innovation & Regulatory Science (Hybrid)

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Mallory Lauth, Director, Program and Portfolio Management


In high school and throughout college I had aspirations of becoming a doctor. I chose to study Biology at Indiana University, planning to get into medical school following graduation. However, I was a small-town Indiana girl with no career or academic guidance. Considering the cost and the time commitment, I recognized that medical school wasn’t in my future. After graduation, I stumbled across a role in the lab processing animal samples and my life was forever changed.

I began my career at Covance (now LabCorp) in the lab doing preclinical work. This is where I realized I really enjoyed learning about drug development. I quickly became the lead of my department, and this allowed me to transition to other opportunities within the the company. From there, I was able to start my project management journey and learn about clinical trials. These roles prepared me for an opportunity at Eli Lilly and Company, where I was lucky enough to be the Lead Global Study Manager for a high visibility Phase 3 clinical trial. Since then, I have had the opportunity to be involved with regulatory submissions, participate in process improvements resulting in significant cost savings, and have consistently met critical project milestones working within large pharma, biotechs, CROs and most recently, a startup. I have managed teams both directly and indirectly. I have experience in neuroscience, diabetes, and rare disease. I have led program management for programs spanning stages from pre-IND, through clinical development, to commercialized products, and led governance review forums.

I knew that earning a graduate degree was something I wanted to do, but I did not want to simply check a box. I wanted to find a program that would be engaging and specifically help me with my career. I had a mentor at Lilly who mentioned the Purdue BIRS program and, after learning more about the program, I knew this was the program for me. I was a little fearful about committing two years and the amount of work that would be required but I am happy that I did.

I cannot put a price on the value of the professors and guest speakers. The knowledge they brought to the courses exceeded all expectations. In the beginning, completing the directed project seemed impossible, but one professor was instrumental in guiding me through. She met with me on several occasions to discuss my options because she wanted me to be happy with my decision. That project ended up being the most interesting research I have ever done.

If you’ve ever considered pursuing a graduate degree, specifically, this program, I would say just do it. The program is designed to fit the lifestyle of full-time professionals with families. You can go as fast or as slow as you need. The professors are incredibly understanding when it comes to balancing work, life and school, and are equally invested in your success. While the program is graded, the faculty work with you to ensure that you understand what you’ve learned and are able to apply it to your role in the industry.

Since completing the program, I have been promoted twice, made the change from clinical trial project management to program management, and have been able to add value to the teams and programs I support – due to the knowledge I gained from this program.