Episode S1.9: Career journey from Ph.D. in Molecular Virology to Head of Research and Development at an Indian Biotech Company

Welcome to the ninth episode of STEM Professionals Chat where we bring to you the journey of Dr. Rohan Kamat, who has a doctorate degree in Molecular Virology from ACTREC- Tata Cancer Research Memorial Institute and is currently heading the Process and Analytical Development Vertical at Immuneel Therapeutics. He is also the co-founder of ViraVecs Labs LLP. Rohan, an avid academic scholar, shifted gears to entrepreneurship and now heads the  R&D division of a prominent organization in India. This episode is hosted by: Dr. Pawan Upadhyay and Dr. Manasi Apte.

Key learnings

  1. How do you differentiate between the mentorship provided in academia vs the industry?
  2. What do you feel are the pros and cons of working as a postdoc in India?
  3. Is it easy to network within India because of your postdoc in India?
  4. How did you transition from academia to entrepreneurship i.e. starting your own research company which focuses on translational research?
  5. How much planning went in shifting from one startup to another venture and how did you manage it personally, professionally and financially?
  6. What advice would you give to fresh PhDs and Postdocs for effective networking?
  7. How does a research scientist approach a potential investor?

About Dr. Rohan Kamat

Dr. Rohan Kamat is a scientist by training, who cofounded ViraVecs Labs LLP and currently heads the Process and Analytical Development Vertical at Immuneel Therapeutics. His current position focuses on developing affordable cellular therapies for India. Rohan completed his bachelor’s in biochemistry and masters in biotechnology from the University of Mumbai. His Ph.D. project focused on the development of various formats of the lab developed HIV-2 based lentiviral vector system, where he played an instrumental in establishing RNAi related work in his laboratory. Following his Ph.D., he did a Postdoc in Neurobiology from NCBS, Bangalore where he decided to pursue his passion of becoming an entrepreneur!

Video Interview on YouTube

Rohan’s tips for a successful career!

Always learn from your mistakes

During your PhD tenure, think what you want to do as well as what you don’t want to do.

IIf you are a PhD from India, think if you would like to move abroad for a Post doc and be aware of all the pros and cons of such a decision, DO NOT blindly follow the footsteps of your seniors.

Working in a cross cultural environment makes you more flexible.

Connect with people on LinkedIn and then speak with them by writing crisp emails to know the person well.

Thank you, Rohan!

If you enjoyed this interview with, Rohan  let them know by clicking the link below and leaving him a message on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rohan-h-kamat-5ba1866/


Graphics & video design: Isha Parlikar & Pawan Upadhyay, Ph.D.

Video editing: Sumit Bhutada., PhD & Manasi Apte, Ph.D

Publication note: Vanndita Bahl

Podcast hosting: Pawan Upadhyay, Ph.D.

Publication Content editing: Manasi Apte, Ph.D

Review: All iSTEMCare Team members

Did you enjoy STEM Professionals Chat? Leave us a comment here with your Twitter/LinkedIn handle so, we can thank you personally!

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