Master of Science in Biotechnology Program, UW-Madison

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Case Study: Michael Matter

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The right balance between technical and business skills.

Michael Matter gained technical skills through various entry level positions as a bench scientist. Despite several step-wise promotions, his responsibilities remained largely unchanged. Matter knew he wanted to accelerate his career growth and have a larger impact within his organization, so he decided to search for a Master's program that would offer a wide range of business skills, while complementing the technical experience he possessed. Although he researched traditional MS and MBA programs, he felt both types of programs would fall short of his needs, lacking the business focus or application to the biotechnology industry that he desired.

Putting new skills to use.

When Michael discovered the Master of Science in Biotechnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he knew that he had found a great program. The curriculum blended business, science, and regulation in a manner that was directly related to where Matter was professionally, and tailored to where he wanted to be in the near future.

"I knew that this program would provide me with the skills required to advance my career and allow me to shape my future into what I wanted it to be."

Matter was able to work full-time while attending classes and, as a result, he put the skills he learned directly into practice and saw his career accelerate unlike anything he had experienced before. Michael was able to help facilitate an operational process transfer from his Wisconsin-based company to their new California site using the project management skills he acquired through the program. Additionally, the regulatory content of the program enriched his understanding of the impact of Quality Systems and the level of detail needed to complete validation and verification of processes and equipment required for the transfer.

New challenges and a path for growth.

Halfway through the program, Michael was offered a position with Exact Sciences in Madison working in product development and product support. Matter has found that the skills acquired through the program have prepared him for this position, which requires a high level of communication, technical understanding, regulatory competence, and business etiquette.

"The MS Biotech program gave me the confidence to succeed."

A successful career transition.

Michael is passionate about molecular diagnostics and his position at Exact Sciences offers an exciting opportunity to stay in the Midwest and work for a growing company that is dedicated to the early detection of cancer. His new role requires a high degree of technical analysis and cross-functional communication, presenting new challenges and opportunities to grow on a daily basis. Michael feels prepared to take on these challenges and confident in his ability to succeed in his current position and future endeavors due to the multi-disciplinary education offered through the University of Wisconsin's M.S. in Biotechnology Program.


Master of Science in Biotechnology Program
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Established in 2002, the Master of Science in Biotechnology at UW-Madison is a two-year cross-disciplinary program for scientists, technical professionals, business strategists and attorneys seeking to advance their career in the biotechnology field without having to put their career on hold. The hands-on curriculum focuses on the development and commercialization of new technologies and provides a diverse mix of science, business, bioethics, public policy, law and intellectual property. Students are instructed by some of the best academics, professionals and lawyers in the biotechnology field. Currently there are over 300 alumni continuously advancing their careers with their M.S. in Biotechnology degree.

Question about the degree?
Contact Bryan

Bryan Husk
Assistant Director
Phone: (608) 265-0773
Contact Bryan Husk, Assistant Director, M.S. in Biotechnology Program, UW-Madison
Michael Matter
Michael Matter
Class of 2016
Research Scientist
Exact Sciences Development Company

Exact Sciences Corporation Thermo Fisher Scientific Medical College of Wisconsin