Master of Science in Biotechnology Program, UW-Madison

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Case Study: Scott Yoder

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I wanted to understand not just the science, but how a biotechnology company operates and makes decisions.

Scott Yoder applied to the program because he saw it as a perfect match between science, law and business. "I wanted to become more familiar with the business side of biotech, its legal aspects, clinical and regulatory strategies. The challenges associated with a startup company, in particular, require a breadth that goes so far beyond a traditional M.S. or M.B.A. degree."

Mergers and acquisitions—I was living it.

Learning about business strategies, mergers and acquisitions in the program was somewhat serendipitous for Yoder. "Talk about timing and the usefulness of hands-on information—I was living it while I was in graduate school." Two of his consecutive employers, PowderJect Vaccines, Inc., and then Bone Care International, were purchased and relocated within a span of two years. The degree gave him the skills, not to mention confidence, to use each acquisition and downsize as an opportunity for career advancement. Following the sale of the latter, Yoder advanced into a position as Operations Manager at Stratatech Corporation, Inc., a biotechnology manufacturing company with about 30 employees.

"The biotechnology industry is unique for the variety within its pace of change...the science and technology changes so quickly, but the path to the marketplace is a long, often delayed, one. The program's courses in technology transfer topics were invaluable to me in learning how to get products to the marketplace...whether in a small start-up company based on university research, or a global pharmaceutical company."

Time and effort pays off.

The mobility and value of his degree was tested again when Yoder was recruited by Hospira, Inc. in fall 2007. Hospira, a global specialty pharmaceutical and medication delivery company, reintroduced him to the world of big-pharma. From 2007 to 2012, Yoder excelled within Hospira's global pharmaceutical services division, first as a senior project manager with their contract biomanufacturing operations, then later as member of their global expansion business development team.

Most recently, Yoder again pursued a greater leadership opportunity by accepting a position at Takeda Pharmaceuticals as the Associate Director of Vaccine Business Operations. His increasing business experience and breadth of scientific knowledge within the field of biotechnology has made him an attractive hire by any company.

"The courses in the M.S. in Biotechnology were the most applied I have ever taken...that direct application has been incredibly valuable to me as I have moved into different business environments, where a lot of concepts are shared, if you can identify the common factors. The program definitely gave me a competitive advantage in pursuing career and salary progression."


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.

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
Scott Yoder
Scott Yoder
Class of 2005
Director, Program Management
Melinta Therapeutics