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Lalithambigai Ananthan: The right mix of science and business

Lalithambigai AnanthanLalithambigai Ananthan earned an undergraduate degree in biology and engineering from Anna University in India. With the goal of working for a biotech company, developing drugs and unraveling the causes of diseases, Ananthan knew she needed an advanced degree. OSU’s Professional Science Master’s Program, she says, “has the right mix of science and business classes.” On the science side, Ananthan is studying molecular biology from an evolutionary perspective. On the business side, she’s taken marketing, management, accounting and finance classes — an experience she’s found both rewarding and practical.

In the innovation management class, for example, her class project was creating a complete business plan for a hypothetical startup company. Ananthan and a team of other students worked out details like market potential, venture capital, budgets and employee headcounts. For her internship, Ananthan is working at Mitosciences, a biotech company in Eugene, Ore. that develops diagnostic kits to detect mitochondrial diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and cancer. Her job in research and development is a mix of immunology, molecular biology and protein chemistry — characterizing antibodies and seeing how they react with different mitochondria. It’s a job she loves, and Mitosciences is interested in hiring her full-time after graduation.

“This program really enables students to be productive members of the biotech field,” Ananthan says. “It shows us how to turn scientific discoveries into commercial products that can be sold profitably to fund future research.”