Strengthening Industry Skills: ARMI PhD Student Parikshit Banerjee Gains Influential Industry mentor through Prestigious IMNIS Program
Industry, commercialisation and translation can feel like another world to biomedical research students. While the gap between academia and industry still exists, it is getting smaller with initiatives such as ARMI’s own Industry Advisory Committee (IAC) and programs including the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS), which is supported by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE) and MTPConnect. One person who aims to lead by example and learn to help bridge this gap is Parikshit Banerjee, a PhD student in the Martino Group at Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) and EMBL Australia.
Parikshit was recently selected to participate in the IMNIS Engage MedTech-Pharma Mentoring program, which will see him connected to a high-profile industry leader over a period of one year.
“I applied for the IMNIS Engage Mentoring program to gain industry exposure, receive mentorship from experienced leadership level professionals, expand my professional network, develop essential skills, explore diverse career opportunities in the MedTech and Pharma sectors, and receive guidance in navigating my career paths effectively,” said Parikshit.
With already a budding interest in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and their workings, Parikshit hopes to further build his knowledge, particularly in understanding market trends and consumer behavior for successful commercialisation. “I want to learn effective techniques for analysing market needs, identifying gaps, and assessing demand for creating products that genuinely addresses market needs,” said Parikshit. Another aspect that intrigued Parikshit was technology transfer and intellectual property rights which he recognised as a fundamental component in innovation.
This program comes at the perfect time for Parikshit, whose PhD project, supervised by Associate Professor Mikaël Martino, has promising translational potential. He explained, “I am exploring the potential of mRNA-lipid nanoparticles (LNP) technology, which has gained considerable attention, particularly following the successful development of Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines. This innovative approach holds promise as a strategy for developing regenerative therapeutics.” His work hopes to develop methods to overcome current limitations and challenges in delivering therapeutics to accelerate tissue repair and regeneration.
There’s no doubt Parikshit is eager to make the most out of this mentorship program, with goals to grow both personally and professionally, and a wise consideration for his future career trajectory. He commented, “I hope to learn from my mentor’s expertise, gain real-world insights about pharma and biotech industry function, and be inspired by their achievements. Also, I aim to improve my professional and interpersonal skills, believing the mentorship will positively shape my future career journey.”