14th February 2023
Carmen Schweicker joined the EIT Health SCI FI programme in 2022. Read more about her impressions and learnings and why you might want to join the next edition of this EIT Health programme for scientists.
Q: Why have you decided to join the SCI FI programme of EIT Health?
Carmen Schweicker: As a member of our Functional Precision Research team, I am responsible for conducting next-generation functional drug screenings for patients with aggressive hematologic malignancies. This involves testing over 140 different drugs on tumour cells to determine the most effective treatment option for critically ill patients to guide treatment decisions. On the one hand, our project requires close collaboration with industrial partners; on the other hand, I have become very interested in drug development and how precision medicine can be made more accessible with the help of industry. Therefore, I was looking for a programme that would give me insight into the processes and teach me skills that are important in industry but also relevant to translational projects like ours.
Q: What new insights or skills have you learned during the programme?
CS: Learning more about industry skills such as preclinical development, business skills such as strategic management, and creative skills such as understanding your customer was very valuable for me. All skills are taught in a very practice-oriented manner, which allows for a good understanding and better implementation into existing workflows.
Q: Any personal highlights you would like to share with us?
CS: It was definitely a highlight for me to meet and exchange ideas with so many inspiring participants and industry partners from different countries all over Europe. Therefore, the kick-off event in Łódź (Poland) and the closing event in Vienna (Austria) will definitely remain in wonderful memory. Furthermore, I really enjoyed working with my fantastic team on our industry case and repeatedly receiving helpful feedback from our mentors.
Q: How do you intend to use the learnings of the SCI FI programme in the future?
CS: The knowledge we gained, for example about project management and critical thinking, will always be of fundamental importance in various fields. For the future, I definitely see myself transitioning from academic research into industry, so it was very valuable to learn the necessary skills and become familiar with different industrial processes as well as challenges early on.
Q: To whom would you recommend the EIT Health SCI FI programme and why?
CS: I would recommend the SCI FI programme to any young life scientist interested in the pharmaceutical or medical device industry, especially those who want to move from academia to industry. It could also be helpful for anyone interested in building a start-up, as the skills you will learn will naturally be of interest to that approach. During the programme, you will work in interdisciplinary teams to develop a solution for a real industry case, acquire important skills through a variety of modules, and receive comprehensive mentoring from industry partners.
Find out more about the SCI FI programme 2022 closing event hosted by EIT Health Partner Boehringer Ingelheim on our Linkedin Channel or find out more about the programme in general on eithealth.eu.
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