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Unlocking the potential of young Life Scientists: Insights from SCIFI 2023 participants

10. 10. 2023

SCIFI, "From Scientists to Innovators for Industry," empowers young life scientists to thrive in healthcare innovation. Transitioning from academia to pharma and medtech is challenging, but SCIFI offers real-life case learning and mentorship. With two tracks, the Full and Light Programs, both spanning three months, participants like Tomáš Pavlů and Joao Victor Cabral from the Czech Republic share their backgrounds, motivations, and what they expect from this dynamic journey.

In our interview with Tomáš Pavlů, he shared valuable insights about his background, motivation, expectations, team dynamics, and his aspirations for the SCIFI 2023 program:

1. Background and expertise

Tomáš introduced himself as a Czech doctor working at the Liberec regional hospital, where he serves as a primary care physician in the internal department. His daily responsibilities primarily involve caring for acute patients, including those in the ICU and the emergency department.

2. Motivation for joining SCIFI

Tomáš explained that he joined the SCIFI project somewhat serendipitously. It was Vendula Macháčková, the chairwoman of the hospital's scientific council and a former mentor in the SCIFI project, who led him to this opportunity. He found the prospect of trying something new, such as working in an international team and tackling projects in English, to be intriguing.

3. Expectations from the program

Tomáš shared his expectations from the program, beyond the novelty of working in an international setting. He noted that the Czech Republic excels in healthcare but lags behind in some technological aspects, particularly in doctor-patient communication. He was amazed by the advanced options he learned about in the program, such as complete national shared patient records and online appointment scheduling.

4. Thoughts on team dynamics

Tomáš described his team dynamics, highlighting his unique role as the only doctor with practical experience in patient care. He recognized the expertise of his team members in project solutions and international collaboration. He was pleasantly surprised by the team's enthusiasm, determination, and proactive approach, emphasizing that they complemented each other well in problem-solving.

5. Anticipations for the program

Tomáš expressed his excitement for three aspects of the program. Firstly, he looked forward to personal growth, new experiences, and building valuable contacts. Secondly, he aimed to contribute innovative ideas to Roche, the client of their project, with hopes of catalyzing positive changes in the Czech Republic's healthcare landscape. Lastly, he aspired to align the program's innovations with the objectives of his hospital's new medical director, focusing on the "electronicization of the patient-doctor relationship" to enhance communication and efficiency on a local level.

Now, let's delve deeper into Joao Victor Cabral's perspective:

1. Background and expertise

Joao Victor introduced himself as a Brazilian medical doctor with a degree from the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. 

He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, and is on the verge of defending his thesis. His research focuses on innovative healthcare solutions, specifically advanced therapy medicinal products involving stem cells for the treatment of limbal stem cell deficiency, an eye condition. He's deeply interested in using technology to advance healthcare and improve its accessibility.

2. Motivation for joining SCIFI

Joao Victor's motivation for joining SCIFI 2023 stems from his desire to bridge the gap between academia and industry. As he nears the completion of his Ph.D. at Charles University, he recognizes the importance of acquiring business acumen and expanding his professional network. He believes that his medical expertise can significantly contribute to MedTech and pharmaceutical companies but sought the tools and confidence to effectively convey his skills. SCIFI 2023 offers a unique opportunity to refine his business skills, collaborate on real-world challenges, and transition seamlessly into the industry.

3. Expectations from the program

Joao Victor has high expectations for the program, driven by his eagerness to learn, grow, and make a meaningful impact. His primary goal is to build a broad network of like-minded peers and industry experts. He chose the full program due to the remarkable opportunity it presents for face-to-face interactions with fellow participants, accomplished mentors, and industry leaders.

In terms of his learning expectations, he is excited about acquiring new knowledge and enriching his learning journey. The program's unique structure allows him to delve into the intricacies of creating a product or solution, from identifying the underlying problem to fulfilling users' needs. He aspires to craft a solution that genuinely addresses the market gap they've identified. 

Ultimately, he expects his team to successfully deliver a comprehensive solution by the program's conclusion in three months. He is driven by the challenge and the opportunity to make a tangible difference through this program.

4. Thoughts on team dynamics

Joao Victor expressed genuine appreciation for the dynamic and diverse composition of his team. Their wide array of expertise and experiences has proven to be a significant asset. The team has seamlessly blended their individual strengths, resulting in a cohesive and effective unit. Joao Victor particularly admires their ability to communicate and manage tasks efficiently, which has been pivotal in their successful collaboration and the achievement of their goals. He has great confidence in his team's capabilities and looks forward to continuing to work together.

5. Anticipations for the program

Joao Victor is genuinely excited about the opportunity to collaborate with industry experts, particularly with Novartis Czech Republic, his team's case provider. Their wealth of experience and insights will provide a unique perspective and valuable learning opportunity.

He emphasized that what sets this program apart is the chance to work collaboratively with his team to address real-world problems. While similar courses can be found online, the practical application of knowledge, direct engagement with mentors and industry experts, and the opportunity to develop industry and business skills under their guidance make this program truly valuable and unique. This practical, hands-on approach, coupled with real-world problem-solving, is not only engaging but highly effective in cultivating essential skills for transitioning to industries. Joao Victor is excited to embrace this learning journey and leverage the expertise of their mentors and industry partners to create meaningful solutions.

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