Vidhi Desai '09MS

To earn a master’s degree and embark on a fascinating career in the biotechnology industry, Vidhi Desai ‘09MS took a journey across the world.

“I came all the way from India to attend St. John’s University’s Institute of Biotechnology,” the recent graduate proudly explains. “After speaking with the esteemed faculty, hearing positive feedback from alumni and learning about the innovative classes being offered, I was thrilled with the endless possibilities a St. John’s degree in the biological sciences would offer me.”

Established in 2002, The Biotechnology Institute is an innovative collaboration between two of the University’s acclaimed schools – St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The schools have combined their faculty and resources to create a cutting-edge program that provides hands-on training in laboratory research and basic knowledge of analysis, critical thinking and problem solving.

“The colleges joined together to construct a multi-disciplinary program whose goal is to get students ready to establish careers in the bio-sciences. Students graduating from the Institute will leave with a broad education that encompasses both the sciences and the liberal arts and exposure to the corporate world through prestigious internships that are incorporated into the program’s curriculum,” explains Diana Bartlet, Director of the Institute.

After receiving her degree, Vidhi put the skills and knowledge she acquired in the program into practice and rose from an intern to senior research associate at OSI Pharmaceuticals Inc., the largest pharmaceutical company in Long Island. The program not only equipped her with the qualifications to work in the industry, it opened the doors to her first position in the field.

“I always believed the right courses at the right institution would help me accomplish my goals in life. St. John’s mission of providing an excellent education to all students as well as the opportunity to make a lasting difference in the lives of others aided me in fulfilling my dreams.”

Working in the Cancer Biology Drug Discovery division of OSI, Vidhi conducts daily experiments and analyzes research to explore the known causes of cancer. This ground-breaking research is critical to the discovery of a cure for the debilitating disease.

“I attained my graduate degree and began my career. The most important aspect of this program is that it’s a mixture of biology, biotechnology and pharmacy, so anyone interested in pursuing a career in any of these fields would certainly be in a position to make a difference. My professional life is going exactly the way I always wanted. I’m thankful to St. John’s for making that happen.”