Sumati Hasani (2016)

Associate Scientist, MedImmune / AstraZeneca, Gaithersburg, MD

Hello, my name is Sumati Hasani and I graduated from the M.S. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program at Georgetown University in May 2016. Prior to attending Georgetown University, I worked at Novozymes Inc. as a Research Assistant; my project focused on developing a second-generation biofuel screening assay under the funding of the Department of Energy. While I enjoyed the molecular biology techniques and laboratory aspects of the work I was doing, the bio-agriculture application was not of particular excitement to me. In hopes of learning more about health-focused research, I applied to universities with a strong sense of clinical and translational focus. Georgetown University stood out to me because of its strong affiliation with the Lombardi Cancer Center; seeing that Tumor Biology was one of my potential interests at the time, Georgetown fared very high on my list of institutions.

My time at Georgetown University was fast-paced, demanding, and yet extremely rewarding. I was introduced to a plethora of health-related fields of science that piqued my interest: I resonated with the topic of carcinogenesis and therefore selected my elective courses to reflect my passion for the subject. For my internship requirement, I chose to work on evaluating gene expression levels in Melanoma Initiating Cells (also known as Melanoma Cancer Stem Cells) as compared to a parental tumor population under Dr. Rosenthal. The combination of comprehensive coursework with a wholesome internship experience gave me a solid foundation of laboratory techniques for a health-related application that indeed makes my synapses go.

Post-graduation, I was able to confidently apply to Research and Development positions at multiple pharmaceutical companies. I currently work as an Associate Scientist at MedImmune/AstraZeneca focusing on Antibody Development using Phage Display Technology for oncology therapies. This position is a perfect marriage of the molecular techniques I had acquired from my previous employment opportunity with the knowledge I gained from my time at Georgetown. Attending the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology program at Georgetown University propelled my career towards science that I am truly passionate about.