NAVEED AHMAD – COHORT 1 (2014-15)

“I would definitely recommend this MSc in industrial biotechnology to anyone who is interested in working the technology of the future. I think that this MSc provides a strong grounding in all aspects of industrial biotechnology from the science to the commercial considerations and gives students a real upper hand in entering the work place through the placement experience. In fact, I have already recommended it to a number of people, some of whom are in this year’s cohort!”

Naveed graduated from the University of the West of Scotland with a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and was unsure which direction his future career should go.  A review of the higher degrees in Biotechnology lead him to select the MSc in IB at the University of Strathclyde, it appealed to him for two reasons:
  
“This program was taught by experts from many institutions across Scotland and not just at a single university. This seemed interesting to me as I believed it would be highly beneficial to learn from and engage with all of these experts in their respective fields. The second appealing aspect of this MSc was that it offered a 3-month industrial placement during the third trimester of the program. I thought that this would be an excellent opportunity to experience working in the biotechnology industry and I always believed that it would be a defining moment for me in deciding the career path that I would pursue.”

Naveed secured his placement with Ingenza, applying an innovative high-throughput DNA assembly technology to building and optimizing microbial strains for the production of a particular chemical of interest.  This experience ultimately led to his appointment as a Research Assistant in Molecular Biology following the completion of his MSc.

“The 3-month placement at Ingenza was definitely the highlight of the MSc program for me.  This project encompassed everything that had made me so interested in biotechnology in the first place. I was using cutting edge technology and applying it a real-world problem, the solution to which, would ultimately lead to a more sustainable and eco-friendly process.”

From Edinburgh to Boston
After three and a half years at Ingenza, Naveed headed stateside to Ginkgo Bioworks, Boston, MA.

“I found that the mission of Ginkgo aligned well with my own aspirations and beliefs on where the future of biotechnology lies. At Ginkgo, we take advantage of a highly automated foundry to build and test biological systems at a scale that is not possible anywhere else. This capacity combined with the application computational modelling and machine learning is where I believe that meaningful progress can be made in developing alternative production process that are more sustainable for our planet and also for discovering new products that will benefit humanity. My current role at Ginkgo is within the Organism Engineering team where I am involved in designing new organisms of interest and working with the foundry to build and test each iteration to deliver a final strain that is commercially and economically competitive for a given product.”