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From Lab to Industry: USciences Alumnus Thrives in Both

By Logan Chipkin

Published on March 27, 2020

Reecha PandyaReecha Pandya BMS’15, a senior engineer in the new product introduction group at Abbott Point of Care, credits her time at USciences for her ability to take on diverse and creative responsibilities. In this leadership position, Pandya heads product performance evaluations and investigations for the i-STAT Alinity point-of-care blood analyzer systems from customer complaints. She also serves as a primary engineer and subject matter expert for production floor support and manufacturing product and process failure troubleshooting.

“I learned how to learn at USciences, particularly by doing research in Dr. Peter Berget’s lab with Dr. Matt Farber as my mentor,” she said.

Pandya emphasizes that it was her hands-on work in the lab during her time as a student that most impacted her. More than that, her fondest memories of USciences are of the Department of Biological Sciences and of working in the lab.

“That’s where I developed my critical thinking skills and identified my learning style,” Pandya said. “Because of that experience, I am able to work where I do now with a biology degree – I work in an environment which is heavy on mechanical, electrical, and software engineering. I can understand new content and connect the dots easily because of my experience in the Berget lab.”

Although her lab experience at USciences is quite different from her current job in the healthcare product industry, Pandya did observe a bit of the manufacturing process during her collegiate years. Pandya recalls that “we were incubating Enzium at the time, and so one of their challenges was to manufacture the biosensors that we were engineering in the lab that could be sold to customers. [So] I got to see a glimpse of manufacturing from my experience at the Enzium incubator lab.”

Pandya is quite proud of being able to apply her creative faculties in troubleshooting blood analyzers at her job. “My background is in molecular biology. But once you get into a more integrated field, you have to learn all about other branches of science and engineering,” she said. “I was never taught mechanical, electrical, and software engineering, but I am able to bridge the gap between those and biology.”

 At Abbott, Pandya is able to channel her passions into a career. She feels “lucky to work in a place where the manufacturing line is right next to me. My favorite part of the day is being hands-on with the medical device and physically troubleshooting.”

In addition to the many successes in her young career, Pandya is proud of being named a 2019 STEP Ahead Emerging Leader, a title that she has clearly earned. Beyond the leading role that Pandya holds at Abbott, she also bears a central role within W-STEM, a group at Abbott Laboratories whose goal is to support women in STEM careers.

As a young leader, Pandya’s advice to prospective students is to “look for experiences that help you identify your learning style. Once you know that, you can learn anything.”

Categories: News, Misher College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Biological Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Alumni, Proven Everywhere,