Life sciences involve the study of living organisms, including their functions, structures, behavioural patterns, and interactions. Among its sub-disciplines are biology, biochemistry, biotechnology, genetics, ecology, and physiology.
The study of life sciences; enables students to gain a deep-in understanding of how life works and to investigate a wide range of natural phenomena, from microscopic organisms to complex ecosystems. Being one of the most innovative sectors of the new economy, it offers exciting opportunities, especially for the Gen Z and beyond.
In addition, Singapore serves as a strong base for the life sciences industry; a large pool of skilled talent for knowledge exchange, competitive manufacturing capabilities and a thriving R&D ecosystem with strong links to global pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms carrying ground-breaking portfolios and offering great career opportunities. For one, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a leading pharmaceutical firm which has an industrial set-up in Singapore designed to serve patients from around the globe, and connect it with the growing Asian market.
Let’s take a closer look at life sciences R&D, and key contributions one could be making to the sector in a bid to resolve seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Research and development (R&D) spearheads our understanding of living organisms, ways to enhance human health, and address global challenges. It comprises a wide range of activities aimed at discovering new knowledge, developing innovative technologies, and creating practical applications to benefit our society.
In life sciences R&D, researchers and scientists engage in systematic investigations to explore biological systems, study cellular processes, and unravel the complexities of living organisms. They conduct experiments, analyse data, and collaborate with multidisciplinary teams to generate new insights and expand the frontiers of scientific knowledge.
World-leading biomedical sciences companies like GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson and Roche have a range of commercial activities, including R&D, Supply Chain Management, Regulatory Affairs and Medical Affairs based in Singapore.
A key area for R&D in the life science industry is biotechnology. Take the example of vaccines. Many biotech firms are manufacturing Covid-19 mRNA vaccines and boosters to prevent the populace from getting infected, and there are plans to develop and manufacture new therapeutics and cancer vaccines for clinical trials and commercial scale-up capability.
Jobs in the life sciences sector are in high demand. So, how can one prepare himself to be fit for the trade? What are the competitive and relevant baseline skillsets required to be developed?
To succeed in the life sciences industry, he/she should be able to analyse complex biology challenges and implement effective solutions. A key strength is to possess a unique blend of analytical and creative thinking, which would be helpful when it comes to making informed decisions, selecting key variables and articulating the critical steps derived from varied perspectives and solutions.
Thanks to digital transformation, major advancements in the life sciences sector have been made. Scientists and other professionals will need to bridge analytics, design, engineering and data science to effectively present data findings or reports to their team.
Refined interpersonal and communication skills carry essential returns as they help establish trust and mutual understanding, facilitating any form of information sharing and learning exchanges, within and between institutions. Clear descriptions in written reports and effective verbal presentation of key findings would streamline expectations and optimize performance.
Life sciences is an ever-evolving sector with an increasingly complex regulatory landscape, with digital innovation paving the way for significant change in the industry. Therefore, working professionals need to be agile, have the ability to adapt to new technology and devise different ways to solve problems. They have to be prepared for dynamic change, be willing to learn new skills, and keep pace with the changes.
Getting ready for a career in life sciences can be exciting. There are diverse sub-disciplines such as biotechnology, biomedical, pharmaceuticals, R&D and more. Here are a few tips to kickstart a career in the Life Sciences industry.
An ideal starting point is to research and discern the differences between Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Medical Devices, Clinical Research Organisation (CRO) and Contract Developing Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO). Detailed understanding of the market will make for an easier and quicker search. Once the desired space has been chosen, it is time to look into your dream job.
Networking is more than having thousands of initiated connections which you do not interact or keep up with. Engage with professionals from various industries, and you can get a better apprehension on the emerging trends in life sciences such as alternative food proteins, which will place Singapore as a global hub for the agri-food sector, boosting the food and beverage industry.
Gain some research experience in the life sciences industry, especially during your internship. Maintain a cordial relationship with your employer, earn a strong testimonial and the chance to work in the same firm upon graduation. Some MNCs offer study-work bonds; you may also consider this option to advance your career in the life sciences industry.
The skills required to succeed within Life Sciences differ depending on the field you wish to join, but some qualifications can be transferable. Scientific Degrees such as Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Pharmaceuticals and even Engineering are a plus for most companies and can open a door or two. Choose the path that best suits your interests.
In collaboration with Northumbria University and Teesside University in the UK, MDIS School of Life Sciences (SLS) in Singapore offers the latest programmes that give graduates the knowledge and abilities they need to keep up with real-time development in Life Sciences.
SLS offers modern lab facilities that are essential for the carving of practical skills through business research projects and research development. Visit the MDIS website to learn more about our life science programmes.
For enquiries related to life sciences academic programmes and admissions in Singapore, please contact us for relevant information and guidance.
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