Scientific Advisor, GlaxoSmithKline
Class of 2006
Thoughts of a potential career in pharmaceuticals began long before Natalie Coletta entered the MBiotech program. "As a child, I remember thinking that I wanted to help people lead longer and healthier lives," she recalls. "Looking back, it seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy."
Coletta entered the pharmaceutical industry in 2005 as part of her MBiotech internship at GlaxoSmithKline Inc. She has since gained experience in several roles and therapy areas. Her proficiency in managing and monitoring genetics research studies for four years laid a foundation to later branch off as a Medical Research Manager in 2008. In this capacity, Coletta oversaw a large number of investigator-sponsored studies and GSK-sponsored health outcome studies from the evaluation of proposals, to contract negotiations, through to publication of results. This sparked an interest in the Project Management Professional (PMP) accreditation, which she received in 2009.
Through the many strong relationships she built with her Medical Affairs peers as a Medical Research Manager, Coletta's curiosity was piqued and she initiated a bold move from the operational roles where she had been very successful. In 2012, she decided to progress her career by moving into her current role as a Scientific Advisor for Primary Care. Coletta now develops and implements local strategies to address data gaps and advances the scientific understanding of new respiratory medicines in the Canadian environment. She works very closely with cross-functional teams to address unmet medical needs, and is passionate about overcoming challenges and finding solutions that improve patient outcomes.
The MBiotech Program equipped Coletta with the building blocks needed to launch an evolving career. Through interacting with people of diverse skill sets and expertise, she learned how to tailor her communication style and recognize the importance of the positioning of key messages. She also found it enjoyable to wear a "business hat" one minute and a "scientific hat" the next, to assess scenarios from different perspectives and gain an understanding of the "big picture" before pursuing a common goal within her teams.
Coletta has stayed connected to the MBiotech Program since she graduated in 2006. She has mentored over ten MBiotech interns at GSK throughout the years. "I really enjoy coaching the students! It's amazing to see them walk in a little timid on their first day, and watch their confidence develop by the meaningful contributions they make throughout their placement. It's one of the ways I can say 'thank you' to the program that opened up so many great opportunities for me!" she says.