Talent looking to join Greater Philadelphia’s cell and gene therapy hub can hear firsthand from those living and working here about the industry’s opportunities and the region’s quality of life. So far, 12 talent ambassadors have shared their stories as part of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia’s “Discovery Starts with Me” series.
For this month’s “Discovery Starts with Me” story, we spoke with Jazmean Williams, Research Associate II at Integral Molecular. Since its founding in 2001, Integral Molecular, a biotechnology company that leads in developing membrane protein solutions, has been dedicated to creating innovative technologies that drive therapeutic discovery for under-examined protein targets. Its scientists have developed five groundbreaking technology platforms, including MPS antibody discovery, lipoparticle technology, epitope mapping, membrane proteome array, and reporter viral particles.
Before attending Drexel for biomedical engineering and beginning her career at Integral Molecular, Williams knew she was suited for the life sciences.
“I knew since I was a kid that I either wanted to be some sort of engineer or doctor,” said Williams. “I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be in school long enough to become a doctor. But one of my great aunts passed away from brain cancer, and I was hyper-focused on wanting to find ways to help people with cancer. I still had the drive to be an engineer, so I just Googled ‘biology and engineering’ and realized I could be a biomedical engineer! That’s how I chose my major at Drexel, where I did a five-year program that included three co-ops, which are six-month internships.”
Upon graduating from Drexel in 2020, Jazmean decided to stay in Philadelphia and begin her post-graduate career at Integral Molecular.
“Working in such a bustling life sciences field, especially in Philadelphia, you’re constantly met with different projects that are pushing the limits of what’s already been done,” said Williams. “And I really enjoy being in such an environment where you can come together with different people, be so collaborative, and bounce ideas off of each other.”
Even just a few years into her career, Williams can feel the collaborative nature of Greater Philadelphia’s life sciences industry.
“I think, at their core, universities are already so collaborative. While I was working at Drexel, I did a lot of research working with people at the University of Pennsylvania. I know some of my friends who’ve done research at Drexel have gone to Temple and Villanova to give presentations. I’ve definitely felt that collaborative energy within academia.”
To explore career opportunities in cell and gene therapy in the Greater Philadelphia region and join Wiliams and thousands of others in the mission to bring groundbreaking therapies to patients, visit Select Greater Philadelphia’s new job search tool here.
To hear other stories of cell and gene therapy talent throughout Greater Philadelphia, check out the rest of the videos in our “Discovery Starts with Me” series here.