Please tell us about yourself
Iam an experienced professional in Regulatory Affairs (RA), Medical Writing and Pre-Clinical Research. I strive to create a positive impact on society by ensuring Good Clinical Research and development of Safe Efficacious Drugs/Biological products.
My valuable experience and passion in Drug Development has offered me a deeper understanding of the field and I am constantly enthusiastic to take the science forward. Some of my career highlights have been the opportunity to patent a drug to treating Alzheimer’s disease along with my colleagues and having gained good experience writing quality scientific reports.
In my experience with running international projects, this couldn’t be more important when working together to achieve a common goal especially in Drug Development. I find challenges extremely rewarding and thrive on overcoming obstacles. That is why I love the pharmaceutical industry! As an international person, I quickly embrace change and welcome the opportunity to be creative, problem solving and collaborative.
How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unusual career?
Firoz Roshan Kurudenkandy did what many Indian students do after completing a BTech, he chose to go abroad to study for a master’s degree. Usually the destination is an English speaking country and Firoz had his sights set on going to Australia. He completed his Btech (Biotechnogy) from VIT, Vellore Institute of Technology.
“I had the papers filled out and ready to send off. But then I spoke to a friend who asked me if I had thought about going to Scandinavia instead. He told me everyone speaks English and the education is good. So I started checking universities online, found homepages with syllabuses but I also studied rankings where LiU came out well. The Linköping course was suitable for me and the syllabus looked interesting. Aside from university ranking lists my main source of information was the website and I found this helpful and user-friendly. I did my Masters in Medical BioScience and Biology”, says Firoz.
How was the experience at Linköping?
Firoz speaks highly about his LiU experience, an experience that went beyond his expectations. “ It was great. I found it a great platform for the transition between being a student and being a researcher. The syllabus served to make us competent researchers.”
This he attributes to the problem based learning approach at the Faculty of Health Sciences. The PBL way of teaching was central in easing the transition from one level to another in his studies. And it didn’t hurt that the teachers were great!
“The teachers were really good. Combined with problem based learning we were able to smoothly move through the levels.”
“However what really sets LiU apart though is the access to laboratories. We became acquainted with new technology and were able to perform tasks on our own. This was very different to my experiences in India. In India the classes are usually very large and you don’t get a chance to perform tasks on your own. “
Studying abroad was new to Firoz and there was not only a new educational system to contend with but also a whole new approach to learning.
“The Swedish approach is very different to India. In India the exams are a burden, the whole education is very theoretical. You read and read for your exam but retain little. In Sweden the teaching is more practical, through case studies the learning is both theoretical and practical and I think the information stays with you longer that way.”
The city of Linköping also met with approval. “It’s a nice, sweet student town, even beautiful. I liked student life a lot, there were lots of activities for students. It doesn’t have the problems of a big city but there are still plenty of student facilities. I really enjoyed the international environment, especially on my programme. Swedes are a bit hard to get to know though. They were very nice and helpful but took a while to get to know properly. I have fewer friends here but they are in return very good friends. “
Your advice to students?
Now that Firoz has completed his studies and made the journey from India to Sweden he would like to spread the word. “I would like to tell any potential students to learn more about Sweden and the Swedish education system. Many only focus on the US, the United Kingdom or Australia and get into huge debt to go there when Sweden is just as good but cheaper. There is great international exposure here and the facilities are really good. “
Firoz did his PhD in Neurosciences, with a focus on Alzheimers, at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. He has many fond memories of his time in Linköping. One memory that is especially strong is the time he defended his master’s thesis.
“When I defended my master’s thesis. I did much better than I had imagined. Everyone was so thrilled for me. My supervisor, my mentor and my fellow students were so supportive and happy for me – that really has stayed with me. I felt on top of the world!”
This supportive environment and high quality teaching is something Firoz mentions several times. But there is one person who has a special place in Firoz’s memories of Linköping. “I have to especially mention my supervisor Björn Granseth, he was the best. He has helped me publish a paper based on my thesis in the Journal of Neuroscience. This I am extremely proud of.”
“The work I did on my master’s programme at LiU has got me this research position at KI where I am able to fulfill my dream of pursuing a PhD. Life is good at the moment – I am very happy that I listened to my friend and chose LiU and Sweden.”
What do you do currently?
Iam a regulatory operations manager at Astrazeneca. My primary duty is to provide expertise in end-to-end document and submission publishing of various regulatory documents . Ensure that all regulatory documents meet the technical and formatting requirements set by Health Authorities such as the FDA and EMA. Provide System administration of validated applications in a regulated environment. Provide overall support to other regulatory-related functions such as CMC and Patient Safety