From Graduate Student to Industry Data Analytics Expert in Just Three Years
When Ankit Lodha, MBS ’13, talks about data, industry leaders listen. Lodha is the analytics operations lead at Amgen, one of the world’s largest biotechnology companies, where he is responsible for designing and conducting studies for clinical trials and interpreting clinical operations data. Using this data, he is able to identify process improvements and cost efficiencies in conducting clinical trials.
Lodha’s expertise led to his selection as a keynote speaker at the Innovation Enterprise Big Data and Analytics for Pharma Summit, a conference that attracts senior executives from both major corporations and innovative smaller companies. The November 2016 presentation was his first keynote speech and most prominent so far.
“I’m very humbled to be able to share the best practices I’ve developed with my team with the executive leaders of the pharmaceutical industry,” says Lodha, who spoke about the ways analytics are transforming clinical development.
Though he is humble, Lodha is also confident—in the data and himself. At Amgen, where he often finds himself in a room of professionals with decades of experience, Lodha says, “The data gives me the confidence to show the thought process and why a process should evolve or change. When I challenge the executive leadership team, I have the data to support it.”
Lodha is quick to give his education at KGI ample credit for his success so far. Majors in both the business of bioscience and clinical and regulatory affairs helped round out his strong scientific background. He recalls that his team master’s project (TMP) was the first at KGI to involve a Chinese pharmaceutical company—an assignment that led him to study Mandarin at KGI’s fellow Consortium school, Pomona College, to be able to communicate with the client. KGI also helped him obtain internships at Pfizer in New York City and in analytics at AstraZeneka.
KGI gave my career a jumpstart and made me believe that nothing was impossible.
Lodha says. “What I appreciate most, however, apart from the combination of business and science, are the intangibles, such as project management and conflict management skills, that I learned through the numerous group projects I did as a graduate student.”
Now, Lodha takes every opportunity to contribute to the professional education of both current KGI students and industry colleagues. He has spoken at the KGI campus as well as at the 2016 International Conference on Clinical Trials in Philadelphia. In February 2017, he will make another presentation at a San Francisco conference focused on data-driven decision making for drug development.
Lodha has also published four research papers and a chapter in international journals and other industry publications. Recently, he was appointed to the editorial board of the journal International Clinical Trials and as an industry advisor for a UK-based magazine also titled International Clinical Trials.
“I always like to give back to the community and share knowledge,” Lodha says. “I also learned the importance of publications from my KGI professors—Professor Casper and Professor Chok—and try to publish papers so other people can also leverage best practices.”