The people you meet: alum considers the connections that help build his career

“That next person you say hello to at the class
in Extension may give you a lead to your next job.”

If the regulatory affairs industry was a board game, players would pursue parallel paths of research, product testing and regulation all at the same time. The most valuable secret power would be forging relationships with professionals in the field. The winner would make a product that changed the world.

For Fred Bauzon, who earned a certificate this year in the UCSC Extension Regulatory Affairs program, it’s the people you meet along the way that make all the difference.

“Those relationships make your job easier,” he says. “That next person you say hello to at the class in Extension may give you a lead to your next job.”

Bauzon, a part-time college instructor with a doctoral degree and extensive background in cancer research, said the inspiration to pursue regulatory affairs came as his dreams for a local tenured college teaching position dimmed. Regulatory affairs combined his medical background with his business interests. It provided “interesting puzzles to solve.” Since the very first classes in the program with instructors Edward Rozhon and Sheldon Mullins, he discovered that he loved the field.

“I was able to tie in all the things that I know from basic research, plus everything I learned at Extension and move toward this new regulatory position,” he says, referring to a new job he has secured at a medical device startup that is working on a new way to treat a number of bacterial and viral infections. “I’m thrilled and happy at the same time.”

With his extensive science background, Bauzon needed practical instruction in the industry. In Mullins’ Regulation of Drugs and Biologics and Michelle Carpenter’s Interacting with the FDA, Bauzon saw how critical it is to cultivate relationships with people in the field. Networking and relationship building with instructors and other students is the main reason he didn’t pursue online certification. He would’ve missed the practical expertise of Clarissa Tate, the instructor for Regulation of Medical Devices and Diagnostics, who has over 15 years of biopharmaceutical experience and works as vice president of product development and regulatory affairs at the same medical device startup.

“The reality is we change these jobs often,” he says. “People in my classes all worked at some of the biggest companies in the area, from Gilead to Genentech.”

Bauzon is in the thick of it, developing assays—a series of scientific tests necessary for the device to pass regulatory muster. At the same time, the company is moving forward to secure regulatory approval by the Federal Food and Drug Administration, a long and arduous process.

“Basically what I do in the lab is what I learned in the certificate program,” Bauzon says. “It has been useful to develop a test to see if the device works. It’s just fun. In this business, you do everything simultaneously. We’ll eventually move on to clinical trials. That part is exciting.”

Bauzon plans to pursue a Dual Clinical Trial Certification at UCSC Extension in the spring.

For more information about the UCSC Extension Regulatory Affairs program, click here.

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