Spotlight on Life Sciences Project Management: Oscar Gonzalez

Oscar A. Gonzalez, M.S.

Project management provides many benefits to different types of organizations.  The life sciences industry is no different.  In this series, I will periodically put a spotlight on a project manager who works in the life sciences field.

Meet Oscar A. Gonzalez.

An accomplished project manager who works for Karyopharm Therapeutics in the Boston, MA area. During our conversation, it was refreshing to talk with a manager who believes in maintaining an open line of communications with his team and strives to make sure his staff grow in their careers.

Bio: Oscar obtained his Lean 6 Sigma Green Belt and is a Certified Scrum Master. He holds a Master of Science in Bioimaging from Boston University with a focus on Nuclear Medicine. Oscar is currently pursuing an MBA also from Boston University, focusing on entrepreneurship, biotech, and project management. He received his BS in Biology from Longwood University, located in Farmville, Virginia.

What is your 30-second elevator speech when you describe what you do?

I work alongside clinical operations cross-functional teams, specializing in the strategy, planning, and execution of program and project specific goals across functional departments while utilizing historical data and operational trends to analyze potential risks and create program level efficiencies.

Please describe how you ended up in life sciences project management.

I have always grown to love science and began my career in the laboratory. I would almost say dumb luck. 5 months into my new position at a new company I received an email to meet with our Chief Development Operations Officer. After speaking with him I was offered a position as a program manager citing discussions with the executive team on potential internal candidates to fill a needed position. From that experience, I recognized that people were watching me.  If I can offer any advice to someone, get to know people and be kind—people will take notice.

How has the life sciences industry benefited with project managers in the field?

Life sciences requires an immense amount of focus for very specific and regulated tasks. Project managers have allowed the overarching view of activities to ensure that all of the players are playing the same song. Project management gives time to also view strengths, weaknesses, and potential gaps in day-to-day operations.

In what ways have you incorporated agile project management methods in life sciences project management?

I have not yet fully integrated agile into this organization, but have used frameworks from scrum to conduct meetings and transform project/timelines into digestible increments.

What are your tips to avoid project burnout?

Always find a better way to do it. If you are given a task with a quick deadline, take the time to analyze how best to do the task. Never forget to reach out to your peers, you can never be too sure what knowledge they possess or access they may have to something that will help you. Be outspoken on how you are feeling to your project lead.

Anything else you want to discuss?

How the principle of Kaizen can be applied daily.  As a manager, I’ve learned to empower other people within the organization and help them find ways to do things smarter. Lastly, as project managers, we are managers of people.  The way we deliver a message says so much more than the message itself.

To contact Oscar, you can reach him on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/oagonzalez07/

If you or someone you know would be a good fit for this spotlight, be sure to contact me at crystal@mosaicrg.com