The biotech industry is poised for strong growth in the years ahead. Industry expert Leland Sandler provides insights.
Modern medicine and science have advanced by leaps and bounds over the last several decades, and biotechnology plays a more crucial role in society, the economy, scientific achievement, and more. Biotech expert Leland Sandler explores what the future of the industry might look like.
“Biotech has already profoundly impacted society,” notes Leland Sandler. “Many modern medicines, sustainable energy sources, and other technologies rely on biotech. The best part is that we’re just getting started, and more advances will continue driving improvements in myriad areas.”
Biotech is already a huge industry, contributing somewhere between 300 to 400 billion to the United States economy alone. The U.S. is a global leader in biotechnology, but many other countries are making large investments as well.
Right now, public health is a significant focus in biotech. The COVID-19 pandemic tragically cost millions of lives. Biotechnology contributed to developing many COVID-19 vaccines, and researchers could get safe, effective vaccines to market very quickly, thus saving lives.
“Biotech offers many tools for developing vaccines and other treatments,” Leland Sandler says.
“Emerging diseases are a huge threat, especially in a globalized world where diseases can hop the globe with relative ease.”
Fortunately, advances in medical research now mean that doctors and researchers can both study emerging diseases more quickly and develop effective treatments. Of course, it’s essential to remain vigilant. An underestimated disease and a complacent population could lead to disaster.
Outside of healthcare, biotech is playing an essential role in sustainable energy development. Microbes and the like can be used to create biofuels, for example. Many biofuels are carbon neutral, meaning they won’t pump CO2 into the atmosphere. This could help ameliorate climate change. Sustainable fuels can often be produced locally as well, leading to more resilient energy production that is less likely to be impacted by global trends, such as the price of oil.
“Biotech is no panacea, of course,” Leland Sandler points out, “but in terms of impact, biotechnology is one of the most important tools in humanity’s toolbox.”
Artificial intelligence, meanwhile, could supercharge biotech development, Leland Sandler explains. As with many other parts of society, artificial intelligence could majorly impact biotech. With advanced applications, AI is still often used under close human supervision. Essentially, AI is a tool that can speed up research and empower researchers rather than replace them.
Ultimately, human intelligence will remain key.
Leland Sandler Discusses Biotech Careers
Could the future of biotech include you? Whether you’re heading off to college or looking for a career change, biotech offers many exciting opportunities.
“The biotechnology industry will likely be one of the main engines of growth and innovation over the coming decades,” says Leland Sandler. “If you’ve got an interest or knack for science, you should consider opportunities in biotech. Many adjacent job opportunities also don’t require an extensive science background.”
Getting a degree in science is one great way to potentially open doors for a career in biotech. That said, there are opportunities for folks who aren’t as inclined toward science. Many biotech companies hire business experts, marketing gurus, and more.
“If you have a passion for biotech, even if you’re not an expert in hard science, you may still find a great opportunity,” says Leland Sandler.
Ultimately, the future of biotech is bright, and that future could include you or your loved ones.