Community member on the spot: Maria Isabel Castellanos Arboleda
20 May 2020
In this first community member on the spot, we take a dive into the career, challenges and professional passion of one of our community members active in the medical devices sector. This time, Maria Isabel Castellanos Arboleda is ‘on the spot’. Maria is currently active as a Post-Doctoral Researcher with a focus on Biomaterials and Histopathology.
What is your professional background?
I am a Product Design Engineer with a Master in Material Science Engineer as well as a Master in D-Health Innovation. Thereby, I have got a PhD in Material Science Engineer with a specific focus in Biomaterials.
What made you choose to work in the Medical Devices industry?
I am currently not working with medical devices. Although, I would like to be active in this industry. I consider that in the medical devices industry, you can develop products that really have an impact on people’s health as well as have the opportunity to be in direct contact with patients and translate their needs into real opportunities.
What is your current job?
My current job is at the Deutsches Herzzentrum München, as a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the field of Translational Cardiology. Currently, my main focus is the Histopathology. This means creating pre-clinical studies for external companies in order to verify the assessment of the biological response of novel covered stents.
What are your main activities?
My main activities are establishing and implementing new histopathology protocols. This is related to the planning and execution of the protocols I have established in the research group. Every day, I am working on daily operations management. Therefore, a detailed plan is set up to achieve the goals of the research group.
One of my other responsibilities is the preparation of samples as well as the analysis and generation of result reports. Documentation of the processes that are executed in the laboratory is also done by me. Furthermore, I am responsible for the management and support of medical and veterinarian students during their graduation thesis.
What do you like the most about your current job?
I have control of my daily planning, as well as the ability to learn and establish new methods.
What has been the biggest challenge in your career?
In 2015, I tried to develop my own startup of a medical device to measure the milk produced while breastfeeding. Unfortunately, I could not develop the technology.
In my current job, I work with cardiologists. They are very focused on the day-to-day and on the patients. It is difficult to develop a clear medium- and long-term plan in this environment.
If you could change one thing about your career, what would that be?
One thing that I would change, if I could, was getting experience in the private sector three years ago. However, I decided to return to research. If I had worked in the private sector, I could have created a career and maybe a name in the innovation and development sector. In short, I wanted a more practical approach.
You have been active in both the industry field as academic field, what is the reason you switched?
I really do not consider that I have been so active in the private sector. My little experience was in a small consultancy, so that’s why I consider my profile more academic.
Still, both worlds have very interesting characteristics. On the research side, you are very methodical, giving space for good planning, and even more important for analysis.
On the industry side, the most interesting thing is to translate those needs of the people for whom the products/services are developed. When you are on one side, I miss the other world and the qualities it presents.
What are your future goals?
In the future, I want to see tangible results in a product or service throughout the effort put in during the development. Also, I am eager to learn as much as possible and I want to possess the ability to keep innovating and increasing my responsibilities. My future goal is to be in a position where I am in a leadership role and to have a team which can use my support and can be motivated because of my actions or words. Last but not least, I would like to receive a higher monetary compensation paired with a higher status to get more recognition. In a nutshell, I want to grow and improve professionally in the future.
We want to thank Maria Isabel Castellanos Arboleda for her time and insights in her career path. We wish Maria all the best
and we cannot wait to see what successes lie ahead of you.