Dr. Damien Bates, M.D., Ph.D., FRACS, MBA, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Research, SanBio, USA: Mentor in the 2018 CCRM Australia-IMNIS International Mentoring Program (Regenerative Medicine)

“…initiation of bridge building to the next phase of their career in industry post PhD”

Dr. Damien Bates is the Chief Medical Officer & Head of Research for SanBio, Inc. a stem cell company based in both Tokyo and Mountain View, California. Prior to his current position at SanBio, Dr. Bates has held senior executive & leadership roles in clinical development and medical affairs in multiple US based companies including Baxter, Organogenesis and Allergan. As Chief Medical Officer of Organogenesis, he successfully led the first BLA approval of an allogeneic cell based product in the US in 2012. Dr. Bates has also led the design and execution of over 20 IND, IDE and CTN studies across drugs, biologics and devices in the US and Asia and has had extensive regulatory interactions with the FDA, PMDA and EMA around the development and approval of cell based medicines. Dr. Bates received his medical degree from the University of Sydney, his PhD in Developmental Biology from the University of Melbourne, his Fellowship in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and his MBA from the Wharton Business School.

Why are you participating in the IMNIS program?

To help encourage and guide commercialization of Australian research.

What is the most crucial aspect of this professional relationship for you?

Mentee satisfaction.

When you meet with your mentee, do you work together on a set of goals or do you go where the conversation takes you?

Our conversation is guided by the stated goals of the mentee.

What are the key skills PhD students need to successfully collaborate with and/or work in industry?

Understanding of company function and structure, IP, venture capital, and identification of real world applications.

Why do you think it is important for industry leaders to mentor early stage researchers?

To provide perspective (i.e. reality check) on their thoughts and endeavours.

What do you hope to see your mentee achieve during the program?

A clear idea of what they need to achieve during their PhD and initiation of bridge building to the next phase of their career in industry post PhD.