Gabriel Liberatore, mentor in the MedTech-Pharma program in Victoria

Gabriel is currently the Group Chief Operating officer at Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:TLX). He has twenty years’ experience in senior and executive business development and R&D management positions within the Pharmaceutical/Biotechnology/Life Science sector. Including CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), Deloitte, Swisse Wellness (HK:112) and the PACT Group (ASX:PGH). Gabriel is also an Advisory Board member at Swinburne University. He holds PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Melbourne and undertook a post-doctoral research fellowship at Columbia University New York. Gabriel also has a MBA (Corporate Strategy) completed at La-Trobe University. Gabriel is a current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has been involved in the Victoria IMNIS program for two years.

1. Why are you participating in the IMNIS program?

Career guidance to young PhD students is extremely important. The program not only benefits the mentee but also gives the mentor and the mentor’s company the opportunity to contribute to our community, the STEM ecosystem and to help, in-part, foster the next generation of STEM professionals. I think it is one of those rare initiatives that is truly a win-win situation for all involved.

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

Being a support, sounding board, good listener and giving guidance, options and direction next generation of STEM professionals.

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

Goals are set within the first 1-2 meetings and are re-assessed throughout the program. Agenda’s and minutes (including Action items) are included at each meeting (usually monthly).

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

The importance of networking in critical in developing career opportunities for life post-PhD. This includes an ‘elevator pitch’ as you never know when you will need to share your research and passions. Also networking via social media (eg LinkedIn & Twitter). Using these social media platforms to connect with industry and research professionals and to keep updated and interact with the latest research findings and industry news is important.

5. What has been the most rewarding aspect of the IMNIS program for you so far

Watching the mentee grow in confidence as the program progresses and giving the mentee different insights and introducing them to all of the possible career options post-PhD is personally rewarding.