My name is Carlo Vanz, and I am a third year student in the Molecular Immunology & Microbiology of the Ph.D. in Integrated Biomedical Sciences at UT Health San Antonio. Like many of my peers, most of my time is spent doing experiments in lab and testing hypotheses on the inner workings of science. These activities are demanding, but they are also very rewarding aspects of my life. Being a scientist (in the making) is a big part of my identity. Additionally, I am also interested in the world of science commercialization and in the work carried out in the life science industry at large. For this reason, I completed an MBA before starting my doctorate. I now spend my time outside of the lab helping the UT Health San Antonio’s Office of Technology Commercialization and as a member of Enventure San Antonio.
Enventure is a nonprofit organization with the goal of promoting the growth of Texas’ medical innovation industry. The organization was started in Houston, and it recently expanded in San Antonio. The programs that Enventure runs are designed to support life science innovators in developing their novel ideas into products or companies. In doing so, Enventure also provides its members the opportunity to expand their professional networks, learn about the life science industry, and obtain hands-on experience.
I originally joined Enventure during the first year of my Ph.D. program after hearing about it from some friends. At the time, the San Antonio chapter had only recently started, and most of our local programs still had to be developed. As my first role, I started the “Inspire” seminar series where we invited life science professional to come present their stories and give the audience useful insights and advice about their field of work. Listening to all these scientists, consultants, science policy professionals, and science communicators was extremely inspiring, and it increased my interest in the many career paths out there for Ph.D. graduates.
Now, starting in the Fall 2021, I have taken the role of Director for Enventure San Antonio. Being part of Enventure has already helped me tremendously in terms of developing professional skills and networking, but now I am really looking forward to helping push our local chapter towards new and greater goals. One of my main objectives right now is to expand our reach in San Antonio to involve students from other universities who are also interested in working in the life science industry. Additionally, I regularly work with our individual program directors, who each lead an initiative, to make sure that they have everything they need and that their programs are running smoothly. I have full confidence in our organization as we have some of the smartest and most driven people that I personally know, and we have already started a consulting club, a seminar series, a scientific podcast, and a blog.
With these people, and the support of the Houston group, I foresee a very exciting future forEnventure. Our organization sits right at the intersection between science, industry, and the general public, and it offers several unique opportunities which I hope more students will take advantage of.