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Diversity in biotech: How one scientist’s quest for impact took her beyond the lab


Wed, 01/31/2024 - 12:00


After close to a decade of working in the lab, Dr N. Erlyani Abd Hamid left research to discover new roles in the biotech industry which unlocked her potential to make a difference.  

As a PhD candidate, Dr N. Erlyani Abd Hamid was no stranger to 16-hour work days. Life was a whirlwind of running lab experiments, interpreting endless amounts of data, and translating her findings into a book-length thesis.  

It was all “in the pursuit of knowledge” in the life sciences, she said. But as time wore on, she yearned for something beyond the world of beakers and bioreactors.   

“Towards the end (of my time in the lab), I was primarily looking for impact,” she said. “What was (my work) going to mean to people on the street?”  

Erlyani’s bid to create impact has led her down a colourful career path through Singapore’s biotech ecosystem. Today, she is the Assistant Director of Programme Strategy and Business Operations at Hilleman Laboratories, a medical research organisation that aims to make life-saving vaccines more accessible in the developing world.