For many young men it would seem a satisfying and rewarding career. Ashton Breitkreutz had studied diligently, been awarded a PhD in molecular genetics from the University of Toronto in 1997 and landed a job as a researcher at Mt. Sinai Hospital's Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute.
But while he found tracking kinises, a cell protein that controls change, fascinating he also found he was suffering a mounting sense of frustration. He could see all around him scientists making discoveries that might lead to cures for diseases and yet few, if any, were being commercialized.
Great stores of knowledge were being wasted. Two years ago, married and age 35, Dr. Breitkreutz took a bold step; he enrolled in the Strategic MBA program at the Schulich School of Business.
"I very much wanted to help bridge what we call the Valley of Death," he says. "That is what we call the funding gap between university research and investment in a commercial product. I thought, with my scientific training and an MBA, I could help play a role in bridging that gap."
He graduated in October and the challenge now, he says, is finding an employer who shares those views.