Michael Chen '23

Michael Chen

Vancouver, Canada
College BA
Wharton BSE
Business Analytics, Marketing

Why did you choose LSM?

I chose LSM primarily because I knew I was passionate in both studying Biology and learning how this field interacts with the business world. I wanted to develop skills that would allow me to understand the science behind modern day drug discovery as well as how scientific ideas can be turned into reality through commercial applications. I felt that no other academic program would give me this level of breadth and depth within my learnings.


If you have completed an LSM internship, where did you work and what did your work involve? What was the most rewarding feature of your internship?

For my sophomore summer internship, I worked within Gilead as a Medical Affairs Intern. Coming from a research background at Stony Brook University, I wanted to explore science from a more applicational perspective. Thus, I was really excited to hear about this position, where I would be able to engage with both R&D and commercial branches of the company on a regular basis.

My internship consisted of working with Descovy, a new medication for HIV, and assisting the team on introducing it to healthcare providers from around the world. The most rewarding part of this experience was knowing how big of an impact that I was able to have on a global scale through my work, specifically with helping patients gain access to better care.

I was also really happy to use this opportunity to learn how large pharmaceutical companies operate and how all departments within the firm regularly communicate with one another to further propel innovation. 


What is the favorite thing you’ve done at Penn so far?

I’d say my best memories at Penn came with the wonderful people that I’ve met during my time here that are now my closest friends. From the long hours together studying in GSRs to the midnight Insomnia cookies to the spontaneous karaoke runs in center city, it’s been an incredible journey so far. Penn is really a place where you can carve your own path and meet so many talented, hardworking, and really fun people along the way.


What main extracurricular activities do you do at Penn?

I am on the Penn Undergraduate Biotech Society’s Consulting Division as a team leader, where I am able to work with local biotech start-ups each semester to support their development and commercialization. I am also involved in the Marks Family Writing Center on campus as a tutor, helping students with their writing.