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Piyush Durani

Piyush Durani
My initial interest in the EMBA stemmed from the desire to develop a sound understanding of the business operations of a pharmaceutical company and the commercial environment within which it operates.
Piyush Durani

From the operating room to pharma

Having qualified in Medicine from Downing College, University of Cambridge in 2001, returning as an Executive MBA participant has been a wonderful trip down memory lane!

After graduating, I spent 15 years practising in the NHS and gained accreditation as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I developed a special interest in scarring and completed a research doctorate whilst working as an Investigator for a start-up biopharmaceutical company focusing on anti-scarring biologicals. During this time, I realised the value that practicing clinicians can add to the strategic and commercialisation aspects of drug discovery and development plans using their ‘real-world’ perspective. I also undertook a full-time secondment with a Strategic Health Authority as Clinical Leadership Fellow – this provided a ‘helicopter’ view of the NHS and the tight fiscal constraints within which it was operating. It developed my interest in the strategic aspects of healthcare delivery and the implementation of large-scale change programmes, which affect whole health economies beyond the individual patient. Together, these experiences spurred my transition from plastic surgery to the pharmaceutical industry. 


At Bristol-Myers Squibb, I am working in medical affairs, developing medical strategy for various immuno-oncology therapy indications and working closely with a cross-functional team and within a matrix leadership environment. Medical affairs acts as the key ‘bridge’ between the commercial and R&D parts of the business and so is one of the important functions that can benefit from the commercial skills and perspectives that the Cambridge EMBA will bring.

Fluency in the language of commerce

My initial interest in the EMBA stemmed from the desire to develop a sound understanding of the business operations of a pharmaceutical company and the commercial environment within which it operates. 

I am keen to be a fluent speaker in the language of commerce, but I also want a strong knowledge-based foundation together with opportunities for experiential learning. The Cambridge EMBA is providing this and enhancing the real world healthcare and medical experience that I already have. This unique skillset will accelerate my personal growth and equip me initially for continued progression within medical affairs and subsequently for a direct transition into the commercial space. The key to both of these trajectories is the ability to provide strong, strategic commercial thinking underpinned by real-world medical experience and insights.

In addition, as a dynamic, biotech hotspot with a formidable track-record in healthcare, life sciences and entrepreneurial activity, Cambridge also provides the perfect backdrop for my future aspirations in business development and early asset financing/management within the life sciences industry.

Ultimately, one of the biggest draws to the Cambridge EMBA is the global and sector diversity of the participants. Mingling with the best minds from finance, healthcare, energy/mining, aerospace etc. and a whole host of other industries provides significant opportunities to learn from each other’s diverse set of perspectives. Even more importantly, it provides a life-long international network of colleagues and friends and plenty of scope for having fun along the way! 

It is great to be back at the Alma Mater…


Cambridge Executive MBA 2018


Senior Medical Advisor, Bristol-Myers Squibb


MB BChir Medicine, University of Cambridge; MA Medicine and Veterinary Sciences, University of Cambridge; MSc Aesthetic Surgery, Queen Mary University of London, MSc Medical Management, Loughborough Business School, FRCS Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Royal College of Surgeons, DPM Pharmaceutical Medicine, Royal College of Physicians.