Meet Our Team Behind the Cells: Alexander Klarer

PCT Team | May 28, 2020

Career Paths: Development Stories at HCATS

Alexander Klarer, Senior Biomedical Engineer, Innovation & Engineering, Allendale

Alex Klarer, Senior Engineer, Innovation & Engineering HCATSWe pride ourselves on our exceptional team of cell therapy development and manufacturing experts. In the coming months, we’ll be introducing you to many of our team members who we think you should get to know.

How did you first come to HCATS and why?

I was working at Genentech in operations and I wanted to make a transition into some sort of development role. I had been looking just in biologics because that was what I was aware of. A recruiter reached out to me and told me about HCATS and cell therapy. I knew so little about it at the time that I had to Google “cell therapy” to end up with even a basic understanding of it was. I came out for interviews with the development groups and then joined the Innovation & Engineering (I&E) team in January 2017.

What was your first role and how did you transition to your next role?

I started as an assistant on the CFC (counter-flow centrifugation platform) project at the time. As the roles of the I&E team evolved, so did my participation. By the end of my first year at HCATS, I had gained experience leading internal and client-facing development projects as a product steward.

I worked on various projects and about a year later was promoted from a technician position to the role of Biomedical Engineer. As I&E began to look outside the company for technologies to bring in, I began to go to conferences to represent us, presenting our work at the International Society for Cellular Therapy Annual Meeting, BIO, and American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy Annual Meeting.

How did you develop within your current role?

By going out to conferences, it had reinforced that what we do here can be more relevant than what occurs at other companies, as we have a significant level of understanding of cell therapy as a business and as an industry. Cell therapy developers need the benefit of our expertise to focus their journey toward their goals.

What encourages you to continue your development at HCATS?

Often your work environment is more impactful on your job satisfaction than the work you do, so having people who are invested in me as a person makes what I do feel important and rewarding. It also helps to see my team as a tribe that shares success and failure and to stay in tune with what we are trying to accomplish.

I really like building systems and we have immense opportunity to do that here. We look at how we build things in a way that helps the users perform more effectively. At HCATS, it’s not just about individual performance. For example, if you can complete a task but the second you step away the task can’t be performed as effectively by someone else, then you’re not really adding value.

In my role as Senior Biomedical Engineer, I am looking to increase my involvement in cross-functional workstreams to facilitate projects that people around the company are championing or want to champion. The goal is to use the large number of SMEs we have to build new capabilities at the ground level.

Get to Know More about HCATS!

The HCATS team is here to help cell therapy developers and manufacturers of all sizes perfect their products and prepare for commercial-scale manufacturing. You can learn more about other members of the HCATS team in future articles.

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PCT Team Our leaders have worked on some of the major cell therapies of the past 20 years, and have extensive experience in pharmaceutical-grade quality and operations.

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