Dr. J. MIchael Sutton Shares His Professional Journey at Research Day

Michael Sutton, BS ‘16, PhD ‘20 recently returned to the College of Pharmacy to share his career story, “Journey from Academic to Industry Science,” during the annual Research Day sponsored by the Department of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences. 

Dr. Sutton, who currently works as a Senior Scientist at Tome Biosciences, was the keynote speaker at the program. He focused his message, delivered to faculty, staff,  and students, on his trek from academic research to a successful career in industry science.

Dr. Sutton has longstanding ties to UGA’s College of Pharmacy. He was one of 10 students in the inaugural Bachelor’s of Science in Pharmaceutical Sciences (BSPS) Class of 2016, when he also received a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry. He later earned his PhD in Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences in 2020 under the mentorship of Dr. Michael Bartlett, the Associate Dean for Science Education, Research and Technology. Dr. Bartlett fondly recalls Dr. Sutton’s many years in his research lab and quipped, “Michael Sutton has the distinction of spending more years with me than any other student!”

“Dr. Bartlett, the professors in the college, and my lab mates were a huge part of my journey into corporate science,” said Dr. Sutton.  “I’m so thankful I got the opportunity to come back and share my experiences with the next generation of scientists.”

Dr. Sutton shared that he briefly worked as a Scientist at Codiak BioSciences before joining Tome, a genetic engineering startup based in Boston. At Tome, Dr. Sutton quickly rose through the ranks from Scientist to Senior Scientist, the position he currently holds. Dr. Sutton credited the research and technical skills he developed at UGA with preparing him for success in industry science careers. In Dr. Bartlett’s lab, he gained expertise in mass spectrometry—a key capability that enabled him to land his first job. 

Dr. Gurvinder Singh Rehki, Director of the BSPS program and one of the leaders who spearheaded Research Day, remarked, “It was rewarding to hear how one of our former students is applying his pharmaceutical sciences training in a fast-paced biotechnology company. His journey showcases the wide range of career paths possible for UGA College of Pharmacy graduates and researchers.” 

Pictured right with Dr. Michael Bartlett, Associate Dean for Science Education, Research and Technology.

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