Director Highlight: Verna Rodriguez

MTM is a program that supports a diverse group of students with a wide spectrum of interests. It’s not surprising we need a very special director who can meet the various needs of the bright and inspiring minds in class. Today, we sat down with our director Verna Rodriguez, who manages to do exactly that and beyond.

Q: What’s your background in medtech/biotech?


I have a decades-long career in leading and advising organizations for the development of surgical, femtech, pulmonary and cardiovascular devices.I also hold three U.S. patents from the last startup I was at.

I bring all of this experience to help build community across both UCSF and UC Berkeley, advise students, connect them to industry and to continuously improve our MTM program and curriculum.

Q: Who should be interested in MTM?


Bright, high achieving students that want to learn how to develop and bring to market medical products whether they be devices or therapeutics should come to our program.

Students that want to learn this broad landscape of med/biotech will be interested in our multidisciplinary curriculum that includes courses ranging from bioengineering and clinical strategy to entrepreneurship and public health policy.

We attract life scientists, clinicians and engineers of all disciplines.

Q: What do you and the MTM program uniquely provide for the students?


Our program is industry focused. You will develop real world skills and strategic thinking that companies value, so that you can succeed in bringing new ideas from the lab or bench top into clinical and commercial use.

Although many other programs focus on lab skills and grant writing, we focus on the regulatory, intellectual property, reimbursement and business models in addition to ideation. We provide a lifelong network of medtech/biotech colleagues from the largest medtech/ biotech innovation hub in the world, the SF Bay Area.

Q: What is your favorite part of MTM?


My favorite part of MTM are the bright, passionate, aspirational, and diverse students that come to us from all over the world.

We build a personally connected and collaborative cohort every year. Today, we have well over 300 MTM alumni that continue to support MTM and each other in their career path.

The MTM program, led by director Verna and her incredible team, continues to support students by equipping them with the necessary skills to transform their exciting ideas to real-world clinical products. At the forefront of medical technology, MTM is a program where you can directly witness the early moments of innovation and inspiration.



Master of Translational Medicine - UCB & UCSF

We’re a 1-year professional master’s program at UC Berkeley and UCSF that trains future leaders in healthcare innovation.