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Dina Uzri

Dina Uzri - FlexEvening MBA

A Passion for Entrepreneurship and Lifelong Learning

Dina Uzri, MBA ’18, spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia where she attended an American International School. She returned to the United States for high school and attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Cell & Molecular Biology. Furthering her education, she pursued a Ph.D. in Virology at Harvard University. She brought this wealth of scientific knowledge and a passion for entrepreneurship to her Rady MBA studies. “The emphasis on entrepreneurship, and the fact that a large number of the students were working professionals with technical and scientific backgrounds was very attractive to me,” she said. “I felt confident that I would have common ground with my classmates and similar interests, and I did.”

Describing herself as a believer in a growth mindset, she embodies the spirit of lifelong learning—a trait that has propelled her to remarkable career achievements. While pursuing her MBA at Rady, she was also on the founding team of a biotech startup, where she put into practice many of the skills and learnings from Rady. She went on to combine her scientific expertise with business acumen during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, where she managed international allocations of COVID tests and testing materials at Hologic. Reflecting on this experience, she shares, "It was very gratifying and meaningful to have the opportunity to step in and support global testing during the early days of COVID when tests were scarce and mortality was so high."

Until recently, Uzri served as the Site Head and Director of Business Operations and Strategy at BioLabs San Diego, where she supported nearly 40 startups working to bring the next generation of therapies and technologies to the market across a variety of exciting fields. At BioLabs, she enjoyed the opportunity to wear multiple hats to support startups in bringing groundbreaking technologies to market. She recently transitioned to a new role as the Technology Development Program Director at UR Ventures, University of Rochester, in Rochester, NY. In her new role, she will work closely with researchers at the University to support innovative ideas and commercialization of their inventions.

Mastering Both Hard and Soft Skills

In the years since graduating from Rady, Uzri has incorporated lessons in leadership, operations, finance, marketing, economics, and negotiation into her daily work, tackling diverse business needs with confidence and precision. In her experience, problem-solving and sound decision-making ultimately hinge on the combination of hard skills and soft skills. "The analytical focus of Rady's faculty and coursework equipped me with the tools to extract actionable insights from data—an invaluable skill set in my day-to-day work," she emphasizes. Furthermore, courses on leadership, organizational structure, decision-making, along with multiple team-based projects helped her hone her “soft” skills—communication, emotional intelligence, teamwork, and more. Her favorite Rady experience, the Lab-to-Market project (now renamed the Rady Action Project), exemplified the school's emphasis on practical application and teamwork, leaving a lasting impression on her.

Reflecting on her time at Rady, one thing that surprised her was the profound impact of her classmates on her overall experience. “One thing I didn’t anticipate was how invaluable my classmates would be. I remain close friends with many of my classmates, and I know the tight knit relationships we formed at Rady will be a source of support for the rest of our lives,” she said.