Staff Clinical Research Scientist at DePuy Synthes

Jun 25, 2024
Staff Clinical Research Scientist at DePuy Synthes

David Diaz, PhD, is a Staff Clinical Research Scientist at DePuy Synthes. He works as part of the franchise clinical team which conducts clinical activities/studies to collect clinical evidence to ensure their medical devices are safe and perform as expected. He also provides evidence to support market access and to meet regulatory requirements in different regions such as Europe and Australia. He works with hospitals, surgeons, engineers, and large cross functional teams to ensure patient safety is always front of mind, that their systems provide the best solutions for our healthcare providers, and that their devices can be improved upon for future iterations.

What is the highest degree you have earned and what can you tell us about your academic path?

Doctorate (Doctor of Philosophy, PhD). I am a Biomedical Engineer by training. I did my undergraduate studies at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) from 2005-2009. I then worked in industry for one year prior to going to Drexel University for my PhD in Biomedical Optics/Engineering. Upon completion of my doctoral degree, I did a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University working with a start-up company to develop novel Diabetes Management Technologies. I then transition into the medical device industry and have been working in the orthopedics field ever since.

Where do you work now and what is your company about?

I currently work at DePuy Synthes, one of the Med Tech companies within Johnson and Johnson. The company develops orthopedic medical devices for the treatment of traumatic and non-traumatic injuries and deformities of the bones within the entire human body (from head to toe). I work within the Trauma, Craniomaxillofacial, and Biomaterials business unit within the company.

How did you first learn about the company?

I have been aware of Johnson and Johnson as a company ever since I was a young kid via their consumer products (e.g., band-aids, baby lotions/powder, etc.). Through the SMDP program, I was able to further expand my knowledge of the large number of companies within the J&J umbrella as I was exposed to multiple professionals within the industry. However, I first heard about DePuy Synthes during my post-doctoral fellowship while I was looking into industry positions.

What do you like most about the company?

Johnson and Johnson is a wonderful company to work for. I really enjoy the people I get to work with everyday as well as how much the company cares about their employees. They also provide excellent support for your professional development and growth opportunities for lateral and upward movement.

What skills make you successful in your role and why did you choose this role?

I am a very analytical person and like to solve problems. The ability to adapt to change quickly and be able to look at problems from different perspectives has allowed me to be successful in my role and provide valuable insight to the teams I support. I chose a role within the clinical field because it allows me to expand my medical knowledge while helping make patients life better, safer, and keep people moving.

How do you define success?

Success is being able to look back at your life and realizing your time was well spent in the things that mattered most to you. To me it is not about money or material possessions but about the positive impact you have in people’s lives (including loved ones, strangers, AND yourself).

What's the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

The fact that I am able to play an active role in making patients lives better by allowing them to keep moving through the use of our products after debilitating and/or life-threatening injuries or conditions. The satisfaction of bringing new technologies to market which help save people’s lives and allow them to have a higher quality of life gives me a reason to get up every day and put my best foot forward.

What advice do you have for students and job seekers?

Become skilled in your trade and always aim to be better than you were yesterday, but do not forget about your soft and interpersonal skills. It is just as important to understand how to navigate complex situations with integrity and emotional intelligence as it is to have a good technical background to help solve unique problems. For those in the job market looking for new positions, I would say do not give up or loose hope. This market could be tough in some sectors and very easy going in others. Keep searching for a position that may be a good fit for you, but also try positions for which you may not check all the boxes yet you see yourself growing into that career. Passion is just as important as competency. You can train to become more competent in a specific skill but your passion can only be fueled by the things that interest you.

What book did you read last?

For Pleasure: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah – A very funny, entertaining, yet insightful account of his life in South Africa. For personal development: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.