Chief Data Officer Parul Doshi: Helping Cellarity Redesign the Way Drugs are Created Never Before Possible

Parul Doshi
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BOSTON—Parul Doshi is Chief Data Officer at Cellarity, which is fundamentally redesigning the way drugs are created by shifting the focus from a single target to the underlying cellular dysfunction. Cellarity is unraveling the complexity of disease biology to create medicines never before possible.

“It is absolutely exciting to work for a purpose that is much bigger than us,” says Ms. Doshi, who previously worked at Takeda where she helped launch couple of oncology medicines and saw first hand the positive impact those had on the patients. She also worked on programs for Covid Vaccine and Dengue Vaccine and to see these products available for the patients is extremely fulfilling.

Ms. Doshi is an IT executive with extensive experience building and managing cross- domain, multi-technology teams and delivering high impact Products Launches technology and digital solutions for entire biotech/pharma value chain. She has led Commercial IT programs to launch multiple specialty products. She ran IT integration for $5B+ acquisition.

She earned her MBA in IT and Finance from Pune in India, and BS in Economics, Statistics- University of Rajasthan. She has won a number of awards, including Takeda’s CIO Award – 2016 & 2017, and Takeda Global Award – 2009.

Here is a Q/A with Ms. Doshi, who will honored at the Woman of the Year Awards Gala at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA, on April 14, 2023. To buy a ticket for the gala, please click here.

INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it? 

Parul Doshi: I am Chief Data Office at a biotech – Cellarity; based in Somerville, MA. Cellarity was founded with the mission to fundamentally redesign the way drugs are created and our unique platform is built at the confluence of systems biology, single-cell data, and machine learning. I am excited for the impact our platform and the medicines we create would have on patients. I really enjoy working with a multi-disciplinary team that is passionate to create a legacy in science and impact patients lives. I enjoy the discussions with co-workers who are experts in their respective fields and bring in their diverse perspectives to solve this complex problem and that we are all learning from each other and growing together. It is absolutely exciting to work for a purpose that is much bigger than us.  

Prior to my current role I worked at Takeda where I helped launch couple of oncology medicines and saw first hand the positive impact those had on the patients. I also worked on programs for Covid Vaccine and Dengue Vaccine and to see these products available for the patients is extremely fulfilling.

INE: What does success and failure mean to you?

PD: To me success and failure are a state of mind; Success to me is not about achieving a goal but setting a goal that is worth pursuing and giving my best to achieve it. Failure is working towards a goal that is not worth pursuing.  

INE: The one thing you attribute your success to?  

PD: My success cannot be attributed to just one thing, an entire ecosystem had to work together- my supportive parents and husband who encouraged me to dream big and gave me confidence that with hard work I could make my dreams a reality, my managers who saw potential in me and gave me opportunities I didn’t even know existed, my sisters and friends who kept me grounded, my daughter who never made me feel guilty for spending time at work and my own ability to not only see the big picture but also been able to plan and execute at a very granular level and of-course luck played a part too.  

INE: To which charitable, community and professional group do you belong and why?

PD: I volunteer for IFNET (Indian Family Network) as it is a volunteer run organization dedicated to creating a sense of belonging and community for Indian Americans in Boston area.  

I served as chair for several years at Takeda DEI employee resource group -PACT( parents and caregivers at Takeda) as I believe as employees, we need to bring our whole authentic self to work.  

I also support and volunteer at local food pantries to combat food insecurities in our community. 

INE: In what way you feel you have most positively influenced or served the local community and your company/organization and professional field. – 

PD: Been the first woman in my family to leave home first for my masters and then to for a career in USA,  I felt an incredible responsibility to set an example so other girls in my family and beyond could get similar opportunities. I have been coaching and formally mentoring coworkers and friends specially women to help advance their careers and reach their full potential; seeing them get their raise or promotion or recognition is pure joy. Too often organizations focus on diversity via representation but not through inclusion, I have used my influence, voice and actions to promote inclusion.  

As a volunteer at an annual week-long camp for Indian-American kids I know that volunteers like me are making it possible for the campers and counselors to develop and grow confidence and pride in their Indian identities.  

INE: Any aptitude/gift or talent that not many people know about you?  

PD: While growing up I didn’t like cooking and couldn’t even make a good cup of tea but been married to a foodie, I have learnt cook and now enjoy it too and now when my mom, who is an amazing cook tells me that I make the best chana-masala she has ever had, it always makes me smile. I still can’t bake as following instructions has never been my stenght.

INE: What are your hobbies and interest?

PD: I love to travel with my family to experience different cultures. I also dabble in pottery and lot of our travel takes us to places known for their pottery so have a unique collection of pottery from around the world . I love to read and enjoy non-fiction and  historical fiction . I listen to podcasts during my commute and am always looking for recommendations.

INE: Your favorite books?   

PD: The book that had the most impact on my early professional career was Getting it Done: How to Lead When You’re Not in Charge by Roger Fisher and Alan Sharp. This book helped me realize that Getting It Done is all about interpersonal communication skills, empathy, and planning ; invaluable advice that helped me as an individual contributor lead cross functional project teams successfully.

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner these series of books show us that things are often not what they seem and that although we tend to see things through our morals and ideals, everything actually operates based on economic incentives and disincentives. As an economics under-grad this is fascinating to me.

The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni – The book is based the tale of Rani Jindan Kaur, the last queen of Punjab. It is a fascinating story of one of India’s most fearless women of the 19th century, who fought against the British with all her mightIt is an inspiring story but sadly I hadn’t heard of Rani Jindan till I read the book; I am so glad that these stories are now been told. 

INE: Your favorite quotes?

PD: The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing. 

Every day may not be good… but there’s something good in every day.

If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.

INE: The one person you would like to meet and why?

PD: Rabindra Nath Tagore, he not only inspired and instilled  patriotism and amplified the freedom struggle through his words to fight against the British colonialists, he also had the foresight that mere political independence would not be enough Economic independence, especially for women, was just as critical. Tagore, through his work, introduced the idea of feminism in India. My mom who was an avid reader of Tagore’s books was also greatly influenced by him and that  knowingly or unknowingly shaped my upbringing and the values that were taught to me. 

INE: Your core value you try to live by?

PD: While I was growing up my parents believed that education was the most important asset they could provide;  as education was the only thing that no one could take away from us. This instilled life long journey and love to learn and be curious. I also bring my Authentic self to everything I do, as I truly believe that my values, ideals, and actions need to align for me to thrive.

I am empathic and the awareness of others’ feelings, needs and concerns helps me build meaningful relationships and work effectively. 

Finally, everything I do, I do with Integrity as it is the moral compass that helps me make decisions and to cultivate inner peach and strength. 


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