Minh-Ha T. Do

Minh-Ha T. Do

Director of Pre-Clinical Innovation

Lumos Pharma

San Diego, CA USA

I always feel like I don’t know a lot because there is always so much left to learn. There is always a drive to be better, there is always a drive to learn more. [That] is innate...you never know everything.


By Roadtrip Nation

Minh-Ha T. Do

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My road in life has been direct.
Raised by parents who were refugees of the Vietnam War.
Describes herself as an introvert with a passion for problem-solving, which is what drew her to studying the sciences.
Was initially interested in pursuing marine biology, but chronic seasickness dissuaded her from making that her career.
Attended UCLA and earned a bachelor's degree in molecular cell and developmental biology.
Interned at a lab doing research on drug development for cancer patients, which inspired her to pursue working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry.
After graduating, she immediately went to graduate school at UCSD and received a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences.
Got a job working at aTyr Pharma, starting as a scientist doing research and eventually working her way up to associate director.
Now works as the director of pre-clinical innovation at Lumos Pharma, overseeing the development of drugs and treatment programs for underserved patients with rare diseases.
Keep following my journey


High School
Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology
University of California-Los Angeles
Biomedical Sciences, General
University of California-San Diego


Director of Pre-Clinical Innovation

I am a research scientist who oversees the development of new drugs/therapeutics for rare diseases.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Problem Solving

Day to Day

I spend about 80% of my day in front of the computer. That time includes analyzing data from research studies, reading scientific literature to think about future experiments and research direction, and generating presentations to summarize data and facilitate conversations with my colleagues and external collaborators. About 20% of my day is spent on the phone managing staff at companies that are running our studies or speaking with my colleagues or collaborators.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

There are many "soft" skills but the ones that come immediately to mind are leadership, communication, and organization. Leadership and communication are critical any time you work in a team setting, and drug development is always done in a team setting. I need to effectively influence and manage people with different backgrounds and skill sets. Leadership in scientific thinking is important too. Being organized is critical for juggling multiple projects and moving them forward rapidly.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Education first, then, start with internships and informational interviews. Before you start job seeking, contact people who have positions you think you might be interested in, now or 30 years from now. Ask them about their jobs and career paths. Do internships, even if just over each summer, to test the waters in a real-life setting and to start gaining experience and building your network. Finally, have experienced eyes critique your resume and don't be afraid to apply.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology
Biomedical Sciences, General


The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"Is transitioning to industry, away from the "ivory tower" of academia, a good idea? You can't get an industry position without doing a post-doctoral fellowship."

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation Immigrant
Racial Discrimination

Interviewed By

UCLA Roadtrip

UCLA Roadtrip

UCLA Roadtrip