Skip to main content


Dr. Piyali Basu

Senior Project Manager

You really do have to look at the tiny details to identify and fix any larger problems.

Dr Piyali Basu was recently promoted to Senior Project Manager after being a Project Manager at OXGENE. Her role requires great levels of technical expertise alongside supreme organisational and people skills, both things that Piyali excels at. We interviewed Piyali to get a glimpse of what working at OXGENE is really like on a day-to-day basis as well as what it takes to be successful in the world of project management.

"I ensure that the objectives of the project are met, stay within scope, and are delivered on time and within budget."

In my role, I am responsible for overseeing the part of the project management team that works with our scientists to deliver OXGENE’s custom biomanufacturing and discovery service projects to customers.

A large proportion of my current portfolio is made up of our exciting TESSATM technology projects; that’s our technology for scalable production of AAV vectors for gene therapy development, and it’s available for evaluation at various volumes ahead of GMP manufacture.

As a project manager, I’m the point of contact between all stakeholders – internal and external – who are invested in the success of a project. I ensure that the objectives of the project are met, stay within scope, and are delivered on time and within budget.

I’m a bit of a “risk nerd”; part of my role is to identify risks. That means anything that might impact the successful delivery of a project either on time or on budget. As well as making sure that everything stays on track within a project, if we notice any issues that are common across projects, this could indicate that a high-level strategy change is needed. So I stay vigilant for risks, escalate any issues, and help ensure that we stay flexible to change and always deliver our best work. You really do have to look at the tiny details to identify and fix any larger problems.

“A lot of teams play a key role in bringing business in.

Dr. Piyali Basu
Senior Project Manager

In terms of my actual day, it usually starts in the same way – with a coffee! If I’m working from the office, my drive to work takes an hour. An essential part of my journey is music – having my music blasting in the morning has become a routine that really helps me arrive at work feeling great. The coffee helps too!

The morning is a chance to check that there are no screamingly urgent things that require my attention and to prioritise accordingly. Organisation and good time-management are crucial aspects of my job, so planning the day in advance is important and allows me to prepare myself to support our projects. I review my calendar, reply to emails and update my to-do list, as well as preparing for any meetings happening later in the day; a lot of my clients are based in the US and they’re a few hours behind us. I also make sure to check OXGENE’s project management system, CONNEX, and communicate any changes in project timelines, progress or priorities to internal stakeholders.

We have weekly internal meetings to ensure that we are aligned on project progress, so my morning often involves those meetings too. We use them as an opportunity to speak with the scientists working on each project and get updates straight from the lab, so we know where everything is up to. In addition to catching up on projects, I find that these meetings are such a nice opportunity to interact with all the people who contribute to the success of projects and the company as a whole!

“Making treatments a reality for people across the world feels like you’re making a difference.”

Dr. Piyali Basu
Senior Project Manager

That gets me to lunch time and I often take the opportunity for a nice walk with my co-workers before the afternoon’s customer meetings. In customer meetings, we talk about progress, risks, expectations, and other updates. It’s so important to cultivate open and transparent relationships with customers, especially when it comes to science! Things can and will go wrong when we’re working together on cutting-edge cell and gene therapies, that’s natural when you’re driving ambitious projects, but you can minimise the impact of this by identifying these risks in advance, having a ‘back-up plan’ and managing the customer’s expectations accordingly.

To be successful, it’s crucial to build trust, and my goal is to be an approachable point of contact with customers. Ultimately, we’re working with ground-breaking technologies to help our customers accelerate the production of their novel therapeutics. Making treatments a reality for people around the world really does feel like you’re making a difference.

After wrapping up the meetings, I prepare the minutes and communicate them to everyone involved. I end the day as I started, with music blasting! It’s such a good way to unwind.

Day in the Life provides a snapshot of real life at OXGENE and WuXi Advanced Therapies, demonstrating how we invest in our innovative science and company culture to drive success for our customers and our employees. Read these insightful interviews with scientists, project managers, human resources representatives and others to learn how everyone contributes to helping pioneering companies get novel treatments to patients faster.