Executive Director, Health Innovation, Alberta Innovates
Raja Mita’s fascination with science and health began when his older brother had to have his spleen removed at 13. “I remember being fascinated by how my brother’s own organ was working against him, and how did [the doctors] know that was the issue?”
This drove him to pursue a PhD in experimental cancer treatments. While discussing his complex research, Mita was confronted with a question that changed the course of his career. “How does it get to the clinic?” Mita recalls. “How does my little experiment with a bunch of cells in a plate turn into a treatment for hundreds of thousands of people all around the world?
“I became fascinated by that process and fascinated by the idea that research needs to turn into some sort of market or business opportunity.”
It’s now what he does every day in his role with Alberta Innovates: works with innovators in the health field to break down barriers, deliver their discoveries to clinics, and help patients as soon as possible.
On top of his work in health, Mita also gives back by volunteering for the World Lebanese Cultural Union, which helps Mita stay connected to his culture as a first- generation immigrant.
Between his career and community work, Mita is driven by one goal: “Everything I do is based on trying to move health one step forward.”
This article appears in the November 2021 issue of Edify.