Michael Fath ('87) Profile

Michael Fath '87
Michael Fath '87

Michael Fath (’87) is Senior Director, Global Marketing Bioscience for Grifols Inc., a biopharmaceutical company based in Barcelona, Spain. Michael works out of the Grifols’ offices in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina and lives with his family in Chapel Hill, NC. For his interview with Honorably Speaking, Michael provided some words of advice to Miami student entering into the Honors Program: “Embrace all the exciting things ahead of you at Miami. Come in with enthusiasm, look for your place to excel, work hard, and have fun. There’s so much to do on campus… so many opportunities to grow. Find what you love and stick with it. You are going to have a great experience at Miami.”

Michael’s experiences as a Miami Honors student certainly provide a good case study. He graduated from Miami in 1987, majoring in microbiology and chemistry and participated in the Music Department where he played euphonium in the Wind Ensemble, Marching Band, and Pep Bands. Michael lived in the Honors residence hall—Bishop—and thrived in the achievement oriented community he found in the Honors Program. He enjoyed the intellectually engaging conversations in residence halls, and the inquisitive and passionate people - Honors was a defining part of his Miami experience.

Michael’s connection to Honors started early at Miami. Zoology Professor Don Kaufman, taught Michael’s first honors seminar, ZOO 180: Resource Management. The course’s final project was an in-depth case study in a student-defined area of resource management. Dr. Kaufman was thinking about writing a textbook in introductory environmental science and believed that the students’ case studies might add a unique element to the text. Invited to work with Dr. Kaufman on this, Michael enrolled in further coursework, assisting with the creation of “Biosphere 2000: Protecting Our Global Environment,” which was published in the mid-90s and has been reprinted through multiple editions. 

Finding inspiration in this experience, Michael saw how Honors opened doors for undergraduates. He served on the Honors Student Board, completed University Honors, and used Honors program funding to support his microbiology research project. The Honors Program infused learning into his daily life. Reflecting on these activities, Michael says “I grew a tremendous amount when I was at Miami.”

With the strong Miami foundation, he applied to elite graduate programs, going directly into the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at Harvard with a National Science Foundation Fellowship to support his doctoral work in peptide antibiotic biosynthesis and secretion. Michael earned his PhD in 1993 and continued his scientific research studies as post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Chicago.

While in Chicago, he began to be drawn towards strategic management, eventually taking a position with McKinsey & Company to develop his business acumen. He now uses his scientific background and blends it with his strategic business skills to develop high impact business solutions in the biopharmaceutical industry. Originally working for Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, he is now in Global Marketing at Grifols Inc. leading efforts to expand life cycle opportunities in protein therapeutics for orphan diseases. He believes that Miami Honors helped him grow as a leader and as someone prepared to take on new challenges. This experience—the Miami Experience—is something he carries with him in all of his endeavors.