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Operations as an Integrated Function for Medicine Development

Operations as an Integrated Function for Medicine Development

In this episode, Shailah Yazdani, Director of Operations at the Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CMB) at Discovery Labs, talks about her journey into LabOps, the multiple facets and capabilities CBM has as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO), and the role LabOps play there. Shailah started working in the travel industry, an entirely different space from where she is now, but she learned to find similarities between both. 

Engaging with people, generating and analyzing data, and working with automation were transferable skills. She explains how at the Center for Breakthrough Medicines, she works in operations to support clients and patients by accelerating the speed at which they take the therapeutic assets they need from discovery to commercialization. Shailah discusses how operations provide an infrastructure for different work streams within a CDMO and why good communication is key.


Tune in and learn about what Shailah shares on LabOps within CBM!



LabOps is both a driver and an influencer within a CDMO.

About Shailah Yazdani:

Passionate about driving the next generation of provider and patient care offerings, Shaila Yazdani has dedicated more than 15 years to creating and modernizing organizational systems and delivering best-in-class healthcare solutions. Focusing on the company vision and mission, Shailah works with industry leaders to solve multi-layered challenges, designing innovative systems to create value and ignite enterprise growth. 

Throughout her career, Shailah has honed a skillset that blends critical thinking and problem-solving to create progressive and effective change. As Director of Operations for the Center for Breakthrough Medicines (CBM) since 2021, a cutting-edge cell and gene therapy company, Shailah successfully launched their analytical development labs and piloted the rollout of GMP testing. By readily identifying the root cause of complex interdepartmental issues, Shailah generates solutions that reduce or eliminate operational inefficiencies, delivering comprehensive and dynamic operational systems. In her previous role as Head of Lab Operations for Testing Centers of America (TCA), Shailah designed and launched both brick-and-mortar and mobile COVID-19 testing labs from the ground up, serving a critical need during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results-driven by nature, Shailah embraces her role as an integrator, outlining and disseminating objectives to empower multidisciplined groups and individuals to work together towards common goals. 

Equipped with an MBA from the Fox School of Business at Temple University and a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification in Healthcare, Shailah champions continuous change and operational excellence by reducing waste and delivering scalable systems, on-time, and on budget. She began her career working as an Operations Manager for Asina Travel & Tours Inc, before joining Parkway Clinical Laboratories (PCL) in 2009. Starting as an Operations Assistant and Manager, Shailah continuously drove improvements, and moved up the organization, reaching Chief Operating Officer before becoming President and Head of Financial Operations for the MENA region. In 2019, as an independent healthcare consultant, Shailah worked with healthcare providers to both establish and improve their financial operating systems.

Named Honoree for Philadelphia Business Journal’s ‘Diversity Leaders in Business Award (2021).”, Shailah has developed not only a distinct and strategic sense of where the clinical and biotech industry is headed, but she also knows what it takes to bring the right people together to make the future of healthcare a reality.

Things You’ll Learn:

  • One can take a community-based lab to a global organization with strategic planning and execution, and a solid leadership team.
  • CBM has built capabilities encompassing process development, cell therapies, viral vector manufacturing, testing, analytical services, and research and development, all under one roof.
  • For a CDMO, analytics are a key driver of the progression of a therapeutic asset, and providing insightful data is very valuable for clients and patients.
  • IF Lab Operations are siloed, that will create a lack of cohesion in the multiple workstreams a pharma company might have.
  • Communication is the most essential tool in an organization as it is key to keeping everyone on board with their vision and mission, finding value in provided feedback, and reminding the impact and importance of everyone’s tasks.


  • Connect with and follow Shailah Yazdani on LinkedIn.
  • Follow the Center for Breakthrough Medicines on LinkedIn.
  • Discover the Center for Breakthrough Medicines Website!
  • Reach out to Shailah at
  • Connect with and follow co-host Kerri Anderson on LinkedIn.
  • Connect with and follow co-host Samantha Black on LinkedIn.

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