For Fayans sibling Max, the pandemic changed his company’s focus and his own duties. A 2013 biology graduate, Max earned an MBA in health care management from Stony Brook University and is now the global product manager for Chembio Diagnostic Systems in Medford, N.Y.
Usually focused on rapid diagnostic tests for viruses such as HIV, syphilis, Zika, Ebola and dengue, Chembio pivoted at the outbreak of the pandemic to develop and prepare to manufacture as many tests for COVID-19 as possible. A new test, one that indicates active infection through the detection of COVID-19 antigens, was recently submitted to the FDA and is pending review.
“We had to adapt very quickly. We are working seven days a week to get the product ready to go,” Max says. He works with Chembio’s research and development, regulatory and sales teams, putting together product specifications, researching components that go into the tests, and surveying the market to see what is most needed.
“Our test—with results in minutes rather than days—will be used in urgent care clinics, physician office labs, hospitals. It has a wide-ranging scope of use,” Max says.
Raised on Long Island in Oceanside, N.Y., the Fayans siblings come from a health care family. Their father is a dentist and their mother is a nurse. All three took an early interest in science, but it was elder sister Jessica whose childhood dream of following her dad into dentistry brought her to Lehigh.
“I wanted to go to a school that could keep me well-rounded while staying on a pre-med track. Lehigh was that place,” Jessica says.