What led you to choose science and/or engineering as a career, particularly in the medical device field?
I was always strong in math and science as a kid. I actually started in the chemical engineering program at Princeton. I switched my major to molecular biology as the field was just starting to emerge. I was fascinated by genetics and biology. I have been in the diagnostics industry almost my entire career, mostly with small companies. As a marketing and sales executive, I have the best seat in the house. I have the opportunity to work with passionate and caring physicians and scientists all over the world. Inside the company, I enjoy working with scientists and engineers on product development programs while also interacting with finance, operations, and RA/QA, all with the goal of delivering innovative products to improve the lives of patients.
What has been your most rewarding moment/accomplishment as an engineer/scientist in the medical field?
From a product perspective, I am most proud of helping to bring the CellSearch circulating tumor cell instruments and kits to the market. It was the first CTC test to be cleared by FDA and started the wave of development of liquid biopsy tests. These technologies are helping a lot of cancer patients. From a personal perspective, my most rewarding accomplishment has been developing many marketing and sales professionals over the course of my career.
What advice would you give to other women looking to work in biomedical engineering and science?
Listen, learn, and grow. Every day is an adventure when you approach your work with a learning mindset. Analyze and act, take intelligent risk and learn from your mistakes. Take time to celebrate successes. Most of all, have fun.
Are there other insights you would like to share?
Working in the diagnostics/medical device industry, and healthcare generally, is important work. As frustrating as the regulatory environment can sometimes be, creating innovative products to help doctors deliver better care is way better than selling sneakers.
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