Female scientists doing an experiment in a lab

Our passion for science – Women in R&D share their stories

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International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to recognize women around the world, but we also thought it was fitting to mark the contribution of our women scientists who make a difference all year round. We reached out to some of the women working in Research and Development at Sanofi and asked them to share their passion for science - what attracted them to a scientific career and what would they tell the younger generation. Here’s what they told us:

Asia Pacific

Shelley Li

Shelley Li

  • The interest to learn new knowledge and explore an unknown field.
  • Never underestimate your power to change yourself! Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay. Each failure can inspire us to adjust to the weaknesses of our own knowledge, abilities and dispositions to make our image more complete, so that we become more self-aware and confident.
Mengmeng SHUAI

Mengmeng SHUAI

  • As countless unknown questions still remain, I would like to be part of the scientific research field, sparing no effort to tackle them.
  • Strive for perfection; to be a better YOU.
Xiangling Wang

Xiangling Wang

  • Studying clinical medication was my simple wish at the beginning as I wanted to keep my mother healthy. With the accumulation of clinical practice, I suffered from my patients receiving inappropriate treatment from their local hospitals. As a physician, I can give my patients appropriate treatments. What first attracted me to join a pharmaceutical company was our mission to change diabetes. The past 12 years working with the pharmaceutical industry has made me happy, interested and excited to be doing the right thing. We develop new products: listen to what patients’ needs are and develop products which have the potential to help patient and reduce their life burden. Everyone deserves to live better. We promote products: leverage all the resources from the scientific community, from health care professionals to governments to make sure patient receive the right products and the appropriate treatments. This is a long and meaningful journey in my career, in my life.
  • Don’t limit your life. Find out your interest and explore your career. Try to do something you haven’t done and do it the best you can. If you haven’t found your interest and strength, just do your best on your current work and task. You will find your interest, your strength, your confidence and your happiness.
Ning Zheng

Ning Zheng

  • I grew up in my dad’s lab and my favorite reading was science fictions as a young girl. Science, especially the system of logic and the fundamental mechanisms on how things work, has always fascinated me. Thus I chose biological science major at Peking University and the University of Chicago, and chose to become a medical writer after pursuing a Ph.D. With this job, I deal with medical communication, data analyses and interpretation, and submit new life-saving drugs to be launched in the market. The idea of helping people in the community drives me forward.
  • Trust yourself. Whenever there is doubt or unfair judgement on whether women are suitable for science or work, remember to hold a strong belief in yourself. Women carry more responsibilities at home and at work, because we are more capable, not otherwise. When you are confused about how to balance work and life, trust yourself and listen to your inner voice.
Rui Chen

Rui Chen

  • Contributing to human health is a sublime mission; when you see patients improving after the appropriate treatment, it’s really fulfilled. When you have conversations with professors and investigators, it’s also very exciting to integrate their input into our clinical operations. When you see that the quality of the clinical trial had been improved and enlarged from the 1st line cities to those 2nd & 3rd line cities, and more sites are involved in global multi-country studies, it makes you really proud. 2) The global view, cross-culture cooperation is very interesting and gives me more chances to learn.
  • The industry is developing fast, China is becoming more and more important. Get ready, lots of opportunities are waiting for us.
Qianqian WANG

Qianqian WANG

  • Good health is the most important thing. Clinical trial operations is a great job.
  • Work hard and it never lets you down.
Kyna SUN

Kyna SUN

  • In R&D, I can play a role in the drug development process. It’s more than a job, rather, I can contribute to bringing health to patients all around the world. It means a lot to me.
  • It’d be very nice for others to start their career at Sanofi, just like me. Enjoy learning, enjoy growing up and enjoy being professional.
Li Zhi

Li Zhi

Curiosity of life science. Smart colleagues.
Teresa YI

Teresa YI

  • To make a contribution to society and the pursuit of a meaningful life.
  • Never underestimate your power to change yourself!
Naoko KUDO

Naoko KUDO

  • The smile of patients.
  • Try it... all your experiences will be your food in the future.
Azusa Tsukida

Azusa Tsukida

  • Contributing to individual health through clinical development.
  • Don’t put a limit on yourself, if you have willingness to challenge yourself to just move one step forward.

Germany

Kristin Breitschopf

Kristin Breitschopf

  • For me, science is as an intriguing journey of curiosity and creativity where you can live your passion. There will be always new questions. It is this lifelong learning that attracted me to this career.
  • Be sure to enjoy your job: Decide it, experience it, live it and don‘t be afraid to fail.
Marion Zerlin

Marion Zerlin

  • Science offers us a broad variety of career opportunities in a pharmaceutical company, as experts and leaders. Working in Research and Development has always being exciting; nature is our best teacher to learn from, and surprises us every day.
  • We can open doors. However, entering the room is still up to you.
Sabine Scheidler

Sabine Scheidler

  • I always wanted to do cool science while at the same time generating medicine to treat life-threatening diseases.
  • Be curious and stay fully behind what you are doing and your scientific career will come.

France

Katarina Radošević

Katarina Radošević

  • I have always loved natural sciences. Once you start doing scientific research you are hooked; creativity and freedom, and the kick you get with that one beautiful result is enough to keep you running for months through hard work and the frustration of many (failed) experiments. Realization that using that knowledge we can generate medicines that improve health, prevent and treat diseases and save the lives, made me want no other profession.
  • You have just this one life, so you better use it to chase your dreams. And don’t listen to anyone who tells you that what you want is not possible.
Odile Piot-Grosjean

Odile Piot-Grosjean

  • Each day, 50 scientists mainly experts in cell biology, biochemistry, high throughput screening and medicinal chemistry collaborate hand in hand with internal stakeholders and external partners. Together, we are engaged to join our strengths and close our respective gaps to discover and develop new treatments for patients and their caregivers.
    A scientific career demands a constant reappraisal of our convictions, the willingness to learn continuously and to be regularly challenged by teams, peers and managers. Isn’t it an attractive career? Science is anything but the statu quo, conjugating passion and reason, people and facts, to succeed!
  • I have only one message to the young generations of women: be confident and dare!
Stéphanie BARON

Stéphanie BARON

  • Biology has always been a topic of interest to me: how does the human body works to better understand the diseases? I could have started a medical career but the pharmaceutical industry and the vaccine development in particular were the most appropriate job to experiment and to propose new health solutions.
  • Everyone is not Marie Curie or Rosalind Franklin but every woman is able to find her place and to progress in science.
Souha MEKARY-SAWAYA

Souha MEKARY-SAWAYA

  • I have chosen to be in the pharma field to be closer to people’s needs and help alleviate their disease with new discoveries and treatments.
    The loss of my sister at the age of 1 year old from measles, because there were no vaccines at that time, was a deep motivation for me to recently join the vaccines world.
  • And you young people, our future, follow your own path that resonate with your deep soul and dreams, pursue and exhaust every lead ’till you succeed and you will.

North America

Shekema Hodge

Shekema Hodge

  • I was attracted to a scientific career because of my curious nature and need to help others. I was curious as a child and always wanted to know the how and why of everything. As I got older, I learned about microbes and the role they played in disease. I was so intrigued as to how something you couldn't even see could be responsible for so much devastation around the world that I majored in Biology in college and subsequently Virology in graduate school just to learn as much as I could about them.
    Being able to have a career in a field where the knowledge of microbes and how they cause infections is applied to prevent the spread of diseases is rewarding and exciting to me!
  • When choosing a career, keep an open mind and explore all career paths that are of interest to you. When you identify one you are passionate and excited about, plan, prepare, and then execute a path towards that goal. Never let gender be a limiting factor in your decision.
Hilary Malone

Hilary Malone

I’m thankful for the many people who encouraged me to pursue a scientific career, and want to inspire the next generation of women in science.

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