Many of the most influential discoveries in science and biopharmaceuticals have been made by women like Dr. Marie Curie and Dr. Marie Maynard Daly. However, history’s tendency to ignore the contributions of women has led to a lack of awareness of these innovative professionals.
For National Women’s History Month, we're highlighting the contributions of current female pioneers in the biopharma industry. Here at High Purity New England, we believe visibility is a crucial step in fully understanding our industries foundation, and promoting a transparent and accepting environment in our own workplace.
Although there is an infinite list of women who have pioneered the biopharma field, the following four are professionals we believe are currently having a large impact.
Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Professor at UC Berkeley
As the co-receiver of a Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Emmanuelle Charpertier for their creation of CRISPR-cas9 genetic scissor, Jennifer Duodna is now a Professor of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology and Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley. Her research into the CRISPR-cas9 will make it easier to develop better crops and create new ways to combat genetic diseases and cancers. She continuously fights for the ethical use of genome editing, and has received numerous awards throughout her career including being named to Time’s “100 Most Influential People” list in 2015 and a receiver of the Wolf Prize in Medicine in 2020.
CEO and Co-Founder of Verge Genomics
Alice Zhang was named one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science, one of the Fiercest Women in Life Sciences by Fierce Life Sciences, and is the co-founder and CEO of Verge Genomics. The company utilizes the support of AI-technology for drug discovery. Although this is her first position as a CEO, she had raised over $134 million in capital for the company before the time she was 35. She is also part of the “BioTech Sisterhood”, a community of female CEOs in biotech who form a supportive community for one another, while also brainstorming ways to be supportive leaders for other women in the industry.
Jaya Goyal, P.h.D
Pepgen Executive Vice President Research and Preclinical Development
Jaya Goyal, P.h.D has been working in various biotech positions for around thirty years. Her previous role was at Wave Life Sciences as the Senior Vice President of Preclinical Developmental Sciences, leading to her current position as Executive Vice President of Research and Preclinical Development at PepGen. The company works to develop genetic therapies that can be used on neuromuscular diseases. Goyal previously attended the Central Drug Research Institute in India to receive her P.h.D in chemistry, and was a postdoctoral fellow at Rush Presbyterian St. Lukes Medical Center, and New England Medical Center. She is also involved with the ‘Women in Bio’ group which provides resources and mentorship for women looking for career support in the biotech industry.
Chief Brand Officer at Moderna
Kate Cronin, previously the Global CEO of Ogilvy Health, is now the Chief Brand Officer and part of the Executive team at Moderna. While working at Ogilvy Health, she co-founded the Women Leadership Professional Network to encourage diversity in the workplace. Before her leadership positions in branding, Kate Cronin performed research at Cornell University on neurobiology. Through her research, she has been able to co-author several articles which have been published by peer-reviewed publications and focus on topics of memory and learning. In 2022, she was named to PRWeek’s Health Influencer 30 List.
Although the magnitude of contributions of these women are great, we have barely scratched the surface of female contributions to biotech past and present. Providing visibility and recognition to these accomplishments begins to create a much more accurate history about our industry than what may have previously been believed.
Learn more about some of the current women spearheading the industry here.
Read about the women on our team who are shaping the future of HPNE here.