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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Meet our Team

February brought us the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in recognition of the significant contributions of women in research and the importance of equal opportunities to increase the participation of women and girls in research and innovation. We spoke with some of our team about what inspired their dedication to science and what brought them to Bicycle Therapeutics.

Thanks to Laura Goodfield, Principal Scientist (US), Katie Gaynor, Senior Scientist Discovery Biology (UK), Liu Chen, VP Discovery (US), and Sally Westrup, Associate Director, Clinical Trials, for their contributions to this article.

Getting started – initial interest in science

Inspired by teachers throughout their educational journey and encouraged by family (it was “genetic inevitability” said Liu Chen), these women have all placed an emphasis on the importance of early exposure to the sciences to spark the initial curiosity which has brought them to advance their careers at Bicycle. They fed this passion through science camps and museums – even supporting college professors as a child in Laura Goodfield’s case – or by researching the extensive career options available to them, such as becoming a vet or a doctor.

Sally oversees the daily operations and progress of our clinical studies.

Laying the scientific groundwork

Exploring educational opportunities was instrumental in narrowing down scientific interests and enabling them to specialise in subjects in which they could excel and develop further throughout their career. Each of the team studied at university either earning a degree in Biochemistry or Biomedicine either at master’s or PhD level that enhanced laboratory and research skills and facilitated the search for further research opportunities.

Laura investigates target biology using functional assays and supports one of our collaborations alongside a team of other scientists.

Joining Bicycle

There is no one set pathway that leads to working in biotech and joining Bicycle has been no different for our team. While Laura and Liu joined Bicycle soon after their studies, Katie Gaynor decided to “try out” working in industry through a contract with Pfizer prior to Bicycle and Sally Westrup worked her way up through a series of clinical research roles culminating in her role as Associate Director of Clinical Trials at Bicycle.

Shaped by their unique educational and professional background, each of our team had their own reasons for joining Bicycle: a passion in oncology research, exposure to the difficulties that certain biologics faced in treatments or in Katie Gaynor’s case, a desire to “apply knowledge to practical applications such as drug discovery.” The team is driven by a common goal to develop innovative treatments for cancers and other debilitating diseases that are underserved by existing therapeutics.

Liu explores the potential of our early research programs.

The typical day at Bicycle

The layman envisages a scientist in a lab coat peering studiously at test tubes all day. The reality is that these women fill a variety of roles and the work at Bicycle provides the capacity to apply knowledge from different backgrounds to practical applications.

Katie conducts experiments, analyses data, and works with our collaborators.

 

For more, watch our video for International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

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