From Space to Science

I am Research, Progress, Hope: From Space to Science

01.24.14 | By Preet Bilinski

This week at the STEM Saves Lives forum, we were fortunate enough to hear from the first woman of color to go into space. Now, we hear from a woman who considered taking a similar path, but instead decided to pursue a career in biopharmaceutical research.

The latest addition to the “I am Research, Progress, Hope” series, Samantha Budd, Vice President of Neurosciences iMed at AstraZeneca R&D, leads a team of intelligent, motivated and hardworking individuals on the quest for a treatment or cure for Alzheimer’s Disease. In an effort to solve the global health crisis that is Alzheimer’s, she also travels around the world to speak with other neuroscientists about research advances, new technologies and areas where more collaboration is possible. Budd says that she always wanted to be in the sciences. Although she thought about being an astronaut or a particle physicist, she can’t imagine doing anything else with her life than biopharmaceutical research. “I am motivated by the challenge, the complexity and the intellectual powerhouse we need to bring to make the breakthroughs and what they can mean for patients’ lives,” Budd says. Despite the magnitude of her job, Budd makes sure to take some time for herself each day. A dedicated Red Sox fan and an avid runner, Budd makes sure to find time to de-stress and to spend some quality time with her sons. Learn more about Samantha Budd and some of our other scientists by visiting our day-in-life page and stay tuned to the Catalyst next week for more additions to the “I am Research, Progress, Hope” series.

You can also read about the biopharmaceutical industry’s efforts to encourage more women, like Samantha, to pursue careers in biopharmaceutical research in Battelle’s new report entitled STEM: Building a 21st Century Workforce to Develop Tomorrow’s New Medicines. According to the report, there are over thirty PhRMA member programs focusing on increasing diversity in STEM fields by providing students of all backgrounds, particularly women and minorities, experience with hands‐on, inquiry‐based scientific learning opportunities.


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