I am Research, Progress, Hope: It Takes a Team

I am Research, Progress, Hope: It Takes a Team

01.29.14 | By Preet Bilinski

Today’s featured scientist comes from Agensys, a subsidiary of Astellas, where she is working on developing a treatment or cure for different types of cancers.

For Misty Vest, communication and collaboration are large parts of the job, ones that she didn’t expect when pursuing a career in research. She often works with other scientists who are developing means of producing antibodies more quickly, thus expediting her research. She notes the importance of her colleagues all working towards a common goal – finding a safe and effective therapeutic to help millions of people with different types of cancers. Vest says that it takes a team effort among scientists with different specialties to discover treatments and cures.

Her advice for those pursuing STEM careers: “Pay attention to your teachers because they are probably not jabbering their jaws to fill in the time slot for the class.” Vest also stresses the importance of spending time with people working in STEM fields and recommends that students try to do a job shadow at a company they would like to work for one day.

According to the recently released Battelle report, STEM: Building a 21st Century Workforce to Develop Tomorrow’s New Medicines, PhRMA member companies are offering the type of experiential learning opportunities Vest recommends and enabling conversations with scientists so that students can understand  what a career in biopharmaceutical research entails. PhRMA members have donated equipment as well as the use of company laboratory facilities to students at the K-12 levels and nearly 4,500 industry employees have collectively volunteered almost 27,000 hours to STEM programs over the past five years.

To read the full report about the state of STEM education, its impact on the biopharmaceutical industry, and industry efforts to improve it, please go to http://www.phrma.org/innovation/stem.

To learn more about Misty Vest’s work and her life outside of the lab, visit our day-in-life page. And, for a window into the lives of more scientists, stay tuned to the Catalyst for additions to the “I am Research, Progress, Hope” series.

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