Everyone has a story to tell. And the team at Lyndra is no different. We’re a diverse group of passionate, dedicated individuals who come together every day—trying to make the impossible possible. Whether it’s a formative experience in the Peace Corps, or a childhood spent in Mexico, our stories are what drive our passion for the important work we do at Lyndra.
That’s why we created Inspired—to showcase the diverse experiences of our teammates, and to demonstrate that our stories make us greater than the sum of our parts.
Anyone who knows me knows I love a challenge. Growing up on the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, I was “Lucky Number Seven” in a family with nine children. When the opportunity came to try out for the Trinidad and Tobago national soccer team, I took it. I became the first from my village to make the team, training and playing international matches with them from the age of 12 until I was 18. At that point, I accepted a scholarship to play soccer for Appalachian State University (ASU) and achieved another first in my village: migrating to the United States.
Soccer was my avenue to education, and thanks to the great mentors I had along the way, I was able to successfully blend athletics with academics. I graduated from ASU with a B.S. in chemistry, followed by a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. For the next eight years I served as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at Tennessee State University and rose to Chairman of the Department before leaving for Pfizer in 2002. I stayed at Pfizer for 17 years until I was presented with my newest challenge: leading the Analytical Department at Lyndra starting in the fall of 2018.
Throughout my life, it has always been the excitement of a new challenge that attracted me to new opportunities. At Lyndra, I am putting my expertise and experience to work, not only to reduce sample preparation and assay times, but also to build a highly talented and innovative analytical team. We’re creating something new across multiple levels. To be successful, we have to be inventive and determined enough to overcome whatever might stand in our way. That kind of challenge draws me in. From playing soccer as a little kid on the islands of Steelpan and Calypso, all the way through my development as a scientist in college, graduate school and beyond, I’ve experienced the power of persistence and thinking creatively. It’s an honor to now have the opportunity to bring all of that together at Lyndra, where we’re working every day to improve patients’ lives.
I’ve always been analytical. My grandmother says that as a child I would carefully examine a present before opening it, trying to figure out what it “could” be. I’ve also always been driven to do whatever I can for others, especially the most vulnerable. That I learned from my father, my role model, who taught me the importance of compassion. I feel tremendously grateful to work at Lyndra, where I am surrounded by others with similar motives and passions.
Growing up in Fairfield, CT, I didn’t know I’d have a career in research science. But while I was earning my degree in chemical engineering from the University of Connecticut, I worked in a lab and learned what it takes to gather data, sometimes even staying up for long shifts overnight. That project taught me how satisfying it is to get a result. After graduation, I worked in Israel investigating cancer drug delivery systems. Feeling drawn to the pharmaceutical research field, I returned home and started applying for jobs. At first the search was frustrating. It seemed like most companies were more interested in profits than people. Lyndra is different. Our goal is to make medicine more accessible. Here, it is about people. For me, that’s a reason to work; that’s the reason I would spend nights in the lab at UConn, and it’s what makes this work worth doing.
Today, one of my main focuses is the mechanical testing of Lyndra’s dosage form. Replicating what happens in a stomach is a complex challenge, and getting it right requires input from many disciplines. I work with design engineers, biologist and chemists—we support one another to overcome the obstacles that stand in our way. It’s a complicated problem, but there’s nothing like the excitement that comes from figuring out a piece of the puzzle and knowing that here, your hard work has the potential to help people around the world.
Working at Lyndra helps me fulfill some of the personal goals I’ve had since I was young. Even though I grew up in New York City, I’ve always been passionate about science and the natural world. From insects and animals to the oceans and space, I knew I wanted to be involved in science somehow, and I also knew I wanted to make a difference and help people.
At Wellesley College, I discovered that I specifically enjoyed chemistry. It’s a discipline that answers so many question—and many of those answers can be directly applied to better people’s lives. From Wellesley, I went on to work in a few different companies in the pharmaceutical industry, honing my skills in analytical techniques and developing an interest in therapeutics. During that time, I learned that what I most wanted to do was work in a small to medium-sized company on projects with direct applications to human health. That made Lyndra the perfect fit.
The people here are truly committed to improving global health. In fact, I can honestly say that I’m working with the best, most motivating people I’ve ever met. I look forward to coming to work every day—in part because the research is so challenging and I’m always learning something new, but mostly because I enjoy working alongside my colleagues so much.
As an analytical scientist, my job is to look for the issues, for what might not be working quite right. In my previous jobs, that kind of news would make people defensive. But here, at Lyndra, there’s an enormous amount of respect for what I do. Analytical results are typically met with, “Oh, that’s really interesting. What should we do next to deal with this issue?” That kind of response is empowering because it shows me that my work is valued. I feel like I’m part of a team. Not just any team, but a team that truly believes we are going to change how people take their medications and have a huge beneficial impact on global health.
Even as a kid, I was interested in why things work the way they do. I grew up in Marblehead, Mass., and I can remember taking apart a broken weed wacker to figure out why the string wasn’t feeding correctly. Ultimately, I wasn’t able to get that weed wacker back together—but I learned a lot in the process, and I satisfied my curiosity. My dad is an engineer, so maybe I get my “need to know” from him.
Years later, I graduated from the University of Vermont with a mechanical engineering degree. I wasn’t really thinking about working in biotech until I interviewed with Lyndra and realized that the company’s goals align with my own. Everyone who works here is driven by curiosity, and every day we are pushing towards improving the way patients take their drugs. It might sound cliché, but it really is incredibly motivating to be in the company of people who are genuinely excited about what they’re doing.
In addition, the people at Lyndra are remarkably resilient. There are definitely situations where we try to push the boundaries and then have to stop and reevaluate because one aspect or another isn’t performing as well as we expected. At times like these, we have to keep going forward, keep exploring the unknown—even when there’s cloudiness about the exact path. But that suits me perfectly. I’m a very competitive person, and I’ve been a downhill skier almost all my life. I enjoy taking different paths, racing to the finish, and then trying to figure out how to do it better next time. Working here satisfies that drive, the same one I had back when I was a kid, taking things apart in my the garage.
While growing up in Dublin, I was always interested in science and math. I earned a mechanical engineering degree at University College Dublin. Like most people in my program, I had to emigrate to find work. There was a 20% unemployment rate in Ireland at the time, and I was sponsored to leave Ireland to work in the U.S. for a few years. The Irish government’s goal was to send graduate engineers and scientists abroad for training, hoping that many would return to fuel the Irish economy. This plan led to the “Celtic Tiger,” the Irish economic boom of the 1990s. I left and have been here ever since.
My first job was at a syringe manufacturer in Connecticut, and it was there that I learned that small changes can have a big impact on the lives of patients. We were producing small syringes used mainly by diabetic patients—we produced 15 million of these syringes a week—and I saw how fine variations in the needle point design could reduce the discomfort of daily injections. During the HIV crisis we developed safety syringes with retractable needles to avoid unintended needle sticks. I learned even the simplest of medical devices can have a huge impact on patient safety and quality of life.
From syringe manufacturing, I went on to work on devices for interventional cardiology, once again seeing how a discipline like mechanical engineering can change patients’ lives for the better. These jobs showed me that I am fundamentally inspired to work with, or on behalf of, patients. I gained a lot of experience over many years, seeing different parts of large organizations, from product development and project management, all the way to corporate quality positions. But I found that as my career continued, I was getting further and further away from what inspired me the most.
When I met Andrew, Tyler and Rose, believe it or not, they talked to me about Lyndra on and off over the course of one-and-a-half years. I realized this opportunity would bring me back to product development in a meaningful way. I was “sold” when I met Amy. She’s just one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever come across. For me, Lyndra’s technology was the hook. But it’s the people that landed me.
I know I’m using the word “inspiring” a lot, but it sums up the entirety of this company. What we’re doing here at Lyndra can change the world, improving healthcare outcomes by changing the way people take their medicine rather than trying to change people’s behaviors. This Lyndra team continues to innovate daily, finding solutions to complex problems and allowing us to move forward. Everyone here is striving to achieve something unique, something that other groups have tried and failed to achieve over the last 30 years. If that’s not inspiring, I don’t know what is. From working with patients early on in my career, I now feel like I’ve come full circle, back to what I enjoy doing the most, and I am so grateful to be here.
I was born in Montreal, but my family moved to Boston when I was a young child. We were all analytical, and from an early age, I remember having a passion for doing math and solving 3D puzzles. I always loved animals, too, and for a while I was sure I was going to grow up to be a veterinarian. But I ended up taking quite a different path.
I started at the University of Michigan as a math major, later switching to English when I realized that I didn’t enjoy the solitary nature of studying theorems and differential equations. After college, I hit my stride in the human resources field, working first for companies in the financial services sector and then, eventually, in healthcare.
I’ve always been drawn to mission-driven work, and that’s what makes Lyndra such a great fit for me. As the company’s first ever Vice President of People & Culture, I have the opportunity to help Lyndra grow and continue on its trajectory toward improving the way millions of people around the world take medications.
Someone close to me has been impacted by HIV, so that part of Lyndra’s work is particularly meaningful to me, and I’m eager to help nurture the spirit of innovation in that area however I can. Of course, everyone at Lyndra is already so smart and creative—that’s what contributes to the wonderful learning environment here. One of my main responsibilities is to maintain that culture as the company grows, making sure each individual is successful as the company overall continues to achieve success.
My path to Lyndra may not have been the most direct, but I consider myself living proof that with aptitude and a willingness to learn, you can take advantage of opportunities and move your life in new directions. Growing up in rural Sterling, MA, I developed a love for the outdoors. My mom was an art teacher and my dad was an engineer, so I learned from an early age to appreciate the beauty of the world around me, from the trees in the woods near my house to the elegance of a problem neatly solved.
I earned a degree in agronomy at UMass Amherst, taking classes in genetic engineering, chemistry and biology. Following this, I went on to work for a large life sciences company. During college and at this job experience, I became increasingly interested in helping to solve global health challenges related to climate change and food insecurity. Being part of the solution is important to me, and that is what brought me to Lyndra. Here, we are working on another critical global health challenge, access to medication.
At first, it might seem unusual to find someone with a background in agronomy working at a company that’s developing a novel drug delivery system, but for me the transition has worked out really well. Here, I’m able to apply my knowledge and skill set to a new global health challenge, even while I continually learn from the different backgrounds and skill sets of those around me. Working at Lyndra has opened up new doors, and in a way, that’s staying true to the company’s pledge to be inventive. At Lyndra, I’m able to re-invent my career path through continuing education and other opportunities even as all of us here work on re-inventing the way people take daily medications. I’m excited about what lies ahead—for me personally and for the company as a whole.
My dad worked in the semi-conductor industry in Silicon Valley when I was young, so I guess you could say that I have been around science and technology my entire life. I came to Boston to study mechanical engineering at Northeastern and met Tyler at a start-up job fair. Back then, Lyndra was only five months old, but even so, it seemed clear that the company was doing the kind of work I wanted to be a part of.
I ended up finishing two six-month co-ops with Lyndra, as well as a capstone project, and ultimately a full-time job. Interestingly, I’m Swedish-American by heritage and citizenship, and shortly after my initial interview, a family member pointed out to me that the Swedish word “lindra” means to “relieve, soothe, or ease.” And that’s exactly what we at Lyndra are trying to do—to relieve suffering by making it easier for people to take their medications.
For me, it’s that humanitarian aspect that’s so important. The work itself is engaging, and it’s incredibly motivating to have a job that strikes the delicate balance between advanced chemistry, mechanical design, and materials science to create the Lyndra dosage form. But what makes Lyndra such a great company is that everyone here is so committed to improving patient care. I know that what I do today is an incremental step toward potentially changing the lives of people everywhere—it could be someone who lives down the street from me, or someone who lives a world away, or a family member, or… me!
When I was in college, I tried a few industries. But those experiences weren’t the same. What we’re doing here is bringing a fresh perspective to patient care, and that requires truly creative solutions to what many would consider trivial questions. Every day, I’m engaged in that kind of inventive problem-solving, and I feel privileged to be working with such smart, compassionate teammates, all of whom are dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives.
I come from a town of 700 people just east of St. Louis. True middle America. Picture the cornfields of southern Illinois: a hardworking, blue collar town—those are my roots. I come from a retired military family, barely making ends meet, often on welfare, but always—always—committed to doing whatever it took to help others.
I am the first in my family to go to college, and finished a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry at the University of Illinois in only 3 years. As an undergrad, I was fortunate to be both a teaching assistant in the biochemistry labs and a research assistant in a lab focused on studying multiple sclerosis. Both of those experiences led me to the biotechnology industry, a place where I could continue working in a lab environment, continue learning new things, and help change people’s lives for the better.
I’ve been in the industry ever since. When Amy, our CEO, asked me to help build this company, I couldn’t wait to join the team. I knew I was about to be a part of something special. This was an opportunity to build a unique company with a unique mission: to change how people take medicine.
At Lyndra, everyone is necessary. Everyone is expected to work hard, to step outside their comfort zones, and ultimately, to make a difference. Building a team where people from different backgrounds can come together to do what they do best—that’s not just corporate-speak at Lyndra. It’s critical to what we do.
For instance, coming from a career where I was often the only woman at the table, it’s wonderful to be in a community that is mostly female. Everyone can bring their best self to work every day without being asked to change. Lyndra is the first team I have been a part of where being your authentic self is 100% expected. In fact, it’s the only way to succeed.
I am fortunate to have had a life and career full of hardship, success, change, diversity, mentorship, empowerment and advocacy. I believe it’s with focus, grit, determination, and the appreciation we have for each other we will succeed in our mission to provide better medicine.
I grew up in a small town in India, and I am the first member of my family to come to the United States for higher studies. Coming to America was a dream come true but it was also a big responsibility—I knew I had to make my parents proud. After graduating from St. John’s University, I started my career in drug development. When I got an opportunity at Lyndra, I was very excited to contribute to a technology that has the potential to benefit millions, and truly change the world.
It’s hard to describe how transformational Lyndra has been in my life. Lyndra is like a family to me. When I had my first baby, everyone came together to surprise me with a baby shower, and to welcome “Lyndra’s first baby” into the family. Thoughtful gestures like that have made Lyndra a home away from home, both for me and for my husband. Though we are far away from our families, we feel that we have a strong support system here in the United States.
Lyndra’s mission is to transform the way we take medicine itself. Being part of that noble mission is challenging, but also very empowering. Our CEO, Amy Schulman’s mantra is “fearlessness”. And it is clearly visible and felt across the team in our day-to-day activities: while we’re sharing our ideas, or communicating and reaching out to others. We all work as a team and there is no bias of position or education or titles. I feel just as important and responsible for our company as anyone on the team. Each one of us is heard and considered, our opinions and suggestions matter and are always welcomed. Working in such kind of environment makes me give my best at work. Every day I strive to work hard and help make our company move forward.
I am passionate about innovative translational science. Lyndra is a fantastic place to realize this passion and be a part of a team looking to help patients in new ways with a disruptive technology.
My family always knew I’d go into science and engineering. Thank goodness they were patient with my incessant “why?” and “how?” questions when I was a kid. They supported my need to create whether it was civilizations built from LEGOs, sticks and papier-mâché, or the summers I spent “helping” salamanders and crawfish in the creek by our house by building them elaborate mud and rock homes in the water. Spending so much time outdoors both inspired and satisfied my intense curiosity in the natural world and desire to engineer.
Starting in high school, I felt drawn toward medicine. This path was inspired in part by my father, a physician of emergency medicine, whose critical work stabilized lives and helped heal people in dire situations every day. Rather than follow in his footsteps directly, I realized that I could play a similar role through applied science; utilizing the concepts of engineering and biology I found that I might impact many lives through innovative new medicines, improved therapies or enabling medical devices. This dream motivated my studies in chemical engineering and focus in biotechnology at Princeton University and then UC Berkeley. The thriving culture of pharmaceutical innovation in the greater Boston-Cambridge area has made it a fantastic location to pursue my aspirations.
I have been fortunate to work on breakthrough drug technology platforms since 2001. Many grew out of concepts from the local universities. Lyndra’s core technology is literally thousands to millions of times the physical scale of the micro- and nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems I specialized in for much of my career, but the need to co-invent and co-develop the science and the engineering to translate a new platform into reality is the same.
At Lyndra, we work on disruptive technology that could significantly enhance outcomes and quality of life, and we do that in a way that is integrated and collaborative. On any given day, mechanical engineers, formulators, process developers and analytical chemists collaborate to solve new challenges together. The people here are remarkably inventive and nimble. When I think of Lyndra’s INSPIRED approach, I feel the team is exceptionally good at “actualizing on nimble.” In the morning, we might discover a certain new approach is needed. By the afternoon, the concept has been prototyped. Within days it is being tested. We don’t just talk about improving, we make it happen. It’s an environment where innovation thrives and is essential and integral to every day.
My childhood was split between two different worlds. During the school year, I lived in Kingston, New Hampshire, but I spent every summer with my grandparents in Sweden. Those annual trips helped fuel an interest in the way societies are built and structured. By the time I started as an undergraduate at Wheaton College, I was certain I wanted to study archaeology or anthropology. But after two field seasons in Central America, I became even more intrigued by how those disciplines intersected with science and human health. How could modern research help us understand human diseases from long ago? And perhaps more importantly, how could those lessons be applied to helping people today?
Ultimately, I began studying anthropology while on the pre-med track with a minor in public health. For my senior thesis, I explored perceptions of access to healthcare among undocumented immigrants to Sweden. That, my first in-depth foray into public health research, inspired me to pursue a Master of Public Health in epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. While there, my research focused on topics from maternal health and antibiotic use in India to mental health in adolescents—work that eventually led to me back to the US and my first role with Lyndra as Associate Chief of Staff to Amy Schulman.
Back then, I helped Amy with multiple projects, but now that Lyndra has grown so much my position is exclusively here, working with the clinical team. I help keep us centered on fundamental questions such as: What do patients need? How can Lyndra’s products best meet patients’ needs? What more can we do to improve patient compliance and public health overall?
Reinventing the way people take medication is a step change that’s going to have huge impacts across the therapeutic space. We are in the process of developing a life-changing medication platform, and like all of us at Lyndra, I’m determined to bring it to patients across the globe.
I was born in Mexico to a family of “luchadores” (that means “fighters” in Spanish). I say that because my family has always strived and worked hard to deliver the next generation to a better future. My father wanted to be an engineer, but due to location and resources, his family sent him to a Normal School (where you learn how to be a teacher). When I was little, he made it clear to me: more than anything, he wanted to help me extend myself beyond what he was able to do.
I received my B.S. in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 2016. Since I was little, I’ve dreamed of a career in science and chemistry. In high school, I told my parents, jokingly, I wanted to do chemistry because that was the only way I could be a magician.
But it wasn’t until I went to MIT and became involved in organizations like Camp Kesem—I ran a beautiful camp for children whose parents have been affected by cancer—that I realized how rewarding it was to merge a career with service.
To be honest, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to volunteer as much after graduating. But the team at Lyndra has been really accommodating. In fact, I have been able to take weeks off to volunteer in organizations like Next Step—an empowering organization for youth with life-threatening diseases—and even Kesem.
At Lyndra, I feel that sense of purpose that I feel at Kesem and Next Step. Our company cares about the patient experience, and that’s what’s quite unique about us. We understand that the people we serve have a complex life outside of their diseases, so we want to make ourselves responsible for making their experience a little better.
In my mind, Lyndra is a team of luchadores: you can respect and praise your beginnings, yet strive to challenge the norm and make the world better for the next generation. When I come to Lyndra every day, I think: the daily pill is great and can cure millions and alleviate problems. Still, why can’t it be better?
I am passionate about always learning new things.
That’s why I’m happy to work at Lyndra, where I test materials for our novel formulations.
I assist in process optimization, and this kind of exploratory work means every day is different. I’m constantly being challenged, and I find that very motivating.
In other jobs this wasn’t always the case. After earning a BS in Biotech from Worcester State University, I worked at Underwriter Laboratories to help verify that products were safe for consumers. I’m grateful for that experience. After starting at Lyndra however, I truly began to feel like what I was doing every day contributes in a significant way to improve human health.
Lyndra’s mission is important to me on many different levels. We are working on the cutting edge of novel drug delivery research. I personally know many people who would benefit from easier access to medications, as well as improved medication adherence.
The persistence and diligence required to get to where I am today are traits shared with my Lyndra colleagues. Even though there are many challenges we need to face every day, we remain determined to help as many people as possible.
I grew up just outside of DC, and went to MIT to get my B.S. in chemical-biological engineering. I have always been interested in medicine, but it was at MIT that I realized I wanted to marry that interest with my passion for engineering. When I heard about Lyndra, it seemed like a great opportunity—my work here is just the kind I enjoy, and it offers the potential to make a real impact.
I arrived just as the company was really starting to expand, so despite being new, I was encouraged to take on a lot of responsibility. I worked on many different projects at once. While daunting at first, this pushed me to work hard and challenge myself. It also gave me a better understanding of the “big picture.”
Because the company is still relatively small, I have been able to interact with people from all teams on various projects. I am on the engineering team, but work closely with the formulation and analytical teams. It’s great to be able to get feedback or suggestions from people with different areas of expertise when trying to solve a problem, and I also learn a lot about the work they are doing – how an analytical method works, or why we add certain components to our product. I feel like I understand how all the teams are working together.
Our management team, and specifically Amy, our CEO—have focused a lot of energy on making Lyndra a great place to work, by creating a non-hierarchical system, and encouraging us to take part in things like “Lyndra learns,” for example, where someone from the company will teach everyone something that is from their area of expertise or that they think we may find useful. Based on friends’ and relatives’ experiences, I know that our workplace structure is not what everyone is used to, but I think it encourages everyone to continue learning and branching out to try working in new areas.
I am also grateful for Lyndra’s approach to work-life balance. Everyone is very dedicated to their work at Lyndra, but we’re also encouraged to lead full, rich lives. At MIT it wasn’t this way at all—I found my studies to be pretty much 24/7. I imagined work at a startup would be similar, but Lyndra totally changed my perspective on startup culture. Of course, there are always those times when a deadline is approaching and we have to work extra hard—nothing worth doing is easy. But overall, I’ve found I work better when I have time to decompress, and Lynda affords me that time.
At Lyndra, we’re encouraged to drive forward and “go boldly.” That’s actually a campaign slogan and thought referenced from the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Thinking back, it has been something I’ve tried to do my whole life, even before my career in the pharmaceutical industry. For instance, halfway through high school my family moved from New Jersey to Michigan. I did my best during that summer to get involved at my new school, by reaching out to the high school basketball coach, meeting new friends and pursuing interests in science and math. The move was a daunting situation at first, but I’m glad now that my parents gave me this life opportunity. I then attended the University of Michigan, earning degrees in mechanical and biomedical engineering. Go Blue!
When I started looking for my first job, I realized that I wanted to make a difference in the medical community. Most of the opportunities for engineers in Michigan at that time were in the automotive industry. Frankly, I didn’t want to optimize for gas mileage or design sleeper cabs for mid-sized trucks (co-op life lesson). So, I went back to the east coast, this time to Boston and met back up with my sister who had recently graduated from MIT. Since then, I’ve been fortunate to work for many great local pharma companies on leading technologies covering pulmonary drug delivery, amorphous solid dispersion’s and continuous manufacturing. Not only were those cool areas to work in, it was inspiring to work with conviction with teams to bring medications to patients in the areas of Hepatitis C (HCV), Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Leukemia. Now, I’m excited to apply all that I learned in those earlier positions to the development here at Lyndra Therapeutics.
I came here because it’s truly rewarding to be working on a disruptive technology that could improve patients’ lives in such a big way. At Lyndra, we’re focused on changing the pill, not the person, and our new dosage delivery form has the potential to significantly improve drug efficacy while reducing side effects. Also, it is not just plain “vanilla” compounding of tablets. I’m proud to be part of Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing teams that are driving forward therapeutic areas like Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Alzheimer’s. We are working hard to be successful and to ultimately have a huge, positive impact, particularly for under-served populations. That is why I “go boldly” even against Boston traffic.
I grew up in India in a steel town–really it was more of a steel city, home to one of the largest steel plants in the country. My father was an engineer who worked at the plant. I think it was my father’s influence that made me want to go into science. From a young age, he encouraged me to constantly question the world around me, and to use the scientific method to approach problems. So it was no surprise, then, that after a childhood full of inquiry, I wanted to become a scientist.
My M.S. was in Biological sciences with focus on Molecular Biology but I felt like I needed to do more translational science, so decided to get my Ph.D in Pharmaceutical Sciences. After my Ph.D, I knew I wanted a job which would not only challenge my intellect, but also allow me to contribute to something meaningful. Lyndra was a perfect fit.
When I started at Lyndra, I knew that I would be working on the cutting edge of science–working towards something new that had the potential to really improve people’s lives. But I did not know that Lyndra would also provide me with a network of mentors and friends far beyond what I could have expected. I feel like I get to learn so much from my co-workers by simply paying attention and listening to them. The learning curve is definitely steep–there’s always something new to learn. It’s a scientist’s dream, really.
For a young scientist, I can’t imagine a better environment than Lyndra. I have met the most amazing mentors here. They’re not just passionate and talented scientists–they’re great human beings, too. At Lyndra, it feels like everyone is rooting for you. You cannot really ask for more. Can you?
I grew up outside Detroit. My parents were math and science teachers, so I suppose that explains why my three brothers and I all ended up in science and engineering careers. After studying chemical engineering at Michigan State University, I assumed I’d get a job in the auto industry—but first, I joined the Peace Corps. I spent two years in Guinea and Burkina Faso, West Africa as a volunteer math and science teacher. I quickly found myself in front of a crowded classroom of over a hundred seventh graders eager to learn math with only paper, pencils, and a chalkboard. It was an eye-opening, empowering-yet-humbling experience, and the culture’s resourcefulness, resilience, and sense of community left a lasting imprint on me.
When I returned to the States, I moved to Boston for grad school. I studied chemical engineering at MIT and did researched focused on synthesizing novel drug delivery materials. It was through one of my research advisors, Bob Langer, that I got to know the founders of Lyndra. I learned about the drug delivery technology they were working on to aid malaria eradication efforts in sub Saharan Africa. The global health impact of the project caught my interest, and I recognized the potential of the technology to help patients in a variety of settings. As I got to know the new company’s leaders and their vision, I could see that they would create a team and a culture that would make me proud, so I joined Lyndra when I completed my PhD. I was the first scientist hired.
Lyndra’s culture really encourages openness in offering ideas and voicing opinions. I feel like my thoughts and concerns are valued, whether I’m speaking to whoever happens to be at the lunch table or directly to the CEO. This creates an environment where individuals can contribute far more than their titles may suggest. As a scientist it is exciting to brainstorm concepts with really smart people, and as a person in is validating to see that your opinions are heard.
Our team members come from all over the country and all over the world, and they bring fascinating stories and diverse perspectives. I’m amazed by everyone who has moved here from abroad and who has navigated the US immigration system to bring their talent to us.
And the team is more tightly knit than other teams I’ve worked on. People of varied backgrounds are united by common goals, and we work very closely. In other teams I could be anonymous, but people here know me well and show that they care about my life. When my wife and I got married this summer, the team surprised me with gifts and cake.
When both of your parents are optical physicists, your childhood is not going to be boring. My mom and dad often brought my sister and I to their laboratories while they performed experiments. After school, my daily life consisted of being entertained by diffraction patterns projected onto walls and taking naps in darkrooms while films developed. As children do, I emulated my parents back at home by setting up my own “laboratory” where my main project was to create a vacuum chamber by persistently reengineering my pet fish’s oxygenator. I also dabbled in my own version of biology where, during rainy seasons in Mexico, I would compassionately rescue tadpoles that were stranded in puddles and rehouse them in our bathtub. That’s just how it was around our house, I was always planning my next big experiment!
The persistence and curiosity of my childhood drove me to pursue my scientific career, where I became one of the first females in Mexico to graduate with a degree in nanotechnology and molecular engineering from the Universidad de las Américas, Puebla. From there, I went on to earn an MS in materials science and engineering and a PhD in chemistry from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Working at Lyndra brings all these different parts of my life together. The people here are always curious, always passionate and always persistent. Developing a new dosage form is not going to be easy, but we all know that we are not going to give up until we reach our goal – to improve the lives of people all around the world. Often, when I come to work, I think about a poem from one of my favorite Argentinian poets, Almafuerte. This is the first paragraph from “Piu Avanti”
No te des por vencido, ni aun vencido;
Note sientas esclavo, ni aun esclavo;
Tremulo de pavor, piensate bravo;
Y arremete feroz ya malherido.
Do not surrender even when defeated,
and do not be a slave even in bondage,
trembling with fear advance bravely,
and attack with fury, though badly wounded.
From my days as a school student in India I demonstrated an aptitude for science, and at 17, I came to the United States for undergraduate studies. My older sister, already in the States pursuing her doctorate, introduced me to the fascinating world of science and research. Six years of graduate school at Hopkins were followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. My mentors and peers helped me grow as a scientist—I gained confidence in my ability to analyze problems, synthesize solutions and make an impact.
But just as my academic training was coming to an end, my real life training in patient care was just beginning. When my mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, I decided to take a career break and return to India to care for her. Being her caregiver for about a year and a half was challenging. But it was also an immensely fulfilling and powerful experience.
It was during this time that I was introduced to Lyndra’s co-founders. They gave me an opportunity to consult for Lyndra, writing grants remotely, from India. I enjoyed my once-weekly dose’ of stimulating scientific discussions on Skype with Lyndra’s CSO and scientists, and as my relationship with Lyndra evolved, I got to know Lyndra’s team and platform technology better. Managing my mother’s treatment and medication helped me appreciate the potential impact that Lyndra’s technology could have. I realized that we could fundamentally change the way patients take medicine.
Lyndra is unique in many ways. As a woman scientist, it’s empowering to see that we have so many inspirational women at all levels of the company. Our team has a great balance of passionate, young scientists and well accomplished, experienced mentors to direct our team. Lyndra’s culture fosters open communication, inclusiveness and fearlessness. It allows us to freely share our thoughts and concerns. It encourages trying out innovative approaches. I feel empowered to undertake challenging responsibilities and contribute to decision-making. I feel nurtured and valued for my uniqueness.
I’ve always been interested in medicine and technology, so biomedical engineering was a perfect fit. I completed my PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Oxford and joined the Langer Lab at MIT to conduct a Postdoctoral Fellowship in drug delivery. During my time in the Langer Lab I met Gio Traverso and Andrew Bellinger, now co-founders of Lyndra, and we collaborated on a novel long-acting oral dosage form aimed at eliminating malaria. The technology was extremely successful and ultimately led to the founding of the biotechnology company now known as Lyndra.
I believe that the application of traditional engineering techniques to modern health-care challenges has the potential to greatly advance the treatment of disease, and to change the world. I have dedicated my career to this cause.
I decided to join Lyndra not because of the enormous potential of the technology, but because of the fearless team that rallied together to solve a complex challenge – patient adherence. Development of this technology requires an open-minded, innovative, and collaborative environment—and Lynda has fostered that kind of environment from the beginning. I greatly appreciate the openness of the team and non-bureaucratic environment of the organization. The inter-disciplinary problem solving that occurs on a daily basis is inspiring and not only leads to great strides forward, but promotes lifetime learning.
Following my undergraduate I was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and encouraged to ‘fight the world’s fight.” Fortunately, Lyndra has given me a platform to continue fighting.
Over the past several years, I’ve worked as a lab assistant, a pharmacy technician and a control officer at a biotech company. At Lyndra, I’m able to pull all that experience together and focus it on an important personal goal: helping people.
I’ve had that ambition ever since I was a kid, growing up in Newton, MA, the son of immigrants. I’ve always wanted to pursue a career in science, a decision which was solidified once I entered high school and started to learn about the history of medical advancement. I was fascinated with the biographies of great researchers, many of whom put themselves on the line to better the world. I admired those scientists and wondered if maybe someday I’d be able to make my own contribution. That drive fueled me as I studied biology at UMass Boston, taking on research projects to better understand how neuroscience can help with our day to day lives.
I worked in a pharmacy for seven years, and it was there that I came to truly understand how people struggle not only with prescription drug costs, but also with medication adherence. At the pharmacy, I had a lot of one-on-one interaction with patients, and I had the opportunity to hear directly from them about their challenges. Those conversations stuck with me, and it’s really gratifying to think that what I am doing at Lyndra may someday make it easier for people to get and take the medications they need.
Our work here isn’t easy. Because we are breaking new ground, there’s always something changing, something that’s not quite right yet and needs to be fixed. That’s why it’s so essential to be resilient and keep focused on our long-term objective. Taking medication shouldn’t impede on someone’s daily routine, and I’m happy that my other experiences have ultimately brought me to Lyndra, where I can work on projects that could have a really big impact of keeping people happier and healthier.
I grew up in the Bay Area—diverse, progressive, and (even back then) focused heavily on the tech industry. My parents were immigrants from Taiwan who eventually became U.S. citizens.
When it came time to go to college, I headed across the country to Boston to study at MIT. It was a perfect fit. The focus on science, engineering, and innovation at MIT complemented my interest in STEM. Plus, they had a strong Division III swimming program–I’d been competitively swimming since I was nine years old.
I majored in biological engineering and did research in the Langer Lab. For two years, I worked on Gio and Andrew’s long-acting gastric retentive dosage form project—a precursor to Lyndra. I was fascinated with the technology and its many positive implications for medicine. But I also found I was fascinated with the biotech industry in general. After graduating, I joined the science team at Lyndra to continue working on the dosage form.
Though I started my job with some familiarity with Lyndra’s technology, there was so much I didn’t know. Working alongside so many brilliant scientists and engineers was intimidating at first, but the science team welcomed me with open arms. Their patient guidance helped me settle into my new job. I felt like an asset from the very start. Though I was still learning from my colleagues, I also felt like I had something to contribute. Lyndra is filled with so many accomplished and talented people who come from all sorts of backgrounds. I’m particularly proud to work at a company run by a female CEO with so many capable and intelligent colleagues who are women.
It was the nuts-and-bolts behind the technology that drew me into research as an undergrad, but it was the potential global impact of Lyndra’s mission that made me want to continue working on it after graduation. Throughout my life, I’ve been taught to never stop learning and to never be satisfied with the status quo. Right now, the status quo in healthcare has a lot of gaps and areas in need of improvement—patient adherence and accessibility among them. The idea that our technology could one day change the world of medicine is what keeps us going.
Lyndra reminds me a lot of my days as a competitive swimmer. Swimming is both a team and individual sport. The success of a team hinges on the individual performances of each of its members and, without the support of a team behind each swimmer, it’s nearly impossible to have the drive and motivation to keep going. The same could be applied to Lyndra. Everyone has immense individual responsibility, but the team is very cohesive and driven towards the same goal. The readiness to support one another and the combined determination of everyone brings our technology closer and closer to reality every day.
I grew up in Taiyuan, China, a city which is about a 5-hour drive from Beijing. My mom and dad are both engineers, so from a very early age, I saw engineering as a way to solve problems. I was convinced my dad could fix anything! In high school, I took the science route, and then went on to earn a college degree in materials science and engineering. After that, I went to graduate school at Iowa State University for my MS in materials science with a focus on polymers. I had never been to another country before I left for Iowa, so that was a very big step for me. It took courage and determination and helped me become the scientist I am today.
I joined Lyndra in August 2018. I knew the company was doing the kind of research I’m interested in, modified polymers for novel drug delivery. However, it was the on-site interview that really convinced me that this is where I wanted to work. From that first visit, I could tell that the people here are very self-motivated and energetic. It has been easy for me to make good friends, and many of us now get together socially, too. That’s important because at Lyndra, we take a very collaborative approach to research. This is a necessity because developing a new drug delivery system requires combining many different techniques from engineering, chemistry, and biology. To be successful, we must support one another. We are always working together, learning, and trying new approaches. I’ve found this to be the best way to solve problems, something I learned from my parents when I was young.
Are you INSPIRED to join us?
We seek to occupy a unique space in the therapeutics industry. Through our recruitment, hiring and focus on collaboration across multiple skillsets and perspectives, we are building a culture that is dynamic, liberating and driven by innovation.
We are committed to diversity of ideas, interests and backgrounds. This is reflected in our leadership team and a rapidly growing family of “INSPIRED” individuals who are committed to supporting each other, as well as people around the world who will someday benefit from our therapies.
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