At Lyndra Therapeutics, we are inspired by our team members! Our team is the reason we continue to break barriers in our quest to create the most significant oral drug delivery innovation in decades.
Our team is growing rapidly! We welcome anyone who is excited by innovation and growth, demonstrates strong technical expertise, brings fresh ideas based on experience and is energized by the opportunity and fast pace of an emerging biotech. You’ll find we are collaborative problem-solvers, working together to advance our groundbreaking technology and our business to meet the needs of patients and caregivers.
Are you a great fit?
The culture, purpose and drive to reinvent medicine for a healthier world
Through our recruitment, hiring and focus on collaboration across diverse skillsets and perspectives, we are building a culture that is dynamic, empowering and focused on continuous innovation.
WE CELEBRATE EQUALITY AND INDIVIDUALITY
We at Lyndra believe that a range of backgrounds and perspectives are critical to our success.
The dedicated members of our Employee Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Steering Committee help us work towards a team make up that is as diverse as the people who need our products. We welcome, value, promote and celebrate equality and individuality across all our functions and areas.
Employees on the D&I Steering Committee help Lyndra lead in valuing every voice through internships, mentorship programs, hosting afternoon coffee chats, providing training and more.
WE VALUE EVERY VOICE
Members of the Empowerment Team are employees from all branches of Lyndra’s operations who steward Lyndra’s core purpose and values. The team advocates for employee needs and drives solutions that foster a thriving culture of employee engagement where every voice is valued.
The Empowerment Team sponsors the Core Values Champion awards every quarter.
OUR VALUES SHAPE OUR CULTURE AND DRIVE OUR SCIENCE
Value Every Voice
WE FOSTER CAMARADERIE
At Lyndra, dedicated employees of the social committee provide a schedule of inclusive, evolving, enjoyable events to foster teambuilding, pride and camaraderie!
Through parties, happy hours, special events, networking events, community service opportunities and clubs, the social committee makes sure every member of the Lyndra team can participate and thrive in an inclusive, enjoyable and rewarding culture.
Learn our stories
We’re a diverse group of passionate, dedicated individuals who come together every day to reinvent medicine. Our values, and the exceptional people who live them every day, make us a distinctive company with the culture, purpose and drive to succeed. We showcase the diverse experiences of our teammates to demonstrate that our stories make us greater than the sum of our parts.
I love science because I find it fun and fascinating. Problem solving and finding out facts excite me—and I still vividly remember this feeling when I was young. Growing up in Singapore, I was blessed with supportive parents who gave me the autonomy to choose the education I wanted, and for me, that has always been in the sciences, especially chemistry. A seminar I attended in high school introduced me to HIV drug manufacture and formulation, and from then on, I had a clear vision for my future.
I graduated from the National University of Singapore with a BS in pharmacy. During that time, I was fortunate to get experience not just in the clinical setting, but also in the lab, working behind the scenes. I even took a year off from my pharmacy program and spent an entire year working in a reformulation lab in a small R&D start-up, as part of an technopreneurship program through the University of Pennsylvania. This internship inspired me to further my education, and I went on to earn a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences at The Ohio State University. My research focused on early-stage drug discovery for anti-cancer compounds derived from fungal material. It was an exhilarating time because I began to truly understand the bench-to-bedside connection and how my research could directly impact human lives.
Working at Lyndra has brought all of these different parts of my journey together. Here, I can continue learning—because the atmosphere is so welcoming and inclusive. Everyone is so willing to help if there’s a piece of equipment or a part of the process I have questions about, and I pay it forward by sharing what I know. The environment here is highly collaborative and synergistic, which make it really easy to be excited about science here at Lyndra. We are trying to improve medication adherence, and our dosage form is going to positively impact millions of people around the world. That’s serious work, and I’m passionate about it, but there’s no reason it also can’t be fun! Lyndra reminds me constantly why I got interested in science to begin with, and it continues to fuel me to come to work to make a difference, little by little every day.
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.
Even when I was a young boy, the third of five sons, growing up in Ghana, I had an interest in medicine and engineering. Maybe that’s no surprise, since my Mom was a nurse and my Dad was an electrical engineer, but what I couldn’t know back then was that balancing these two passions would turn out to shape so much of my life.
One example of this happened towards the end of high school, when I became fascinated with chemistry and I chose to come to the US to earn a degree in chemistry at Grinnell College. The cornfields of Iowa were quite different than my hometown of Accra, but because the people and the atmosphere were so liberal and accepting, I found it easy to thrive. In addition to my coursework, I volunteered at a hospital pharmacy and did an internship in a chemistry lab—again, always trying to figure out the balance.
From Grinnell, I discovered pharmaceutical chemistry and went on to earn a Master’s and a PhD in pharmaceutical chemistry at the University of Kansas. My research there focused on improving the intrinsic properties of drug molecules using prodrug technology, which paved the way for my first job—working on a material characterization and formulation team at Vertex. I found it extremely rewarding to work on issues that had direct impacts on patients, and after close to a decade I transitioned to Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, and then Cyclerion Therapeutics, where I worked on drugs for the treatment of sickle cell disease and other SGC stimulators.
Joining Lyndra in the spring of 2020 seemed like the next logical step, as I continued to seek out ways to challenge myself while also helping people who are suffering with disease. At Lyndra, we are working to transform the way people take medicine, and the formulation is entirely different than anything I’ve worked on before. That’s what drew me in, and it still excites me. It’s energizing to be involved with a project that’s so revolutionary because I am able to learn something new every day.
In addition, the people at Lyndra are amazing. We come from all different walks of life and each one of us contributes to solving the formulation challenge in our own way. At Lyndra, all of the different voices are valued, and everyone is encouraged to do their all. That’s what it’s going to take to develop the world’s first long-lasting oral pill. There’s no way one person, or one discipline, can solve this alone. To be successful, all of us, science and medicine, industry and academics, need to work together.
As one of the leaders of Lyndra’s Diversity and Inclusion team, I know the company is working to spread this message not only throughout the company, but also throughout the community. We are spearheading initiatives, such as mentoring students and local community action projects, to demonstrate our belief that “I contribute. We deliver.” Whether it’s in pharma, or in life, the contribution is individual (and we can’t underestimate that), but it’s only together that we solve problems.
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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
For me, working at Lyndra is like being part of a big family. I know—because I grew up in China in a big family, the oldest of six sisters. Like members of a family, the people at Lyndra look out for and help one another. I started working at Lyndra in May 2019, and since then, the leaders on my team have become my mentors and friends. They are so kind and empathetic, and I never have to be shy about asking questions. They are also inspiring, encouraging me to always keep learning and further my education beyond the degree in Finance I earned from Bentley University. Now, they are supporting me as I pursue my MBA.
In addition to how it feels like a family, working at Lyndra is personal for me in another way, as well. When I was a child, I had a developmental condition that made it difficult for my body to absorb nutrients. As a result, I had to take supplements almost every day. The pills were too big for me to swallow, so my mom had to mince them into a powder and then mix that with orange juice. The taste was horrible, and taking all the supplements I needed turned into a big aggravation. Lyndra is working on a dosage form so people won’t have to take pills every day. That would have had a huge positive impact on my life as a child. When I first saw the job listing at Lyndra and found out what the company did, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I understand how difficult it can be to have to take daily medication, and I am really happy that I am working for a company that is trying to relieve that burden for millions of people around the world.
In many ways, working at Lyndra has been like a dream come true. I am able to be part of a big, supportive “family.” Plus, I’m able to help a company that is trying to solve a problem that had a huge effect on my life. Lyndra is poised to change the pharmaceutical industry and help people live better lives. It’s great to come to work and know that I am helping with that mission.
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.
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 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 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.
In many ways, being the director of clinical operations at Lyndra is my dream job—even though when I was in high school and college thinking about careers, I never imagined myself entering a career in Clinical Research. Back then, I was working at Starbucks, soaking in every bit of training and experience they offered. At 19, I became the manager of Starbuck’s Tremont St. location in downtown Boston. I was one of the youngest store managers Starbucks had ever had, and I stayed there until I was 26, convinced that I was meant for the business world. But then my career took an unexpected turn towards clinical research.
It happened because my sister’s friend needed administrative help at the New England Institutional Review Board (IRB). I took the job, happy for the stability of a 9-5 workday and open to a new challenge. While there, I learned about research protocols, FDA regulations, and all other aspects of the review process from the ground up, eventually earning promotions to educator and then renewal coordinator. I grew more and more passionate about protecting human subjects, realizing that businesses may be driven to get their products to market, but that they can’t be successful unless their product is deemed safe and that clinical trials are conducted in an ethical manner.
From the IRB, I found my way to a CRO and then to Alkermes, where I worked for nine years as a clinical trial manager, helping in the development of medicines for people living with mental illness and addiction. I had lost a loved one to addiction and mental illness, and it was particularly gratifying to contribute to research about how long-acting injectables can help better manage these underserved populations. But on some level, I felt like there was more that could be done, and in the end, that is what attracted me to Lyndra.
At Lyndra, we are working to change the way people take their daily medications. Our long-lasting oral option is being designed to relieve the burden on patients and caregivers and ultimately, that will save lives. The brilliance of the people here amazes me every day, and the environment is very learner-driven. There’s a recognition and an understanding that we are pioneers, learning and growing each in our own way, and for the good of others, as well. One of my favorite aspects of working here is that I get to teach and elevate others. Here, I know that by elevating others, I help elevate the company, and that, in turn, has the potential to reduce patient burden and to create a healthier world. This truly is my dream job.
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.
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 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.
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.
When I was a teenager, it was difficult to pursue my interest in science—not because I wasn’t enthusiastic (I was) or lacked the ability (I didn’t), but because in South Africa at the time, girls generally weren’t taught science. It sounds almost unbelievable now, but in order to learn topics more advanced than eighth grade biology, I had to change schools, and even then, the level of instruction for girls was usually sub-par. Still, I stuck with it. I’m a problem solver by nature, so I suppose I was driven by a need to find answers. I wanted to understand why things work the way they do and luckily, I had my dad, who was a mechanical engineer, to help fill in the gaps in the curriculum.
I came to the US for graduate school and after earning my PhD from MIT, launched a career that turned out to be characterized by that same kind of quest, always looking for the next challenge, always seeking out the next answer that could, hopefully, have a positive impact. One of the most recent highlights was my work on Trikafta, a drug that has proven to be a game changer for the treatment of cystic fibrosis, at Vertex. After that success, I considered retiring to be able to spend more time with my horses, but that didn’t last long. Lyndra, quite simply, drew me in.
At Lyndra, there’s the challenge of developing the first-ever ultra-long-acting, sustained release oral therapy. That’s a complex, multi-faceted problem, and even though solving it won’t be easy, we are poised to have a real and dramatic impact on lives around the world. In addition, the company is comprised of dedicated people who have the most extraordinary level of engagement and involvement I’ve ever encountered. When an unusual challenge is put in the hands of exceptional people, the work becomes energizing—and irresistible.
Throughout my life, I’ve been willing to take risks and explore new ideas. Years ago, when I changed schools to pursue a science education, I began learning how important it is to be resilient, and those lessons still ring true today. Every now and then, we still run into issues that seem especially problematic but at Lyndra, we strive to bend, not break. That means there’s usually a period of time when we’re all burrowed in, working on an answer. Then, within 24 hours or so, solutions start emerging. It’s that passion for problem solving and the knowledge that we’re doing it to save lives that inspires me, and the company, to keep pushing forward every day.