FierceBiotech's 2011 Women in Biotech

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by Ryan McBride and John Carroll

Female biotech executives have been key players in many of the biggest events in the industry this year--Takeda Pharmaceutical's buyout of Nycomed, the merger of Alkermes ($ALKS) and Elan Drug Technologies and the sale of Plexxikon to Daiichi Sankyo. Should we be surprised? No, women in this industry defy the odds when they rise to key positions in the male-dominated biotech game. Of course we're seeing them accomplish big things. But they deserve recognition.

So, we're excited to bring our readers FierceBiotech's much-awaited-and belated-Women in Biotech feature. We had an overwhelming response to our call for nominations this year, with more than 130 great submissions and an amazing slate of candidates. True to our mission of providing readers the top news in biotech, many of the honorees here are women who drove some of the big stories we covered this year. We also wanted the women featured this year to represent the best of the global biotech industry, and you'll find women here who are making an impact for organizations based in Asia, Europe and here in the U.S.

These women are inspiring, not just to women, but (at least speaking for the males on our team) men involved in the industry, too. Our profiles will bring you up to date with what each of these female movers in biotech are working on these days. Some are rallying scientists at young startups, gearing up for important late-stage trials or leading research of serious health concerns such as HIV. For each of the honorees, there are unique stories about how impressive women have gotten ahead in the competitive biotech field.

"I think that the potential interesting little extra that you get from speaking to some of the women in biotech is we've probably been challenged with thinking a little bit more about how to cultivate our careers," said Abbie Celniker, chief executive of Eleven Biotherapeutics and one of this year's Women in Biotech. "As a result, we can be a tiny bit more self-reflective because we've had to do lots of course correction to make sure we could compete in the days when it was more predominately male."

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Kathryn Biberstein
Alkermes


Abbie Celniker
Eleven Biotherapeutics


Kathleen Sereda Glaub
Plexxikon


Mary Lynne Hedley
Tesaro


Bahija Jallal
MedImmune

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
Biocon

Susan Molineaux
Calithera Biosciences

Julie Overbaugh
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Anna Protopapas
Takeda

Laura Shawver
Cleave Biosciences

 

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