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  • The story of Smurfette
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    Submitted by Marielena Mata on Fri, 2010-10-01 08:13

    As I sit here trying to figure out what to say, I keep asking myself: Who am I? There are so many ways to define myself.  The demographic answer would be Hispanic female in her late 30s (very late), professional, married with 3 children.  I’m sure the census would be happy with that answer.  Yet, that’s just the start so let’s dissect:

    Hispanic – I was born and raised in Venezuela and came to the US in pursuit of a dream of becoming a scientist. 

    Female – female doesn’t begin to cut it.  I am a feminist.  Yep! You read it right.  I am a member a dying breed, the few, the proud, the ones who are willing to openly admit that gender equality doesn’t exist yet.  I promise to write a lot more about it in future installments (but in a fun way!)

    Late 30s – let’s just leave it at that….

    Married with 3 children – I have been happily married to Handsome and I’m the proud mom of 3 smart, beautiful, sweet and challenging children: Mini-me, Mini-handsome and the Mutt.  While I love my kids with all my heart, I struggle (probably like every other parent out there) to balance it all. 

    Professional – Ahhh! The reason I write this blog and not a different one (on running, cooking or book reviews).  I am a scientist working in a big Pharmaceutical Company, doing Cancer research, and loving every minute of it.  Yet, I want more.  I want to learn new things, face new challenges, try different career paths and go up the ladder.  I have had my ups and downs with good and bad projects, good and bad data, good and bad colleagues, good and bad bosses.  Right now, the stars are aligned and I have a great project (we’ll call it the JV) and a great boss (we’ll call him the Big Boss) but every day I wonder how long this good streak is going to last.  I also struggle with issues of confidence but that’s the subject matter of another blog….

    Overall, I have a good life.  I have a great family, a job I love and the opportunity to help others.  I want every scientist out there to find the same level of satisfaction with their life and career and the pursuit of their dreams.   I hope that this blog will help.  

    Submitted by nick (not verified) on Fri, 2010-10-01 05:37

    Hi Marielena,

    Thanks for putting together such a great blog.  I'm learning a great deal about what's involved in a career in the Biopharma industry.

    I wondered if you could answer a question for me.  What magazines/journals/print publications would you consider "required reading" for someone working in the Biopharma industry.  Are there trade journals that are important, in addition to scientific journals in someone's field of expertise?



    Submitted by Marielena Mata on Thu, 2010-10-07 19:00



    Thanks for your question.  I think the "required reading" will vary by your area of expertise, career level and goals.  In addition to the the scientific journals in your scientific area, you should be aware of what is happening in the industry in general.  There are a number of electronic newsletters that can deliver that information to your desk. As an oncologist with an interest in Biomarkers, I subscribe to a number of newsletters produced by genomeweb.  This site gives me updates from a technical perspective as well as the business perspective (who got bought, who filed a new drug application, who merged with whom).  Other good newsletter include the Pink Sheet that gives FDA updates.  Of course, different fields may have different newsletters that may be relevant but the key point is to be aware of what's going on in the industry not just the scientific literature.


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