With 10 years of university experience, a PhD and a hunger for new challenges and experiences, I left Finland to pursue a career in the biotech industry. I left the magical seaside of my homeland, with its flat landscape and cold, dark winter nights, to find myself surrounded by magnificent alpine mountains, delicious cheese and chocolate. I had landed in Switzerland.
While earning my PhD, I was struggling with difficult-to-express proteins. At that time, access to Selexis’ tools would have helped me solve many challenges I was facing, from low yield to aggregation. For me, the choice to join Selexis was personal. I knew firsthand the challenges of protein expression and the value of a good cell line, and I wanted to be able to help scientists make the best out of their research programs. I turned my frustration into a passion and a mission to ensure that no therapeutic protein would be abandoned again just because it is a trick to produce.
While I presently hold a business development role at Selexis, I remain a scientist at heart and am constantly interacting with scientists at Selexis and at our partners, which I find very rewarding. I am curious to learn about new technologies, novel therapeutic proteins and to follow the flow of the biotherapeutics industry. Science is present everywhere at Selexis, from the corridors, to around the coffee machine. Everyone is very proud of what Selexis is doing. There are some great minds working here and the achievements speak for themselves. The genetic elements that are incorporated into the expression vectors are a remarkable piece of bioengineering. They alone can boost expression, while ensuring scalability and product quality. There are also many more tools in Selexis’ toolkit to complement the vector technology.
Selexis is driven by quality science, know-how and chocolate; yes, the chocolate supply in the coffee room is not to be underestimated. And it is not related to the fact that there are more women than men on Selexis’ staff! Also, as it turns out, Selexis is an active bunch of scientists and, to my pleasant surprise, sailing seems to be big at Selexis and in this hilly country.
We even have weekly SUREfit team training sessions at the gym, run by our CEO Igor Fisch’s personal trainer. Many of us appreciate the health benefits and increase in creativity and productivity that we get from these sessions and I would recommend other companies consider starting their own team trainings.
I confess that it has not always been easy to adapt to the real-world working culture as compared to the cozy freedom of student life. Expectations are high, although I appreciate that we are pushed to perform at our full potential and grow in both our roles at work and as individuals. The atmosphere at Selexis is encouraging and welcoming, which enables greater opportunities to learn and take the initiative. Everyone is working toward contributing to the success of our partners’ programs and, to get there, it takes synergy between teams; this is where we excel. Selexis’ corporate culture is an integral part of its success and the company is clearly doing something right. And, the access to chocolate doesn’t hurt!