Sara Kenkare-Mitra received a job offer from Genentech that inspired and attracted her to take the leap into biotech, and she spent the next 23 years at one of the most innovative biotech companies in the world. Today, she’s the President and Head of R&D at Alector where she’s leading their mission of pioneering treatments to change the course of neurodegeneration.
Sara knew early on that she wanted to focus on drug discovery, an ambition that pushed her to come to the U.S. following pharmacy school in India. After getting her PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at UCSF, she completed her fellowship in clinical pharmacology at UCSF, where she learned the nuances of doing clinical research. She balanced that experience as a postdoc in a computational environment using clinical data to analyze and make pharmacological decisions. Even with so much experience that naturally pointed to a career in academia, Sara was always attracted to the idea of creating medicine, something she knew she wouldn’t get the chance to do if she didn’t pursue a career in industry. Here, this 2018 Fiercest Women in Life Sciences award winner shares thoughts on why women need to use their voice in a male-dominated industry and how to scale and build a successful leadership team.
Push through your unconscious bias
You are not the only problem solver on your team
There are no shortcuts in leadership
Evaluating how someone builds a team is a key indicator of success
Every month we’ll share Pioneer Spotlights where we sit down with our network of accomplished industry veterans on what they’ve learned and advice for startup founders. We look forward to showcasing more of our ecosystem with you.