Myriam Mendila

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SVP and head of U.S. medical affairs | Genentech


What would you do if you didn't work in healthcare?

I would teach science and math. Growing up, I have always had a strong interest in these subjects and I was fortunate to have wonderful teachers who nurtured my sense of curiosity. Investing in the future generation of physicians and scientists through STEM education will have a profound impact on the future of healthcare, and I would be proud to play a role in it.

Talk about the last time you experienced a truly fist-pumping victory moment.  

That's an easy one. It would be Tuesday, March 28, 2017, around 5:30 pm PST, when our company received FDA approval for a new breakthrough medicine to treat patients with multiple sclerosis. I started working on this molecule when it was still in pre-clinical research more than 10 years ago. Although my focus at the time was on the oncology side of the development program, which was stopped later on, knowing that this new treatment option has the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of countless MS patients and their caregivers is truly gratifying. This is a victory moment for MS patients everywhere and I have been celebrating with lots of fist pumping since the news.

What are your words to live by?

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

What would you tell your 20-year-old self?

Be authentic, be courageous, stick to your principles, and keep a high ethical bar. And most importantly, believe in yourself.

What is one thing you would tell women starting their careers in healthcare marketing?

Always keep the interest of patients at the core of everything you do.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say as you enter?

You have lived a meaningful life and left a lasting impact on those who were in need.


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