March 22, 2023
Advancing Women-Led R&D to Accelerate Innovation and Inspire New Pathways of Learning
By Bristol Myers Squibb
Miranda Broz, Ph.D., scientific director, discovery myeloid biology, Tumor Microenvironment Thematic Research Center, is committed to making positive change at every scale—from her work at Bristol Myers Squibb interrogating microscopic cells in the human body, to her volunteer work reshaping and empowering communities a continent away. Miranda has been passionate about helping others for as long as she can remember—it’s a part of her DNA.
Growing up, Miranda’s grandparents lived with her, and her grandfather, who was paraplegic after suffering a stroke, was taken care of by her grandmother. Being surrounded by medicine inspired Miranda to devote her life to making a difference in the lives of others.
Miranda is joined by other women in R&D who are making a difference and contributing to science.
A pediatric oncologist by training, Ashley Koegel, M.D., senior medical director, early clinical development, knows what kind of impact her work in cellular therapy development might have for important patient populations like pediatric cancer patients. While working at Bristol Myers Squibb, Ashley has maintained a volunteer faculty appointment at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) as a pediatric hematologist/oncologist, where she continues to provide care to children fighting cancer. Ashley says that she loves her work because of the impact that it has on patients.
Ashley and Miranda are just two examples of the women in the R&D organization at Bristol Myers Squibb who are dedicated to fostering a patient-centric, inclusive environment driven to achieve scientific excellence.
In celebration of Women’s History Month, learn more about Bristol Myers Squibb’s female leaders throughout California who inspire the next generation of young scientists and propel new discoveries for patients who need them most.
Powering Scientific Achievement
Bristol Myers Squibb fosters an inclusive research environment that promotes creativity and allows great ideas to thrive, resulting in transformational science providing the best outcomes possible for patients. In addition to a commitment to inclusivity and diversity, the company’s industry-leading annual R&D investment of $9.5 billion and reimagined operating model provides talented researchers and innovators the creative freedom to drive R&D forward wherever the science takes them.
This culture has allowed young scientists like Miranda Broz to flourish. Miranda leads a team of scientists based in Redwood City that explore key interactions within the tumor microenvironment (TME), in the pursuit of overcoming the many hurdles contributing to immune suppression that allow for cancer cell survival and progression. Bringing together cancer researchers and scientists across several platforms and from different backgrounds and cultures who share a passion for science and compassion for patients has advanced breakthroughs and allowed her team to unlock new discoveries. The impact Miranda has made on the organization resulted in her naming to multiple industry awards lists, including Business Insider’s 30 Under 40 in Healthcare, which honors business leaders, scientists, doctors and entrepreneurs who are transforming the healthcare industry.
Fostering A Patient-Centric Culture
Many Bristol Myers Squibb leaders in California, like Ashley Koegel, maintain clinical positions and see patients in addition to their day jobs. Ashley is a pediatric oncologist by training with years of experience treating children who have cancer. Her passion for helping children led her to Bristol Myers Squibb, where she assumed clinical leadership of several new CAR T cell therapy programs; multiple programs successfully filed first-in-human investigational new drug applications starting in 2019 and began clinical trials as early as 2020.
“It’s critical to be able to analyze clinical data quickly and leverage impactful findings, as cell therapy is a fast-paced field,” Ashley said. “My role is particularly meaningful as I’m able to translate the scientific learnings of our clinical trials to our pipeline to improve the next generation of cell therapies that we bring into the clinic.”
Ashley’s success resulted in being named one of San Francisco Business Times’ 40 Under 40, which recognizes standout young business leaders who are making significant contributions to their industries, their companies and/or their communities.
Leaders at Bristol Myers Squibb are fueled to make a difference inside and outside of the lab, because they have seen firsthand the impact they can have on improving patients’ lives.
Nurturing Scientific Talent
Bristol Myers Squibb’s leaders take a similarly personal approach to delivering on our values of inclusion and diversity.
Though her scientific work focuses on the development of precision therapeutics for serious cardiovascular disorders, with a specific focus on cardiomyopathies and heart failure, Amy Sehnert, vice president, head of cardiomyopathy and heart failure clinical development, and a pediatric cardiologist, is passionate about mentoring women and helping them into senior and executive positions.
Mentorship is an important part of the culture at Bristol Myers Squibb, and supports its commitment to a diverse, inclusive workforce where leaders are encouraged to cultivate and support female employees and executives through targeted development, coaching, mentoring and sponsorship programs.
Many leaders like Amy pursue mentorship opportunities through roles within People and Business Resource Groups (PBRGs), which help to sustain a culture of inclusion that relies on the diversity of the company’s people and their unique perspectives to achieve its patient-focused mission and objectives.
Amy is active in the company’s Bay Area chapter of B-NOW, the Bristol Myers Squibb Network of Women. B-NOW drives business performance by embracing gender diversity, ensuring that all women at Bristol Myers Squibb have equal opportunities to develop, advance and be retained globally within a culture that prioritizes this mission.
“My fellow colleagues not only exemplify the scientific excellence, patient-centricity and inclusive culture driven by Bristol Myers Squibb’s core values, but they proactively work to mentor and instill these qualities in their team members as well as the next generation of STEM professionals,” Amy said.
Amy’s leadership has been recognized internally and externally across the industry, including in 2022 being named a recipient of the James B.D. Palmer Award for Excellence in Drug Development at Bristol Myers Squibb, a recipient of the San Francisco Business Times’ Most Influential Women in Business award, an awardee of the Top 25 Healthcare Technology Leaders of San Francisco, and in 2020 as a founding member of the San Francisco CHIEF chapter, a networking organization specifically focused on connecting and supporting women leaders across industries.
The Impact of Women-Led R&D
Each of these women play an integral role in fostering a culture of inclusion and diversity and help propel their teams and colleagues into groundbreaking research.
The dedication of Bristol Myers Squibb’s leaders to embracing diversity and fostering an environment where everyone can work together at their full potential propels the company’s mission to discover, develop and deliver innovative medicines that help patients prevail over serious diseases.To learn more about Bristol Myers Squibb in California, visit the California Hub on BMS.com.