Women's History Month Stories

Ana Rosa Sáez Ibáñez, PhD

Research Analyst, CRI Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator and Venture Fund

Ana Rosa Sáez Ibáñez, PhD, joined the Cancer Research Institute in 2022 as a Research Analyst at the CRI Anna-Maria Kellen Clinical Accelerator. In this role, she provides intelligence on immuno-oncology trends and the competitive landscape. She also assists in the team’s investment strategy, clinical trial design, and drug development plans. Lastly, Dr. Sáez Ibáñez establishes and maintains effective relationships with industry, clinical, and academic partners. 

Why did you pursue a career in science?  

Since I was a child, I have always been fascinated by the concept of research in its broadest form. I simply liked the idea of investigating and making sense of things and processes that I didn’t understand or know of before. This could have taken me on a very different path (at some point I was considering studying journalism), but as my biology lessons started to get more advanced and complicated, I fell in love with the intricacies of the field and decided to pursue a degree in biology. I later specialized in cancer research for my PhD, which has all the ingredients of a fulfilling professional career: it is fascinating, challenging, and it has the potential for a huge positive impact on society. 

Who is a mentor that you admire and why? Talk about the influence they had on your life.  

I have had many great mentors whose influence I still carry with me today. This includes my parents, who have infused in me the value of hard work and honesty. I also had some wonderful teachers at all levels of my education, who nurtured my curiosity and creativity, and equipped me to think critically. I also admire my PhD co-supervisor, Carl-Henrik Heldin, who is not only a great scientist but also a great example on how to lead with kindness. Also, my postdoctoral supervisor, Ana Maria Cuervo, who is a force of nature always striving for excellence.  

What are you most proud of in your career?  

I am proud to have pushed myself out of my comfort zone several times during my career. This has taken me from my small village in Spain, to getting my PhD in Sweden, and all the way to continuing my professional journey in New York.   

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