Women's History Month Stories

Rita Dalal, MBBS, MPH

Executive Medical Director, Oncology Alkermes

Why did you pursue a career in science? 

I am a curious person and have always asked ’how’ and ’why’ in any situation. At an early age, my parents were able to recognize that natural curiosity and provided guidance to me for following science. Additionally, my father is a physician and I saw the impact he was making in patients’ lives.

What are you most proud of in your career? 

Having an opportunity to make an impact every day! In my career as a clinical scientist, I have been able to lead trials that have contributed to a new treatment option for a cancer type where limited options exist. My team and I helped make that treatment option available for patients.

Who is a woman/mentor you admire? 

I have many women and mentors that I admire for very different reasons, from Marie Curie to Mother Teresa to Katalin Karikó (Katalin Kariko is known for her contributions to mRNA technology and the COVID-19 vaccines). The women who have helped me become who I am today are passionate about what they do and they bring their best self to work each and every day.

How are you accelerating research or transforming the treatment landscape to create a world immune to cancer?  

I am incredibly thankful to be able to work with and leading a passionate team whose goal is to help cancer patients who need new treatment options. I try to move this research forward by working with our teams and partners to find ways to expedite our ongoing clinical trials, following our passion for patient-focused drug development.

What advice do you have for women who are entering the field of science?  

For women who are entering the field of science, I will say that there is so much progress that needs to be made in cancer research so put on your gloves and help make that progress. Never stop asking questions and believe in yourself. Have faith in your abilities! Your contribution is important to help move the field forward.

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