Women's History Month Stories

Jessica Kirshner, PhD

Executive Director, Oncology and Immune-Oncology, Regeneron

Why did you pursue a career in science? 

From a young age I was fascinated by using science and experimentation to learn about the world. What attracted me to oncology research was seeing firsthand how devastating cancer can be.  I wanted to use my passion for science to make a difference.

What are you most proud of in your career? 

Seeing molecules my lab developed used in phase 1 trials and beyond has given me a huge sense of pride. It’s extremely exciting to transfer these therapies to my clinical colleagues and have them hopefully impact patient’s lives. Additionally, I derive great satisfaction and pride from mentorship and coaching young scientists.

Who is a woman/mentor you admire?

I was very inspired by Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann, an oncologist and biotechnology leader who led the advancement of the first gene-targeted cancer drug early in her career.

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

Through our research on investigational T-cell engaging CD3 and CD28 bispecific antibodies, we hope to have an impact on both solid tumors and blood cancers. It feels very exciting to have utilized those molecules in our research and to continue tailoring them to specific cancers.

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

My advice for women getting started in a STEM career is to be tenacious and persistent. Be comfortable asking questions and learning new ideas. Know that there are different pathways to become a leader and be open to new opportunities.

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