Areas of expertise
+ Tumor biology
+ Research and development
+ Product Development
+ Assay development
+ PDX models
+ Customer success
What are your responsibilities at Envigo?
I'm part of the research and development team. If a customer wants a particular service that we don't currently offer, I'm one of the people who develop protocols to be able to carry out that particular service or assay. I also work on trying to generate new models. As a senior scientist, I'm constantly thinking about new, exciting things we can bring into the pipeline. A lot of my work involves reviewing recent literature and determining how we can expand our current offerings. 'Do we have models available to test such compounds? How can we expand on this?'
What inspired you to pursue a career in science?
It was not my initial goal to become a scientist, but I always had an interest in the natural sciences. Biology, chemistry, and math were always my favorite subjects through school. I started working on basic, molecular cloning in a lab as an undergraduate and realized how much I really liked it. That's when I knew I was going to take the science career path.
What are some of the key attributes of being successful in your role?
Curiosity. That drive to figure out other avenues for solutions and challenges. You have to be excited about science because a lot of the time things don't work - the first, second, third, or tenth time. So, you have to have the drive to create solutions in the midst of a challenge.
What are the best parts of your job?
The best part of my job is when I get to dive into current literature and come up with new ideas of things we can offer. That's my favorite part. My second favorite is getting to do so many different things. I'm definitely not drawn into a corner like, 'you're supposed to carry out this assay everyday.' My work constantly changes and that's really exciting to me.
Which career achievements make you proud?
I'm proud to be a part of Envigo as I get to work with so many different people here. I feel collaboration between the lab, the people in the vivarium, and management has been great. Everyone knows where their strengths lie and are willing to help each other. It's really important to figure out the talents of everyone around you and use that to make the work great.
What are some of your favorite things to do outside of Envigo?
Hanging out with my daughter. St. Louis is a great town when you have kids because there are so many activities such as the zoo, science museums, and the aquarium. There's definitely a lot of things to do here to keep us busy. I'm a retired swimmer and still enjoy working out, but find myself having less and less time to do that, but I still run a few times a week.
What do you hope to achieve as a scientist?
I hope to continuously grow and learn at Envigo. I love being challenged and feel I definitely have the opportunity here. My background is primarily in cancer research. My doctoral work was all cancer and I'm hoping to get the opportunity to continue to work on these diseases.
I'm really excited to share about the breast cancer models we have here at Envigo. I think we can really be of service to companies working on breast cancer and offer a collection of highly characterized models - giving them the tools to select the ideal model to test their compound. It's really exciting to figure out how to beat this thing.Please contact us if you have a question for Viktoria or would like to learn more about our PDX models and capabilities for assay development.