EMD Serono, USA
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany
Department: Protein Engineering and Antibody Technologies
Title: Senior Scientist II
Start Date: 16 June, 2008
Education: Vanita received her Doctorate in Philosophy from the Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics at the University of Toronto. Prior to working at EMD Serono, Vanita did a postdoctoral fellowship at the Baker Lab at the University of Washington.
What initially drew you to EMD Serono?
What initially drew me to EMD Serono was the opportunity to combine cutting edge computational approaches with tried-and-true protein engineering methodologies, and apply them to the one of the fastest growing and therapeutically promising sectors of the pharmaceutical industry - therapeutic antibodies.
What do you like about working for this organization?
There is a sense of optimism that rests on a good solid foundation of scientific credibility. I love my colleagues, and am able to learn from them – we have very strong teams with complementary skills & knowledge.
What do you enjoy most about working as a researcher?
I get a kick out of generating data that can improve an antibody’s properties or help us differentiate it from the competition. I love knowing that I’m contributing to getting that antibody out to the clinic, and to real patients.

PERSONAL VISION

Vanita says that having the opportunity to potentially effect positive change on disease outcomes through her work is very rewarding.. “I get to be a nerdy scientist who can crunch a lot of data,” Vanita goes on to say, “but at the end of the day that can have a positive impact on our business and, in the long run, for patients. That’s hard to beat in any other industry.”

At the moments, she is focused on trying to increase the synergies between computational protein engineering and library-based engineering. She would ultimately like to work with her colleagues to get better antibodies out to the clinicians, and do it faster.