Bioanalysis Zone

A day in the life of… Monique Bodil van Niel, Charles River

This entry is part 2 of 6 in the series Women in Bioanalysis

Bodil van Neil

Monique Bodil van Niel

Director of Chemistry, Charles River (MA, USA).

Brief biography:

After completing a PhD in organic chemistry at Liverpool University (UK) I started my career at Merck (UK) as a medicinal chemist. The site I worked at focussed on diseases of the brain and I spent time on projects which looked at new ways to treat depression, Alzheimer’s disease, sleep disorders and migraine. After 18 years I joined Charles River and working in a contract research organisation has given new opportunities to work on lung diseases, inflammation and pain with client organisations. During my career I have made key contributions which have resulted in the identification of drug development candidates, 43 patent applications and 18 publications.

My alarm goes off…

I’m a senior manager with responsibility for chemistry teams across two sites and no two days are identical! Keeping in touch with the teams and the progress that they are making is the core element of my role. In my current role I do not have time to do synthetic chemistry but it continues to be really exciting to see data for target molecules that the chemistry teams have designed and synthesised. What gets me out of bed when my alarm goes off is the hope that this day could bring scientific breakthroughs for project teams and the clients we work for.

My typical day…

A typical day can involve meeting with clients or sharing information with them, talking with our chemists and also my colleagues from other departments. I can also be involved with recruiting new staff, helping clients start a new project with Charles River, writing reports, patents and papers.

The strangest thing that has happened…

In science the unexpected and strangest things can often change the course research and history: remember Alexander Fleming and the observation that gave us penicillin? In our daily roles as scientists it pays to be alert and follow up on those observations which we had not predicted!

The best part of my job…

Being a scientist is very interesting and the huge variety of tasks that I do in a typical year can be very rewarding.

The worst part of my job…

All the challenging situations can come in quick succession!

After work…

It can be hard to switch off and I have found that the best ideas often come during those quiet moments in the garden or whilst out in the countryside on a bicycle ride.

I always wanted to be…

I have always had that curiosity about the world around me and was always taking things apart and putting them back together, observing living things in the flesh and under the microscope and of course that big chemistry set full of colourful chemicals has a lot to answer for…

Click here to view Charles River company page.

Series Navigation<< A day in the life of… Laura Mercolini, University of BolognaA day in the life of… Kelly Doering, Waters Corporation >>
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