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Employee Spotlight

Shruti Sasaki

Senior Scientist, Translational Medicine

I came to Ionis as a postdoctoral fellow shortly after completing my Ph.D. in RNA biology. After completing my postdoc, I transitioned to my current role as a Senior Scientist in the Translational Medicine group. While I really enjoyed conducting early stage drug discovery research during my postdoc, I was excited to gain exposure to other aspects of the drug development process through a position in the Translational Medicine group.

In my current role, I work closely with peers in both Research and Clinical Development to prepare our research programs for the transition into the clinical realm. This involves activities such as evaluating different potential indications, conducting natural history studies, and gaining access to human data and samples for target validation, biomarker assay development and patient selection. I’m not sure what’s next in my career, but I feel that the collaborative and cross-functional nature of my current role prepares me well for several different career paths in this industry.

  1. What motivates the work you do at Ionis?
    My motivation is ultimately to help our patients. One thing that has struck me since coming to Ionis is how our patients are central to our efforts – we have patients come onsite to share their experience living with diseases we are working to develop drugs for, and there truly is no greater motivation than that.
  2. How would you describe the Ionis company culture?
    The culture is fast-paced, very collaborative, and fun! Everyone works hard but is happy to help if they can. This makes for a great work environment.
  3. How have you grown in your professional development at Ionis?
    I know so much more about the drug development process, and I’ve also grown as a communicator, leader and team player. Working in a company setting, especially one like Ionis, requires constant teamwork and collaboration, which has been a great opportunity to learn from others!
  4. What is your favorite thing about your day-to-day at Ionis?
    I work on so many different types of projects with many different people within Ionis (and externally as well), so my day-to-day varies quite a bit. I love the variety and change of pace – I never get bored!
  5. Favorite Ionis moment or career highlight?
    Ionis achieving approval for Spinraza (with Biogen). Seeing the videos that parents of some of our SMA patients made, sharing their children’s stories and progress with treatment, exemplified for me the impact Ionis has and in turn how much the patient journey drives Ionis efforts.