International Women in Science Day- Amy Griffin

February 06, 2023

In celebration of International Women in Science Day, Momentum Labs is highlighting inspiring women in the field of STEM who have had a positive impact on the Alachua-Gainesville region.

Continuing to honor International Women in Science Day celebrations, Momentum Labs spoke with Amy Griffin about her experiences supporting the Biotech industry. Amy serves as the Director of Business Operations at Lacerta Therapeutics Inc..

What area of STEM initially sparked your interest?

I have always taken pride in helping others and have always thought of myself as a serial learner, so
what better way to achieve this combination than being in an industry where I get to continuously do
both? I have always been fascinated by the life cycle of bringing an idea or concept to life through
research and development, whether it be building laboratory space for scientists with state-of-the-art
equipment or being a part of developing critically unmet medical needs for patients to live more
sustainable and longer lives.

Who has been a mentor to you in this industry or Who is a female role model in this industry?

I have more mentors than I can name but the four that have really helped me grow in my career-driven
journey in the life sciences industry are Jackson Streeter, Hank Nordhoff, Steven Richieri, and Edgar
Rodriguez, all for very different reasons.
Jackson Streeter began mentoring me 13 years ago. A few years after transitioning into this industry we
discovered a common interest in the love we both share for fighter jets. He is responsible for helping
me understand the industry needs and trends from a business and financial perspective. Not only has
Jackson helped me expand my expertise into operations, he has also mentored me in understanding the
basic science trends of clinical needs.
Hank Nordhoff has been considered a life sciences mogul in the San Diego area for decades. I’ve worked
under Hank for 11 years and he has been, in many ways, a father figure to me. He has a keen business
sense for this industry. As the Executive Chairman and CEO for a company I previously worked for, he
mentored me on board and investor relations as well as key developments within the biotech business
Steven Richieri is a serial entrepreneur in the health care industry with extensive experience in the FDA
regulatory process. As my former President & COO, he helped me expand my knowledge regarding
compliance and requirements in the regulatory and quality arenas as well as understanding the design
of human clinical trials.
My most recent mentor is Edgar Rodriguez, CEO of Lacerta. Edgar has been an excellent example of
someone who displays a love for research and science but also the people that work for and contribute
to the success of the company. His ability to balance both science and research while creating a positive
environment with the people he empowers is admirable. I am looking forward to the next phase in both
professional and business growth with Edgar at the helm.

What project or initiative have you been a part of that you feel made a positive impact?

I am very proud to have been involved in the complete life cycle of the Banyan BTI TM , a test that aids in
the evaluation of suspected traumatic brain injury (TBI). What an honor to know I was a part of this
critical test that will help patients and ultimately shape the future for patients suffering with TBI.

While I may not be directly involved in the breakthrough science, I am extremely delighted to be
responsible for building a GMP manufacturing facility for Lacerta that will aid in our continued
development of novel therapeutics for genetic based medicines. I am also honored to continue to help
create a culture where employees can focus on their work, thrive in an environment that stimulates
creativity and teamwork, and do not have to worry about ancillary details such as benefits.

How have you been encouraged to overcome challenges in this industry?

As a female, holding a leadership role where similar roles are predominantly male, I’ve had to earn the
respect of fellow colleagues by having the tenacity to continue to go after what I want by progressing
my growth, learning, and adapting to constant change that occurs in all businesses. Over the years, it
has been great to observe a positive shift in the number of female colleagues transitioning into
leadership roles in our industry.

What is your best piece of advice for young women pursuing a career in STEM

My best piece of advice is to NEVER GIVE UP! You are worthy and deserving to want a career in STEM so
continue to be determined and fierce while always maintaining your professionalism and respect for
others. Always communicate politely, even in the most difficult situations, be willing to accept
constructive criticism, and most importantly, just be you!

“You are worthy and deserving to want a career in STEM.”

amy griffin

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