International Women in Science Day- Melissa Popovski

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.

For our third interview honoring International Women in Science Day, Momentum Labs spoke to Melissa Popovski about her career in biotech. Melissa serves as the director of Business Development in Bio-Innovations at Thermo Fisher Scientific.

What area of STEM initially sparked your interest?

All aspects of STEM are incredibly interesting but for me, science has always been fascinating.

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

Throughout my entire academic career and now as part of the biotech industry, I have been very lucky to have had strong female mentors. As a PhD student at the University of Alberta, I was surrounded by strong female leadership and colleagues. And as I transitioned into industry I find myself surrounded with incredible colleagues and mentors who I learn from every day. It has always been very inspiring to witness other female scientists lead the way.

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

Brain Awareness Week has always been an initiative that is close to my heart. This annual education initiative brings together different organizations all around the world to drive awareness and excitement for brain research. The program varies but my favorite is the Brain Bee which is a trivia competition about the brain and neuroscience for high school students. I absolutely love to see people get excited learning more about the brain! 

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

I have found that having a good support system is essential when facing any challenges. Being able to talk through situations and gain another perspective has helped me immensely. I have also found that everyone is willing to help, if asked.

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

A career in STEM is the chance to be on the cutting edge of new technologies and new discoveries! Best piece of advice is to dream big, work hard and fail often – failure is just an opportunity to learn.

“Best piece of advice is to dream big, work hard and fail often – failure is just an opportunity to learn.”

Melissa Popovski

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