Sandra Wechsler

Regulatory Affairs Expert at DSM Nutritional Products, Basel CH

Sandra Wechsler received her diploma in biochemistry from the Freie Universität Berlin in 2000. In 2001 she took a PhD position at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the ETH Zurich. She received her PhD in technical science in 2005 for her research on synthetic wound healing grafts. During her PhD Sandra very much enjoyed collaborations with companies like Kuros Biosurgery and Straumann. Therefore, she left academics for a position as project leader at Millenium Biologics AG, a start-up company developing an automated bioreactor for growing cellular implants for orthopaedic applications. In 2007 she relocated to the UK for a position as project leader at DePuy CMW, leading the development of a novel drug device for orthopaedic applications. A major change in her career occurred when Sandra left product development and orthopaedics for a regulatory expert position at DSM Nutritional Products where she is now in charge of internationally coordinating the regulatory activities of the pharmaceutical business of DSM.
In her career Sandra has changed the nature of her work several times so far. Starting with academic research and molecular biology, later switching to biomedical engineering and the development of tissue and metal based orthopaedic implants. After several exciting years of product development in the orthopaedic field she currently deals with a rather paper based work in the regulatory business in the pharmaceutical world.

Continuous evolvement of a career path

When we first start our career we usually try to think on what is best, how could I move on, what kind of job, which position is most useful for my future career. Having a plan is always a good thing. Only I learned that the execution needs to be flexible. In this talk I would like to give a little insight on “my way”. I will draw a quick sketch of my academic career and then explain what I did next and how and why I got to where I am now.
Main message is to explain that our life and our career is changing, we grow and change over time and our targets move. And this is how our career should evolve. Therefore, my learning is that the most important thing for being successful in your job is to do something you like and that it fits with your private life. Then anything is possible.

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