Dorit's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    STEM Roadtrip

DORIT DONOVIEL

Deputy Chief Scientist
National Space Biomedical Research Facility

“You hit the roof, the ceiling and you don't feel like you can grow anymore. It's really scary, but I think you have to venture out into a new direction because if you're going to continue in that place you're going to become resentful and you're going to become really unhappy.”

INTERESTS:

Medicine Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Opportunity Pressure Fear Education Self-Reflection Failure Goals Success Perseverance Struggle Passion Choices

FOUNDATION:

Problem Solving

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Immigrated to the U.S. from Israel at age 11; was an "awkward kid," had an accent, "didn't dress right."
  • Retreated into her studies; realized she was a smart kid, a good student, took pride in that.
  • Knew she wanted to go into biology when she had to dissect a cow heart in high school-loved it, understood how it worked, explained it to others.
  • Started working at a pharmaceutical company; while networking, she was offered a position at the National Space Biomedical Research Facility.
  • Felt like she had "stagnated" after eight years at the pharmaceutical company, so immediately took this new opportunity.
  • The research facility tries to innovate ways to foster life in space; along the way, it also revolutionizes life for people in rural areas.
  • Says the biggest mistake students make is to continue studying things they don't love: "you end up with a Ph.D. in chemistry and you're miserable."
  • "If you're not excited to every day you come to work, stop. It's okay to stop"; says she's grown the guts to walk away if she's not happy.

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