At Sprint Bioscience you almost have a physical feeling of speed.
Tobias Ginman and Áine Henley are drug developers at Sprint Bioscience. Tobias previously worked at AstraZeneca but felt that he wanted to try on the development opportunities provided in a smaller company and Áine moved to Sweden from Ireland for the sake of science. This is how they describe their work at Sprint Bioscience.
Tell us a little about your role and your work at Sprint Bioscience?
Tobias: I’m a chemistry project leader, which means that I prioritize which molecules to develop and which tests to run. As a project leader, I work closely with other disciplines. We work with data driven drug development where the results from analyses of each new molecule form the basis for the next molecule that we manufacture.
Áine: I’m a biologist and my role is to develop biological models to evaluate the molecules that are developed in our labs. This means that I continuously communicate with our chemists and biochemists to ensure that we always get the best molecules and that the data we deliver is clear and drives development forward. My days can be very varied with everything from literature searches to identifying new drug targets, developing new SAR models to more general tasks. The variation stimulates both mine and the company’s development.
Why did you join Sprint Bioscience?
Tobias: Before I started at Sprint Bioscience, I worked in research at AstraZeneca in Södertälje. When I was asked in 2011 if I was interested in starting at Sprint Bioscience, I said yes to the opportunity to be part of a smaller company and be able to influence my own work more.
Áine: I came to Sprint Bioscience from an academic career, most recently from a postdoc at the Karolinska Institute and doctoral studies at Imperial College in London. It was an easy decision for me to move to Sweden as I had already left my home country of Ireland, and research is one of my passions in life. When my postdoctoral position at Karolinska Institute was about to end, there was a job opening here at Sprint Bioscience. It’s a perfect match because the company has the same passion and desire to push scientific work forward as I have myself, and I could continue to work actively in the lab, which I appreciated. Starting at Sprint Bioscience is one of the best things I’ve done and I haven’t regretted it for a second.
How does Sprint Bioscience differ from other workplaces you’ve been at?
Tobias: There’s a big difference. At a large company, you are usually a small cog in a large machinery and you feel forced into a template that may not suit you. At Sprint Bioscience we take advantage of the employees’ unique talents and you get the chance to develop. It also helps that everyone knows everyone else and has the same drive and goals.
Áine: Sprint Bioscience is a workplace that is unique and stimulating. I have a mixed background having worked in two different countries, and within both academia and industry. I can say from my experience that the culture at Sprint Bioscience is progressive and informal. Unlike other workplaces, Sprint Bioscience not only focuses on your career, but also wants you to develop your personal skills as well. You take pride in a passion for research and this is evident in the collaboration between different disciplines. In addition, Sprint Bioscience encourages cultural understanding with everything from Swedish classes to indoor hockey games and exchanges around the staff’s different cultures.
What is the best thing about working at Sprint Bioscience?
Tobias: That the work I put in has a direct impact on how the project goes and, ultimately, the progress of the company. Everyone here always does their utmost – it’s so rewarding to be a part of it and you almost have a physical feeling of speed as we make progress. We also have a lot of fun together.
Áine: The best thing is that you get to work in teams while developing your own knowledge and ideas. I haven’t seen such teamwork in any other workplace. Since everyone here is always willing to share their expertise, there’s a constant development of your intellect.
Who do you think should apply to Sprint Bioscience?
Tobias: Anyone who wants to work on developing drugs the way it should be done. If you want to be involved in curing cancer and at the same time have an outlet for your creativity and unique talents, this is the right place.
Áine: Anyone who has a passion for pushing science forward into the unknown and who has the ability to impart their knowledge to others and work together.