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News > Club News > WIB-Capital Region News > WIB-Capital Region Member Spotlight: Nhung Hoang

WIB-Capital Region Member Spotlight: Nhung Hoang

Nhung Hoang


Tell us about your background (both educational and professional).
I earned my bachelor's degree in crop science from Vietnam National University of Agriculture. Then, I received my PhD in plant breeding, genetics, and genomics at the University of Missouri, Columbia, where I studied the role of microRNAs in the legume - Rhizobium nitrogen-fixing symbiosis. Following my PhD, I have three years of experience working as an R&D Chemistry, Manufacturing, and Control (CMC) scientist at Kyoto Biken Hanoi Laboratories Company, where I optimized the virus propagation procedure for cattle vaccine products.

What are your top three tips for women who are just starting their careers?

  • Never hesitate to try and fail, whether it is throwing yourself out in a new environment or accomplishing an incredibly daunting project.
  • Develop your own professional development plan with clear goals and detailed steps to get there.
  • Being eager to learn and improve yourself each day.

What are some of the biggest challenges women still face in the life sciences?

  • There is a negative bias towards women on capabilities and work commitment despite having similar levels of proficiency with their male counterparts.
  • It is difficult for women who have young children to maintain their work-life balance since women tend to be the primary caregivers for their children.

What is the most exciting and personally fulfilling part of your work right now?
Currently, I am looking for a new position in the DMV area. I feel so fortunate to be able to attend many of WIB activities which are very helpful for my job searching journey.

What is the best leadership advice you ever received, and from whom?
During my college time, one of my friends was applying for a fellowship program to pursue graduate study in the U.S. When she knew that I was interested in that program also, she kindly supported me with my application. Finally, we both received the fellowship to study in the U.S. Whenever I think of that friend, it makes me think of the quote, “Strong people don't put others down. They lift them up.”

What role did mentorship play in helping you to achieve your career goals?
I have always been fortunate to receive good mentorship throughout my PhD program at the University of Missouri, Columbia, and my later job in Kyoto Biken Hanoi laboratories company. My mentors have helped me to acquire new skills and also given me helpful career advice.

What does success mean to you?
Success, to me, is when I have achieved my daily targets for the sake of reaching the final goal. This applies to both my personal and professional life. For example, one of my hobbies is to learn Japanese so I have set a target for myself to study a little bit of Japanese each day despite how busy I am. I have continuously studied it for 1367 days now. I am still far from the goal of being fluent but now I can comfortably comprehend Japanese podcasts and movies.

How did you find the career path that you are on right now?
I find my current career path through self-reflection. I am passionate about using molecular biology as a tool to solve real-life problems. I enjoy designing and analyzing experiments in the lab, therefore, I have chosen to be a wet lab molecular biologist.

Tell us how you got involved with Women In Bio, what you do for the organization, and what being a part of WIB means to you.
When I just relocated to Virginia, I wanted to know about the career opportunities in life sciences in the DMV area. Then, one of my friends encouraged me to join WIB. I am currently a WIB-Capital Region Communications Vice Chair and have been involved in designing graphics and submitting and promoting events in WIB-Capital Region social media channels. WIB has brought me the opportunity to meet with incredibly smart and kind ladies who are working in various aspects of life sciences. They helped me to gain insights into the life science industry in the DMV area.

What is your dream vacation spot, and why?
My dream vacation spot is China. I want to explore Chinese history and culture as well as taste authentic Chinese food.

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Women In Bio is an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of all women in the life sciences.

WIB membership and events are inclusive of all who support our mission.

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