ROLE MODEL: Eli Lilly's journey to becoming a senior researcher started back in high school when she became inspired by one of her teachers, who later became one of her mentors, an important step for students.
Photo: Canaan


“I was always really interested in understanding how things work,” Driscoll said. “It's not even the science part of it, it’s the logic.” Science, Driscoll explains, just fulfilled the need to “put things together and tie things together into a bigger picture.”

Getting started

“In the ten years that I’ve been at Lilly, I’ve seen so many breakthrough treatments. I’ve seen people with really late stage diseases being cured...”

Driscoll explains that in high school, she had a strong teacher who turned into an important mentor for her, which is foundational and critical for young students. When Driscoll reached college, she chose a mentor who was known as the most challenging professor in the department.

“I picked her specifically because of what she worked on and because of the way that she excelled through her career,” she explained. “I think that the most important thing for finding a mentor is for finding someone who can fill the gaps that you need to address, it depends what level you’re at in your career, but a really early stage person needs help with figuring out their work–what’s going to motivate them and what’s going to drive them.”

Keeping the momentum

When it comes to staying focused and positive, Driscoll reflects on her organization’s achievements.

“In the ten years that I’ve been at Lilly, I’ve seen so many breakthrough treatments,” she said. “I’ve seen people with really late stage diseases being cured with novel treatments, and I think that is enough to motivate anybody.” I think we can improve upon the treatments we have and develop novel ways of thinking; that’s what motivates me. I will read a random paper in a completely different area of sciences and learn something new every single time. So, I guess in short, just try to do things differently.”