Stories and Viewpoints

Celebrating Women in Science – Sue Heavner

Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are spotlighting some of the women at Viatris who are in science and STEM roles.


By: Timothy Goodenow



Sue Heavner
Lead Scientist, Global R&D

Morgantown, West Virginia, U.S.


What is your role at Viatris and how do you contribute to our mission of empowering people worldwide to live healthier at every stage of life?
I am a scientist at the Bioanalytical Laboratory in Morgantown, West Virginia. My role is to use quantitative mass spectrometry to develop highly sensitive analytical methods. Usually, the methods I develop are used to measure the amount of drug absorbed into a person’s bloodstream after taking the medication. Right now, I am working on one of our biosimilar molecules. For generics and biosimilars, these measurements are necessary to establish bioequivalence to the reference product.


What advice would you share with young girls who might be considering a career in science?
Go for it! Be confident in yourself but be willing to listen and learn. Study hard and play hard. Take care of your mental and physical health. Be open to trying different career paths. I started out in Aerospace Engineering but realized it wasn’t right for me. Years later I went back to school and chemistry turned out to be the perfect fit. I now hold a Ph.D. from the West Virginia University (WVU) School of Pharmacy.


How does Viatris support women with careers in science?
Viatris supports women in science on many levels. The opportunities, encouragement and support I personally received were life changing. On a local level, Viatris partnered with WVU through STEMCARE to provide opportunities for West Virginia youth to better equip themselves to navigate the challenges they will face in life. Viatris also supports women in science, like me, in our workplace every day.


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