To highlight our female scientists, we interviewed five amazing women whose inspiring work contributes to our innovative work and the production of our biotech skincare. Delving into their passion for science, their path to entering the field, and advice they would give to fellow aspiring female scientists. Through their unique perspectives and journeys, we hope to inspire and empower more girls and women to pursue careers in science.
Meet Brynja Einarsdóttir, an R&D specialist. Pioneering the world of scientific skincare, she adeptly creates innovative formulas and optimizes existing ones, all while keeping an eye on the scientific research that fuels their success.
When asked about what led her to this exciting junction of science and beauty, Brynja shared, "I've always been fascinated by science, but it was my love for food that ultimately nudged me towards pursuing a science-related career. After working at a delicatesse store, I became intrigued by the science behind food production. It prompted me to delve into food science at the University of Iceland. This experience, coupled with my Master's degree centered on the role of biotechnology in skincare products, led me to where I am now."
Brynja is a staunch believer in the power of self-belief, curiosity, and networking for women aspiring to forge a career in science. "Trust your abilities, stay curious, and surround yourself with a supportive network of women in science," she advises.
Having focused on biotechnology and skincare during her Master's, Brynja has always associated science with skincare. Her early familiarity with growth factors and BIOEFFECT means that her perception of the intersection of these two fields hasn't altered dramatically.
In her own words, "Understanding science is crucial to creating effective skincare products, particularly when working with active ingredients like growth factors. It's what separates efficacious products from the rest, and I'm proud to be part of that process at BIOEFFECT."
Melkorka Mist Gunnarsdóttir
Meet Melkorka Mist, a Protein Research Associate whose dynamic journey into science introduces a fascinating perspective. From a young age, human health piqued her interest, leading her towards aspirations for a career in physical therapy or medicine. However, a twist of fate swerved her into the realm of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Iceland. Originally considering the course as a springboard into medicine, she found herself captivated by the importance of scientific research and the vast world of unknowns waiting to be explored.
Her passion for biomedical sciences transformed and expanded as she delved deeper, eventually introducing her to the intriguing field of biotechnology. With words filled with passion and conviction, Melkorka advises aspiring scientists, "If you are passionate about pursuing a career in science, then just go for it."
Invoking the wisdom of Donna Strickland, the third woman in history to snag a Nobel Prize in Physics, Melkorka emphasizes the universality of science. She stated, “I don’t see myself as a woman in science. I see myself as a scientist." Such a sentiment, she believes, should echo widely, reinforcing the idea that science is an open field for everyone and a feasible career choice for all who dare venture into it.
Melkorka asserted that the need for visible and successful female figures in science is vital. Their presence serves as concrete inspiration for future generations of women to charge headlong into scientific careers.
Sigrún Dögg Guðjónsdóttir
Sigrún Dögg Guðjónsdóttir, our Chief R&D Officer is the driving force behind the department tasked with the development of novel and improved products. Her responsibilities span all research, ranging from exploring new ingredients to comprehensive analysis of finished goods.
Sigrún's fascination with the human body and its mechanisms set the foundation for her journey in science. This fascination led her to focus on "the biggest organ of the human body, the skin". She says, "The great interest of the human body and how it works, especially the skin, inspired me to pursue a career in science."
Sigrún encourages science enthusiasts, particularly urging young individuals to embrace the thrill and rewards of a science career. She passionately asserts, "Go for it - give it a try. It is extremely rewarding and fun.”
Throughout her career, she has been invigorated by the successes of her female counterparts, those who have scaled the professional ladder and been recognized for their relentless pursuit of excellence. She finds inspiration in examples of women breaking through barriers, whether it’s becoming Chief Executive Officers of multinational science-based companies or being acknowledged globally with accolades like the Nobel Prizes.
Over the years, Sigrún’s view of science and skincare has evolved and deepened. Her research and understanding of growth factors have, in her words, "confirmed the notion that when it comes to science and skincare - the sky is the limit.” She deeply believes in science's crucial role, stating, "Understanding science is an important part of creating effective skincare products –recognizing the skin and understanding what works and what doesn’t."
In a world where science pushes the boundaries of what's possible, Sigrún Dögg Guðjónsdóttir stands as a testament to the power of curiosity, determination, and a relentless quest for knowledge.
In the bustling labs, Natalía Reynisdóttir stands at the crux of innovation. As a Protein Research Associate, she fearlessly treads the beaten path of cultivated meat industry, leading crucial optimization work on a potential new formulation technology for growth factors and pushing limits in her daily work. "In the dynamic ambiance of plant biotechnology, I find myself often immersed in different projects," shares Natalía. "There's nothing more inspiring than collaborating with people and communicating science."
Natalía's journey into the world of biotechnology isn't a traditional one. Starting her academic career in chemical engineering, she took a leap into biotechnology, a field that she felt resonated with her more. "The idea of utilising the natural resources in Iceland, a place where the nature is so active and potent, was really captivating," explains Natalía.
A crucial part of Natalía's role involves providing BIOEFFECT, a skincare brand, with the active ingredient or raw material for their products. Natalía admits that her awareness about skincare has grown since she started working on growth factors. "I see a difference in my skin's hydration and freshness," she says. "BIOEFFECT made me rethink that science is the basis of their products. The growth factors used are potent for anti-aging purposes, something I want to consider now when entering my 30s."
Indeed, her role has deepened her understanding of the role that science plays in the skincare industry. "It's admirable that they have clinical studies on people over a period of years to support their effects," she concludes, perfectly encapsulating her passion for the interplay between science and everyday life.
Berit Noesgaard Nielsen
In the burgeoning field of skincare research and development, Berit Noesgaard Nielsen, an R&D Associate, has been diligently contributing her expertise. Coming from a background in protein chemistry, she plays a crucial role in developing functional cosmetics and ensuring regulatory compliance.
Berit's scientific curiosity and a persistent aspiration to learn were the driving forces that led her to a career where natural science and skincare merge seamlessly. She believes that understanding science helps to comprehend the skin and the functioning of the skin microbiome. Her exploration of growth factors plays a pivotal role in her innovations in skincare.
Berit nurtures a particular inclination towards the power of female collaboration. "Women are remarkable at fostering relations, utilizing each other's knowledge positively, and inspiring each other," she shares. This advantage, she believes, is a cornerstone in her career progression and that of many others.
Her outlook is framed by some advice she lives by and encourages others to adopt – "Follow your dreams and go for them." In Berit's world, the convergence of scientific knowledge and passion for skincare builds a landscape where dreams take the shape of pioneering skincare solutions.