Dr Samantha Barichievy

Sam obtained her PhD in Molecular Medicine & Haematology from the University of Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) in 2010 for her studies focused on the role of noncoding RNAs in host-pathogens interactions during HIV infection. With doubts on what should be her next career choice, she sought advice from many who had gone before her, especially other female scientists. She then decided to apply for and won a Sydney Brenner Postdoctoral Fellowship and so began what she was sure would be the last key step in setting up her own independent research group. With this in mind, she carried out postdoctoral studies for another 5 years, further diving into the world of host-pathogen interactions by uncovering how HIV manipulates long non-coding RNAs, cellular dark matter, in order to survive. It was during these years that she cemented her decision to leave academia and make an unexpected turn in her career path.

In 2014 Sam moved from Johannesburg (South Africa) to Johanneberg (Sweden) to start a position as Senior Research Scientist at AstraZeneca (Gothenburg) in a team involved in generating reagents for early drug discovery. She was supervised by a great manager, and together with a lot of luck and hard work, rapidly advanced her career with 2 promotions in 4 years. In 2017 she was upgraded to Team Leader within the Cellular Biology group, and since early 2020 she has held the role of Director of Cell Engineering within Discovery Biology. Sam leads a team accountable for cellular reagent generation used in assay development, target identification and target validation across a broad range of disease areas. Their work involves developing and using cutting-edge genome engineering techniques and technologies to generate bespoke cell models of disease. Sam complements her team leadership with core roles in various strategic workstreams helping to ensure Discovery Biology remains at the forefront as we move towards 2030. She is also passionate about diversity and inclusion in the workplace and is a senior member of the Discovery Sciences team.

Sam spends her time outside of work with her husband and two young children in their countryside home. Living on a lake provides opportunities to paddle, swim, and ice skate, while the surrounding forest offers chances for hiking, berry-picking and bird-watching.