Born in Cork, Anna grew up on the Barna Road in Galway and attended Salerno Secondary School in Salthill, where she made lifelong friends. Growing up in a supportive environment with her dad John, who sadly recently passed away, her mother Marie and her four siblings meant that Anna was encouraged to believe that anything was possible if she put her mind to it.
“I always had an interest in Biology, Chemistry and languages in school. Biotechnology was an exciting new course in University of Galway (at the time UCG) in the 90s and it was an obvious choice for me as it offered cutting-edge science, alongside languages and business studies. I loved the blend of subjects, which made it a really well-rounded degree for a small class of 25. We were expertly led by Professor Pat Morgan, Dean of Science 1998 -2004 and the graduates of this course over many years remain a very tightly knit community because of Pat. I naively thought that everyone had a ‘Pat’ in university. I recall the first day in university when she said that there will be jobs aplenty for Biotech graduates. We were all a bit sceptical, but they could really see the life sciences explosion on the horizon and the key role that Ireland could play in this regard. I made many great friends and many of whom are still in my professional network.
After graduation in 1997, I was keen to start working and after a short stint in the bank, I began in the life sciences commercial sector. I worked for Knoll (now Abbott) and Pharmacia (now Pfizer), before settling in Johnson & Johnson 19 years ago, where I remain today. Over the course of my career, I have always been open to new roles, and embraced change and opportunities that came my way.
Johnson & Johnson has a significant footprint on campus here in Ireland, which has gone from strength to strength over the last 85 years. Johnson & Johnson is an exciting place to be. We focus on playing our part in changing the trajectory of health for humanity. We have 10 sites across five counties, employing over 5,000 people in different sectors and functions of the business from manufacturing to R&D, technology services to finance and customer service to marketing, to mention a few. Significantly, we have an R&D centre here in Galway ‘Cerenovus’, who are leaders in neurovascular care. Cerenovus is at the forefront of developing a broad portfolio of innovative medical devices for the treatment of stroke, which can be devastating for patients.