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Marianna is about to complete her maternity leave and has relocated from Kenya to the UK. In Kenya she was Africa Business Development Manager for a health care start-up, Sight Diagnostics Ltd. She has been taking full advantage of the extra time she’s been able to spend with her three-year and one-year old boys before she goes back full time in the fall.

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Where is home?

 

Belgravia, London with my husband, our two boys, and our Golden Retriever.

 

Give us five words that best describe who you are?

 

Passionate, Italian, Multitasker, Meticulous, Realist

 

How did you end up doing what you do?

 

It’s been a long windy road to here. I grew up loving science and carried that with me, earning a PhD in cellular and molecular biology. After a brief stint as a post doc, I took the leap and entered the pharma industry. Then, when I moved to Kenya with my husband a few years back I decided to stretch myself further and joined the world of healthcare start-ups.

 

What is the best part of what you do?

 

Helping people has always driven me. My love for science comes from the thrill of new discoveries that can lead to new products, tests, or services that give early warnings of diseases. Making science part of my everyday hones my logic and forces me to think clearly. It keeps me sharp in everything that I do.

 

What was your Plan B?

 

Never had a plan B!

 

Professionally, who do you most admire and why?

 

Rita Levi Montalcini: An Italian Nobel laureate who was honoured for her work in Neurobiology. Her efforts to encourage young people, especially women, to play a central role in scientific research and never accept mediocrity have shaped me profoundly. She was a charismatic and tenacious character who, at the age of 100 once said, “I’ve lost a bit of sight and a lot of hearing…but I think more now than I did when I was 20. The body does what it wants. I am not the body; I am the mind”.

 

What is your view of a ‘balanced life’?

 

Having quality time with my family and feeling professionally satisfied. It’s always attainable but takes a lot of work, commitment and red lines.

 

What do you do to relax and enjoy yourself in London?

 

Yoga and shopping!

 

What is your biggest London extravagance?

 

Hitting the town with my husband and crossing amazing restaurants off our London best restaurants list.

 

Where is your favourite place in London?

 

St James’s park with the kids at sunset!