Our people

Women who are leading the way

From researching new medicines to fighting for health equity, these colleagues are making an impact around the world

March 15, 2023

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Accelerating our groundbreaking research: Denarra Simmons

Simmons, a senior scientist, is driven by a desire to help people and make a difference in society. “When you find out a medicine you worked on has helped so many people, you feel really special and you know all the work has been worthwhile,” she said. Read more



Championing gender equality in science: Small molecule process research & development team

Women scientists have historically been underrepresented in the field of process research and development — the space between drug discovery and manufacturing. However, over the past seven years, the percentage of women on this team has nearly doubled and continues to grow. Read more

4 women MSD scientists


Helping to close gaps in care for underserved communities: Josette Gbemudu

Gbemudu is motivated to ensure everyone has the chance to be as healthy as possible. As an executive director of health equity and social determinants of health, she takes pride in giving a voice to those who may not traditionally have had a seat at the table. Read more



Putting patients at the heart of innovation: Janethe de Oliveira Pena

Far-off galaxies and distant stars first sparked Pena’s imagination, but she eventually found her calling delving into the mysteries within the human body. Today, she’s working to advance research in the field of pulmonary arterial hypertension. Read more

Janethe Pena


Fighting for health equity: Carmen Villar

For as long as she can remember, Villar wanted a purpose-driven career that allowed her to give back to the community. As vice president for social business innovation, she leads a team working to do just that, saying, “We ask ourselves ‘How do we better support communities and co-create the work that will help solve challenges?’”
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Carmen Villar at the Concordia Annual Summit


Building a more inclusive workforce: Celeste Warren

As vice president of diversity and inclusion, Warren leads our efforts to create an environment of belonging, engagement, equity and empowerment so that together, we can help ensure better health outcomes for patients. “When every single employee embraces a mindset welcoming diversity and inclusion and can fully appreciate the experiences of others, better discussions, decisions and outcomes will certainly follow,” she said. Read more

Celeste Warren


Developing women leaders: Nicoletta Luppi

Luppi, the first woman to serve as managing director of our company in Italy, is committed to developing women leaders and achieving gender diversity. Thanks to her leadership, we were one of the first companies in the country to eliminate the gender pay gap. Read more

Nicoletta Luppi sitting in her office