Women in STEM: Passion for science to achieve more sustainable healthcare solutions

On the occasion of International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we’d like to introduce you to our colleagues Anna and Cameon. Each of them are excelling in their careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), and have chosen to use these skills to create more sustainable healthcare solutions. 

Three illustrated women working and science before yellow background, animated


Anna Bachmayr-Heyda: Fighting cancer in the lab and in rural Kenya

Quote from Anna Bachmayr about the topic of women in STEM.

Anna is a biologist, specialized in immunology and cancer research. She spent her PhD analyzing ovarian cancer samples in the lab. “I enjoyed learning which genes are expressed and how cells communicate with each other.” With this knowledge and expertise, Anna joined Boehringer in 2018, shifting her focus to cancer drug discovery. Now a Principal Scientist, she oversees a lab in Vienna, with a keen interest in complex in vitro models for evaluating the efficacy of drug candidates to improve patient’s lives. 

In 2020, Anna learned about Together Women Can (TWC), an initiative at Boehringer aimed at preventing, screening and treating cervical cancer in rural Kenya. “I knew immediately, this is something I wanted to support,” she says. The TWC team started a research collaboration with the Kenyan MOI University and Anna became one of two co-leaders, learning about the serious challenges many women in Kenya face: 20 percent of new female cancer cases are cervical, and more than half are fatal. 

However, solutions are within reach by building on an existing infrastructure: The TWC-MOI project team has successfully equipped five rural clinics,  ran awareness campaigns in five sub-counties, and trained 44 healthcare personnel and local volunteers. Within a year, over 3,700 women were screened. Of these, 3.7 percent were diagnosed with precancerous lesions, most of whom were then able to receive immediate treatment. “In my job in drug discovery, the clinical benefits of a new drug often only show a decade after the research phase,” Anna says. “With my work for TWC, I can see the immediate impact for these women. This is truly rewarding.” 

Fostering acceptance through awareness campaigns, their efforts have even revived the  national cervical cancer screening program in Uasin Gishu County, located in rural Western Kenya. Anna and her team are currently preparing to publish their findings in a global scientific journal. The next project, a collaboration with the local NGO WaWa Kenya1, aims to screen women for cervical cancer and vaccinate girls against HPV in neighboring Homa Bay County in 2024. 

Cameon Ohmes: A veterinarian fostering the human-animal bond to aid disadvantaged youth

Quote from Cameon Ohmes about the topic of women in STEM.

Cameon, a veterinarian specializing in equine internal medicine, knew from a young age that this was her calling. Her journey to the pharmaceutical industry began as a veterinary student when she had the unique opportunity to observe a vaccine production line at a company. “I was inspired by the thought that I could affect thousands of animals in a day.” This experience paved the way for a rewarding career, where she held various commercial, R&D and technical marketing roles.

Two years ago, she joined Boehringer as the Senior Associate Director of Technical Strategic Initiatives. Her role involves providing cutting-edge science and data about our products and the associated diseases, and strategizing medical education initiatives that currently reach over 60,000 veterinary professionals annually.
A few months ago, Cameon began supporting two NGOs through the Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation (Boehringer Cares) network. Boehringer Cares is dedicated to improving healthcare access, enhancing STEM education, and strengthening the human-animal bond, with a particular focus on supporting the underserved. One of these NGOs is Pegasus, which offers a therapeutic horsemanship program for individuals struggling with disabilities, cognitive delays, and/or social-emotional challenges.

The benefits of equine-assisted services are manifold. They provide a safe space for individuals with emotional challenges to engage in physical activity and social interaction. Horses offer a ‘no judgment’ zone that fosters emotional growth and boosts self-esteem.Volunteers are the lifeblood of Pegasus. In 2023, this included over 60 dedicated employees from Boehringer, such as Cameon. 

“My goal has always been to help others”, says the soon-to-be mother of five daughters. “Whether that means assisting the pets themselves or their owners through some of the happiest or hardest moments with their pets.” 


1WaWa Kenya was founded with an aim to empower women and girls in the communities around Lake Victoria and is a partner of our Making More Health network. Read more in our latest edition of CREATE (see download link).
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CREATE - Magazine for Social Entrepreneurship - Edition 2023

In the CREATE magazine, we share stories from our Boehringer Ingelheim employees who act as social intrapreneurs as well as from our MMH partners around the world.