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A Decade of Arvinas

Embracing the Unknown

Alicia Morgan, Senior Research Scientist, Platform Biology

Alicia Morgan was torn between two career paths in 2015.   

On the one hand, she had her current job with a renowned biopharmaceutical company that promised a stable and successful career path. And on the other, she had just received a job offer from Arvinas, a small biotech startup with a novel technology that held potential, but it also posed the risk, like many startups, of folding within a year. 

“Am I crazy?” she asked her husband, who was her boyfriend at the time. “Am I insane to walk away?”  

In response, he had one question for her: “Do you believe in it?” 

For Alicia, that ended the discussion. It was undeniable to her—Arvinas’ technology was so innovatively simple and organic that she fully believed that it was destined to work.  

So, she took the leap, leaving a great, stable biopharma job to join Arvinas as employee number 18.  

While it was the technology that initially attracted Alicia to Arvinas, it was the constant problem-solving and the thrill of working in the realm of the unknown that kept her inspired. Each day posed a tantalizing new question with an answer that couldn’t be found on Google or in a paper; she had to find it herself.  

You really had to do science,” she says. “For me, that was the hook, line, and sinker.” 

Over the years, Alicia has felt incredibly proud of how her team pulled together under immense time constraints to navigate stressful and uncertain moments. “There were kind of scary moments where it’s like, if these experiments don’t show what we want, then that’s it, that’s the end of your company,” she says. “It does make me really proud that we pulled together and got through those difficult times.” 

Arvinas may not be the same 18-person startup that Alicia first joined, but it’s still a relatively small team in the biotech industry. What inspires Alicia the most is the sheer amount of talent within the diverse departments. “There’s a natural, intuitive genius that exists in all these different departments,” she says. “It still to this day fascinates me.” 

Alicia cannot wait for the day when Arvinas finally has its own TV commercial featuring the patients we help and the smiles we put on peoples’ faces, which, she says, “is why we all get into science at the end of the day.” 


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