Katie Grant – Vice President of MR R&D Collaborations at Siemens Healthineers believes science is the key to change.
“Science teaches us when to ask questions, how to ask questions, and which questions are the important ones to ask,” says Katie.
It is this ability to challenge the status quo that she believes is vital to the job she – and her team – does. As head of R&D collaborations in the area of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) at Siemens Healthineers, Katie leads a team of over 50 scientists spread out all over North America. They work on MRI technologies that offer medical professionals the ability to work more efficiently and with greater certainty while balancing the needs of the patient.
“I encourage my team to speak with others, both within our team and far outside of it, for differing opinions. With individuals who will challenge their assumptions or thought processes,” says Katie.
“Science is rarely advanced by a single individual – true innovation comes from differing points of view,” she adds.
As a child who enjoyed science and mathematics, Katie herself studied physics and biomedical engineering at university: “I wanted to better understand why and how things worked. And learning the laws and equations of our physical world taught me to recognize ideas that don’t fit my understanding of the world.”
“In science, the more you learn the more you realize how little you actually know,” she adds.
This dissonance – and her own natural instinct to fill these gaps in her knowledge – is what has inspired her to develop interests in a broad range of topics while still retaining a deep knowledge in a few specific areas.
This combination, in turn, allows her to better understand the challenges healthcare professionals face in specific areas and identify opportunities for improvement or completely new developments.
“When I start hearing about ideas that fit into gaps in how we do things in a healthcare scenario, I get excited,” she says. “I try to find a way to combine these ideas, especially if they are from very different areas of expertise, to create something better.”