Scientists Rock! is a monthly Q&A where we pull an AbbVie scientist out of the lab to hear what makes them tick. This month, we chat with Mei Khong, Ph.D., scientist, operations science and technology, AbbVie.
From an early age, Mei Khong seemed convinced space travel was her final frontier. Her imagination often soared into the universe and beyond with all its colorful planets and shining stars. But as she grew and a potential career blossomed, her attentions turned to more practical vocations. And when a series of health issues came knocking, and her world turned upside down, a new trajectory was forged. Now grounded right here on Earth, she embraces her ultimate passions for world travel and scientific research and development.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
As a child, I had a deep desire to explore unchartered territories and otherworlds via space exploration. I was convinced I would one day embrace a career in space travel by becoming an astronaut. My friends would often laugh at me, making fun of what they felt was an unrealistic dream. But my fascination with space held fast and I was determined that one day I could be found travelling to galaxies far, far away. Until such a time, I relied on the creative and unknown worlds presented in science fiction films to quench my thirst for discoveries into the unknown. The exciting worlds of sci-fi and space travel allowed my imagination and creativity to soar! As I grew older (and more practical), and I had a realization that discovery is inevitable in every aspect of science, I found myself more drawn to the field of scientific research and development. I soon embraced a scientist’s mission to ask questions, gather insights, search for solutions and innovate. Although I may not have ended up blasting into space, I am happy to report I ended up with a cool career in science.