Agilent employee Nathalie Bontoux has been getting some nice recognition lately. Dr. Bontoux is the Go-to-Market Operations Senior Director for Agilent’s Diagnostics and Genomics Group. With several publications and one patent, she is recognized as a pioneer in the use of microfluidics for the study of single cell transcriptomes.
(Microfluidics deals with low volumes of fluid at the nanoliter level. Dr. Bontoux describes it as “a discipline that bridges physics and classic hydrodynamics.” A transcriptome is the set of all messenger RNA molecules expressed in an organism.)
Dr. Bontoux started her career at Agilent as a Product Specialist for the market-leading Agilent 2100 Bioanalyzer system. She has since worked in field marketing and sales before being promoted to her current position in August 2014.
In addition to her work at Agilent, Dr. Bontoux has volunteered with disadvantaged children in Marseilles and Bangladesh, and currently works with an organization devoted to young adults with cerebral palsy.
Last October, the École Polytechnique Foundation awarded Nathalie Bontoux its Pierre Faurre Prize. The annual award recognizes innovation and entrepreneurship, and is given to distinguish an alumnus who demonstrates “a combination of technical expertise, management qualities and success in an international context.” Dr. Bontoux is the third woman to receive the award.
Dr. Bontoux is also profiled in the Winter 2015 issue of AWIS magazine, published by the Association of Women in Science. AWIS champions the interests of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics across all disciplines and employment sectors.
“As a student I wanted to study all disciplines, from literature to history to math or physics,” Dr. Bontoux says. “Eventually, my choices were influenced by people that inspired me.”
In the AWIS article, Dr. Bontoux describes her favorite word as “inspirer,” a French verb that means both inspire and inhale. “I hope that my story and testimony will inspire other students, particularly girls,” she says. “I think we should always be looking for inspiration or to inspire others in our daily life. This just sparks life!”
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