Prof. Dr. Helen May-Simera

Who are you?

Name:  Prof. Dr. Helen May-Simera

Profession/Position/Enterprise: University Professor for Cell Biology. Johannes Gutenberg University.


  • you are a leader… in what context?

In managing a research group and in being an educator.

  • What is most important to you in leading?

Being able to maximize people’s potential and helping them grow in a challenging yet supportive environment.

Fostering Teamwork

  • What do you enjoy about it? Why?

Watching trainees develop into independent scientists. Developing new research projects.

  • What were important steps on your way to leadership?

Growing slowly and learning from mistakes. Getting advice from people that I trusted and looked up to.


  • From your perspective… How does being female contributes to your success in leadership?

Being flexible and adaptable to different situations. Utilizing compassion and understanding in managing team members.

  • How does being a scientist contributes to your success in leadership? 

Having focus and a common definable goal

  • What tips do you have for young female scientists who want to take a leadership role? 

Focus on the research questions that drive you. Passion for a project brings a team together and is the strongest motivator.