Diane Tang-Liu grew up in Taiwan as an only child. Both of her parents are college professors. She says that she is an introvert, so books have always been her best friends that inspired her. Books open her mind to new places, new ideas, and different perspectives. She still loves reading today. She came to the United States when she was 22 years old. Exploring American culture was an adventure and opened up a whole new world for her. Ever since then, she has embraced two wonderful cultures, Chinese and American. This broadens her perspective and gives her insight that she thinks other people with multi-cultural experiences will also understand. It was during her pharmacy school years that she became intrigued by what pharmaceutical sciences could play a significant role in medicinal treatments and make a difference in people’s lives. She completed her PhD degree in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in the US and has been working on drug research and development since. Pharmaceutical research and development, which is a complex and intricate process notoriously known for high failure rates, happens to fit her personality and training well. She is intellectually curious by nature and has a strong sense of commitment to purpose.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before the venture/ corporate journey?
After my post-doctoral training, I started at an entry scientist position at Allergan. For many years there, I was given increasing responsibilities, opportunities to interact with many, many brilliant scientists and professionals, and worked on bringing products to regulatory approval and commercialization. It was like a dream come true to work with passion and purpose.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business/initiative? What motivated you within to say “YES, go for it!”
I and the AiViva Team are committed to developing effective and safe treatments to address diseases which currently have no cure or could be managed with better treatment options. With our extensive experience and passion, we believe we can do it.
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
At AiViva, we focus on a group of diseases which have common underlying dysfunction, such as abnormal blood vessel growth and tissue scarring. We aim to develop transformative treatment options. We invented cutting-edge delivery technology that can put a drug precisely where the disease is located, and allow the drug to be released gradually over months so that patients would not have to take pills on a daily basis. We believe that our hard work today will translate to improved quality of life for millions of patients tomorrow.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
I strongly believe in the value of education and opportunity. In every position I have held, I offer industry internship programs to mentor young professionals in a real life business environment so they can make more informed career decisions. I am proud to have personally mentored over 60 interns, who have all become very successful.
I also believe in winning together by embracing diversity. I led the fund-raising and building of a local Chinese Cultural Center. It is now a community center offering Chinese language classes for kindergarteners to adults and various activities to the general community. With this effort I have received several leadership awards.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
Innovation is a clear differentiator and drives growth. It brings in changes and affects every aspect of our life. Regardless of whether you are providing a service or product, always keep your customers in mind. You will be making a positive difference in their lives and their family’s lives.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?
Thanks to many women trailblazers before us, their stories are not only inspirational but raising many other women up. Women in positions of influence today are role models and will facilitate awareness of equity and diversity.
What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
I would say that I can barely contain my excitement about the positive changes that women entrepreneurs are creating now and in the future. Always keep a long-term view of your business initiatives and personal growth. Be resilient and disciplined.