Michael Rodriguez of San Diego had a strong passion for science from a very young age. And his dreams turned into reality when he became a scientist for Janssen Research & Development, a part of Johnson and Johnson.
There’s no doubt that Michael’s hard work and determination has led him to where he is today. He’s truly an inspiration, helping communities achieve their goals as well.
Watch the video above for an inside look at the fascinating work Michael is doing at Johnson & Johnson. Or, read the full interview transcription below (lightly edited for clarity).
- Michael Rodriguez, Janssen Research & Development
- Michael’s Family Roots in Tijuana
- First Ironman Triathlon
- Michael’s Wish for the Future
Michael Rodriguez, Janssen Research & Development
Michael Rodriguez, Senior Associate Scientist, Johnson & Johnson (00:05) – Even as a kid, I think running was always the thing that I enjoyed doing the most. I work at Janssen Research & Development, which is part of Johnson and Johnson, and I am a scientist there. I primarily work in immunology, biology and drug discovery. So my work entails very early on research in terms of medications or potential medications.
(00:36) – Even from a young age, science always interested me. It was always something that I had a passion for, just a natural curiosity. And I wanted to just understand how things work. That’s sort of the the nice thing that I like about science. It’s very collaborative. We’re all building on other people’s work.
(00:57) – We’re always researching, we’re always learning more. And that’s the exciting thing about science. I mean, your work never really stops. Once you think you’ve learned everything you can, there might be something new coming around the corner. I think that fits in exactly with what we call the Credo, the Johnson & Johnson Credo, the main purpose of all the work that we do at the company. It’s primarily for the patients, for the communities.
Michael’s Family Roots in Tijuana
MR (01:24) – I was born in San Diego, and my parents wanted us to be born in San Diego as a US citizen to have opportunities here for later on in life. But they wanted us to be close to our roots.
(01:39) – I grew up in Tijuana. And that was literally 20 minutes away from where I was born. I had the opportunity to move between the two countries without any issues and basically have that culture that Mexico has to offer which is very rich, very community oriented. I feel privileged to be in a situation and to be in the position that I’m in with the group that I’m in.
First Ironman Triathlon
MR (02:06) – I learned about what an Ironman Triathlon was. And at first I thought it was just insane. I was like… there’s no way, that’s not humanly possible. I’ll just train for it, and I’ll sign up and see what happens. And then in 2014, I managed to complete my first full Ironman Triathlon.
(02:22) – It reminds me so much of science because no one’s going to just give you the answers. I mean, the whole point of what we’re doing is we’re achieving, and we’re trying to solve things that haven’t really either been thought of before or haven’t been able to get done before. You have to have this tenacity to keep going after it, keep digging just a little more, and see what you can uncover and how that can be useful to achieve what you want to get.
Michael’s Wish for the Future
MR (02:53) – My family, friends and professional career, everything sort of lined up in one place. I just recently got married with my husband Ryland. It’s been a joy to just be with him and then with Max, his son. And we’re all one big happy family.
(03:13) – And it’s my wish for the future – I want to continue doing the work that I’m doing, be able to bring options for people and help communities through generations basically achieve their goals too.
(03:30) – We all had childhood dreams of doing something. So being able to at least get one of those and continue doing it and pursuing it right now as my full-time professional career…it’s so exciting.
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