Agnel Sfeir is a leading scientist in the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, who studies fundamental aspects of the biology of the cell. Agnel revels in asking seemingly simple questions that get to the heart of the unknown in biology. In this conversation, she told us how she immerses herself in the project together with her team, and learns how to mentor each person depending on how they like to think. She discusses the trick of ‘thinking selfishly’ for generating ideas: when reading or listening to something, you should constantly think about how it might be related to your project. She generates new insights by obsessing about a particular problem in her research, blurring the line between day and night. In the last minutes of our conversation, she revealed to us how it is almost always during the last five minutes of a meeting when the most important insights emerge.
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