Not Just a Job; It’s About Changing People’s Lives!
Four Women Working at RefleXion Discuss Personal Values and a Shared Mission
With the focus this month on breast cancer—which, according to the American Cancer Society, affects one in eight women and is the leading cancer diagnosis in women in the U.S.—these women at RefleXion are thrilled to be part of a team working to shape the future of cancer care.
RefleXion’s diverse workforce includes individuals from a variety of fields and backgrounds. The company employs many female employees who feel passionate about working for a company dedicated to fighting cancer. “RefleXion’s mission to improve cancer care for patients with any stage of cancer resonated with me,” says Didem Aksoy, who joined RefleXion in 2019 as director of clinical affairs. “It’s motivating and rewarding to work for a cause, such as improving cancer care for patients with all stages of cancer.” Aksoy contributes to the development and implementation of RefleXion’s clinical programs by overseeing the design and conduct of clinical studies and ensuring compliance with applicable regulations.
Zhihui Sun is a CT engineer in radiation sensing who joined RefleXion four years ago. “We’re going to change the lives of so many people who are suffering because of cancer. Our leadership team has a strong vision and the people here are very creative,” she says. “I really like the journey and being part of a startup. I feel full of energy every day and really enjoy working with the people here.” She works on components of the X1 machine’s fan beam kVCT subsystem and leads the design efforts of the subsystem. She has been working in CT imaging for 14 years, including eight years with GE Healthcare, four years with RefleXion and two years with Johns Hopkins.
Since joining RefleXion in 2017, Mercedes Tolliver has held four different positions at the company: office coordinator, HR specialist, corporate and community events manager, and now, executive assistant. She supports RefleXion’s entire executive team. “The week I initially interviewed happened to be the second week of my dad’s radiation treatment. Cancer was and continues to be very near to my heart,” says Tolliver. “RefleXion took me in and not only gave me an opportunity but believed in me and supported me during one of the hardest times in my family’s history. I feel loyal to the mission and to the leadership team, who I see embody our company values in their everyday work and dedication. It’s truly an honor to support this team and what we are doing, and to be so involved in the many different facets of the company.”
Muna Mirza, a medical physicist with extensive professional experience as a clinical medical physicist doing treatment planning for all types of cancer, joined RefleXion’s simulation team in late 2019. “I wanted to be part of the team building this disruptive technology,” she says. “RefleXion is building the first ever biology-guided radiotherapy machine to treat multiple tumors in the same treatment session.
“It’s inspiring and electrifying to be part of RefleXion at this phase of the company’s technology development,” she adds. “We recently completed our first installation at Stanford Medical Center and it’s undergoing commissioning—it’s an historic moment.”
“I’m very excited to be a part of this groundbreaking team,” says Aksoy. “I believe the positive impact RefleXion may create in countless patients’ and families’ lives is fueling our teams to work hard and deliver their best.” In particular, she’s been impressed with the dedicated and brilliant team members and with the Clinical and Medical Affairs team culture. “Our team is open, dynamic and supportive: collaborating, strategizing and problem-solving is a pleasure,” she says. Sun agrees: “I think there’s a strong drive internally at RefleXion. We all share the same mission. We know that cancer is one of the top killers. We feel that we have some strong internal motivation—this job is not only for a salary to support our families; it’s about changing people’s lives.”
As the numbers of women working in tech in the San Francisco Bay Area continue to rise, the women currently employed by RefleXion offered sage advice to those entering the workforce now while encouraging more to join them. Tolliver emphasized the importance of having a strong work ethic and integrity. “Those two qualities have gotten me where I am, slowly but surely building trust and rapport with the people I work with and support. They’re invaluable traits to have,” she says. Aksoy offered advice for young women starting their careers: “Know your field well, be hungry for learning more and generate value for your team.” Mirza echoed Aksoy’s sentiments: “Be passionate, you will conquer your fears. Be independent and a team player at the same time.” Sun concurs with all three and adds: “The more you challenge yourself, the more you will learn and grow.”