ChemE alumna Riser applies her passion for lab work at Lilly

April 17, 2024

By Ian Hoffman
Communication ’26

Sherrie RiserSherrie Riser, a 2022 chemical engineering graduate, was sold on Trine University when she visited campus during Hoosier Girls State. 

While the program, which Trine has hosted since 2013, is much different than a normal week of school, Sherrie noted that, “It gave me a really great opportunity to fully explore the campus and get an experience of what it would be like to attend school there.” 

In high school, Sherrie enjoyed chemistry. However, she wanted to do something on a larger scale. 

“I wanted the larger-scale application that engineering offered,” she said. “I also loved that there are so many different industries that chemical engineers play a prominent role in. You get to choose what excites you and what you’re passionate about.”  

As she attended Trine, she was a beneficiary of the great alumni network the university has to offer. One Trine alumna, who worked for Eli Lilly at the time, was helping the company look for interns and asked one of Sherrie’s professors for resumes. 

Sherrie provided one, and after a successful interview, she was selected to intern for the company in the summer of 2021. The internship provided many opportunities, including an internship-to-hire program, through which she received a full-time job offer.  

Her full-time position put her in the Leadership Development Program. This is a two-year program where participants spend eight months in three different departments of Eli Lilly’s research labs. 

Sherrie has completed rotations in Bioproduct Research and Development, and Synthetic Molecule Design and Development, and currently works in Genetic Medicine working with small- and large-molecule drugs. She has really enjoyed her time in this program, especially because she gets to spend time in the lab. 

“I’ve chosen rotations that always keep me in the lab, which is where I love to be! I complete a lot of lab experiments, I do a lot of literature reading to learn as much about the science as possible, and I keep up with notebook documentation and data analysis from the experiments completed,” she noted. 

Working in the lab at a medical research company has given Sherrie a lot of great opportunities. She noted that “every day looks very different.” Her current position has allowed her to be on the cutting edge of science and technology anytime she enters the lab, which is something she enjoys and appreciates. 

“I know how my work fits into the bigger picture of making life-saving medicine and it’s so truly rewarding,” she said. 

Being part of Eli Lilly’s Leadership Development Program has required Sherrie to learn many skills in a very short time frame. She gives a lot of credit to her time at Trine for the ease with which she can rotate from job to job. 

“I think Trine helped [me] to foster learning agility and the ability to adapt to change, which is really important in a role where I have three completely different jobs over the course of two years,” she said. 

The problem-solving she learned in classes also translates directly to her current position. 

As for her future, Sherrie doesn’t have all the details of her career in mind, but she does know she wants to stay in the lab. She was recently accepted into the Master of Science in chemical engineering program at Villanova University, with a biological focus.

“I think my career will probably take me down the path toward being a subject matter expert (SME), because I’m passionate about the science and the technical work,” she said. 

News Information


Sherrie Riser
Leadership Development Program, Eli Lilly
BSChE 2022

News Story Type

Trine-Built Story


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