Tashica Amirgholizadeh Continues to Follow Her Passion After a Career Pivot

Tashica Amirgholizadeh

Tashica Amirgholizadeh

Senior Associate General Counsel, IP
Location: Foster City, CA
Joined Gilead: May 2013

As a leader in our Legal organization, Tashica Amirgholizadeh shares her expertise with teams across Gilead to help protect the company’s intellectual property (IP). Find out how the former scientist came to work as an attorney at Gilead and hear what keeps her excited about her career and the company’s future.

Q: What drew you to your field?

From a young age, I was fascinated with science and followed that passion through my higher education. I majored in chemistry and minored in mathematics in undergraduate at Baylor University and earned a PhD in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology. Toward the end of my studies, although my love for science hadn’t faltered, I realized that I hadn’t yet found my career fit and couldn’t see myself in the field long-term. With encouragement from friends and classmates, I made the daunting decision to pursue patent law, which turned out to be a natural blend of the skills I knew I had and others I discovered. It put me on the right course – which I’m still on today – and I’ve never looked back.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your current role. What are you working on?

I started as an attorney in the IP Litigation group more than eight years ago. I've handled several patent litigation matters in various therapeutic areas. In my current role as Senior Associate General Counsel, I serve as a senior member of the IP department's leadership. I also manage and helped build a group which advises the business on acquisitions, licensing and other diligence matters. To date, my team has advised on several large and complex transactions, including some of Gilead’s acquisitions of other companies.

Q: Why did you choose Gilead and what has kept you here over the years?

I was inspired by Gilead's commitment to patients and discovering transformative medicines for serious diseases. That was why I joined, and there are many reasons I stay. I'm surrounded by brilliant minds across the organization. I value the time I get to work and strategize with these individuals each day. My fellow attorneys especially impress me, and they make it a pleasure to come to work. It’s important to us to encourage each other in our personal and professional lives. We have a collegial atmosphere and the psychological safety to embrace fresh ideas and the diversity of our viewpoints. With my colleagues’ support, I'm happy to bring my whole self to my job.

Q: What makes you feel valued as an employee?

I appreciate when I've been given and trusted with unique responsibilities. When I first started at Gilead, I was quickly tasked with developing the strategy for an international patent litigation matter. It was incredibly rewarding to expand my skill set and take on a new challenge so early in my corporate career. More recently, I was given the opportunity to establish a new group focused on providing IP counseling to the business. I'm proud that I continue to lead this team and humbled by the company's trust in my abilities.

Q: What excites you about Gilead’s future?

As a former scientist and breast cancer survivor, I'm especially eager to see how Gilead will leave its mark in oncology. Black women are more likely than other women to suffer from aggressive breast cancers, particularly triple-negative breast cancer. My personal experience with cancer has motivated me to get involved in our growing oncology program and help build on the impact Gilead has had in HIV, viral hepatitis and other areas. The science in the breast cancer space is ever-evolving and I’m thrilled that Gilead has stepped into the fray.

Learn more about Gilead’s Legal team on LinkedIn.

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