Ji Yi Yun (Grace)

GE Healthcare (Shanghai) Site Leader

Almost every 1.5 seconds, somewhere in the world, a patient undergoing an imaging procedure is administered a GE contrast agent which has been manufactured at GE Healthcare’s Core Imaging Shanghai Manufacturing site under the leadership of Ji Yi Yun (Grace), Site Leader. Grace is very comfortable talking numbers, and the numbers are impressive.

  • GE Healthcare’s Shanghai manufacturing site supplies approximately half of its contrast media injections to customers globally.
  • The facility has obtained over 30 market authorizations by various drug regulators.
  • Over 60% of its products are shipped to developed countries, including the US and Europe.
  • The plant consistently achieves on-time delivery rates of over 99%, with fewer than 0.4 ppm customer complaints.

To appreciate Grace’s career path, you have to understand a bit of modern Chinese history. Her story starts with, “You may not believe it, but decades ago, the university enrollment system in China was quite different. Your course of study was determined by your high school teachers. I thought I would be an engineer in aviation or computer sciences, as I was interested in physics and mathematics, but I was recommended by my teacher to Shanghai Medical University. I was admitted as a Pharmaceutics major, without really knowing what it was. And so I started my journey in Life Sciences, no way back and no regrets. I think that I have more direct impact on human life in my current daily routine job than I would as a scientist in physics or mathematics!”

Recently, Grace was assigned as the project leader for a bridge manufacturing site in China. This newly approved project, a significant GE investment, will address needs of the emerging biopharma sector in China. A KUBio-based site, it will provide training, process development and Monoclonal antibody (mAb) drug products for clinical study. The project is currently in the design phase, with cGMP site operations scheduled to begin by the end of 2019.

Point of pride

Grace has been with the Shanghai manufacturing site since its initial set-up in 2001, and has been the site leader since 2008. She views the growth in her career and the business as an indivisible whole. “I feel proud that Shanghai site doubled its output. My team and I kept the business competitive in terms of quality, cost effectiveness and reliability in the global market.”

Looking forward

“Technology never stops its evolving, and digital exemplifies that. Patients are not necessarily the direct users of the technology we develop and adopt, but they will definitely benefit from the smartness of our products and services, whether it is analytics, artificial intelligence, cognitive technology, or connected technology. Technology is not inherently good or bad. It is up to us to adopt the most appropriate technology to maximize the good for our customers, for patients, and for our business.”

Words of advice

Looking back on her own experience, Grace has this advice for young people considering a career in life sciences: “Get prepared, be tenacious and have a sufficient dose of self-awareness on your career journey. Also, success is not the absence of obstacles, it is the ability to deal with them.”

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"Get prepared, be tenacious and have a sufficient dose of self-awareness on your career journey. Also, success is not the absence of obstacles, it is the ability to deal with them.”