Just 13 months ago, Ana Ward was negotiating the sale of a division of biotech company Ambion Inc. while creating the start-up company Asuragen Inc. from another Ambion division. For added excitement, while she was in the midst of the sale and spin-off, she also was finishing a master’s degree in business administration at the University of Texas at Austin.

Ward — Ambion’s former GC — always seeks the next challenge, from serving as general counsel for a startup, earning multiple advanced degrees to learning to play the piano.