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Everyday Trailblazer: Dave Leong

He’s an adrenaline-seeking scientist who knows how to focus. In his down time, Leong rides motorcycles and wields a samurai sword.


CSL scientist Dave Leong believes in the power of science and its critical role in society, something the COVID-19 pandemic has made evermore clear.

But when he’s not testing biological samples, trying to make medicines better, Leong says he spends his free time “on the knife edge of safety and danger.” He rides motorcycles and is an expert sword handler, having spent a year in Japan, earning a third-degree black belt.

You might think the tasks of a scientist – measured and precise – don’t have much in common with sword handling. But you would be wrong. Leong says they both require intense focus. Sometimes in the lab, he only has one shot at running a test. 

“In doing these tests, you have to be really, really focused and show a lot of discipline. And of course concentration,” he said. “You really, really have to bring in everything to get that right.”

CSL, together with its businesses, CSL Behring and Seqirus, is a global leader in biotechnology that develops and delivers medicines for 100+ countries around the world.
You can watch Leong in action in the video above. 
We interviewed him as part of our Everyday Trailblazers series, a chance to celebrate CSL scientists and learn more about their unique talents and abilities outside of work. Today’s scientists are pioneers who are willing to take risks and forge a path where none currently exits. Trailblazers are innovative thinkers who challenge the status quo, opening new frontiers for others to follow. They’re also ‘everyday’ people  – parents, partners and friends with eclectic personal interests and passions that contribute to the creative spark needed to drive new and better medical solutions. 

In that spirit, CSL launched this campaign to spotlight eight of its scientists based in Australia, where the global biotech was born more than 100 years ago. The campaign – which will take various forms, including billboards – features Leong and other trailblazers like Simone Ruedin, a football-playing vaccine production coordinator with Seqirus, a CSL business that is a world leader in influenza vaccines.