Meeting Summary of May Networking Event

On May 18, the GLSA and FOCM held their monthly online networking event. We always start the meeting with some time for people to give an update on any news they’re heard or a significant event that has happened in the past month. Then we move to a featured presenter for 10 – 15 minutes presenting information about themselves, their company or a clinical research topic of relevance to them or to the industry.

This event featured Alison Macpherson, CEO and Founder of Bright Pharmaceutical Services, a full service CRO headquartered in Los Angeles.  Bright is celebrating their 20th year in business.
http://www.brightps.com/

Alison talked about her experiences starting out in the clinical trials industry and how that led to her forming Bright with a boutique sponsor-centric approach and a focus on subject recruitment and retention. The company has worked in a variety of therapeutic areas and all phases of research.  Its differentiators from other similar sized CRO’s is the very low turnover (less than 5%) over the 20 years in business, which means clients’ projects are supported by only very experienced and engaged staff. Additionally, while much of their experience is in phase I and II North America trials, they have worked in 30+ countries globally.  Questions were handled as they came up leading to discussions about Bright’s experience with risk-based monitoring; the new normal of hybrid and decentralized trials; reducing the frequency of subject visits to the sites; and Bright’s experience with trials that require collecting data from wireless, connected devices, e-source data, etc.

After the presentation we had first time participants share their company names and experience. Josh Lang, Mike O’Gorman and Denise McNerney will be attending BIO in San Diego June 13 – 16.  Carlos mentioned the networking event they are having on June 12 in San Diego for people interested in Farmacon Global’s August 25 conference focused on conducting clinical trials in Rare Diseases in Emerging Markets.In posing this question to the group – what are you working on and what do you need help with, Heather Hollick (who taught me this approach for successful networking) mentioned she is starting the Institute for Vibrant Leadership and could use connections to leaders, coaches with whom to collaborate as well as writers and virtual assistants. Subsequently, a few potential connection candidates have been sent to her. https://heatherhollick.com/

Attendees (bolded names indicate first time attendees):

Alison Macpherson, Bright Pharma Services
Heather Hollick, Rizers LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Nicole O’Brien, Pain Care Labs
Josh Lang, Asymchem Group
Barbara Hilewsky, BRCR Global
Shane Krauss, Strados Labs
Carlos Martinez, Farmacon Global
David Holland, Cmed Research
Michael O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Keisha Felix, IQVIA
Ludmilla Scodeler
Jim Choi, CRScube
Cesar Serapiao
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Todd Neilson, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Several screen shots follow:

Bright Pharma Services

 

Screenshot of May 18 2022 event
Screen shot of May 18 2022 event

 

 

Networking from 2017

I am most definitely playing catch up with posts – but I’ve always been a strong believer or follower of the “better late than never” philosophy.

Here’s a picture of Bryan Clayton and Tope Keyes at a January 2017 Healthtech event.  I’ve seen them both recently as we’re returning to in -person conferences and networking events.

Bryan Clayton and Tope Keyes

 

 

 

 

 

and this next photo may have been taken at the same event – at least I do know it was also taken in January of 2017.  Brian Langin, Nithiya Ananthakrishnan, Deb Jendrasek and Rob Nichols. Please note neither Brian nor Rob have registration badges – it’s possible their attendance involved using the time honored Business Development technique known as “the Strand” or “the Langin”.

Brian Langin, Nithiya Ananthakrishnan, Deb Jendrasek, Rob Nichols

April 20 Networking Event Summary

On April 20, the GLSA and FOCM held their monthly online networking event. We always start the meeting with a featured presenter spending 10 – 15 minutes presenting information about themselves and a clinical research topic of relevance to them or to the industry.

This event featured Amy Baxter, MD; CEO and Founder of Pain Care Labs. PCL’s NIH-funded pain relief device is an ingenious intervention to reduce needle pain and fear.   https://paincarelabs.com/

Amy presented information on research results showing the incidence of needle fear among Americans. Research shows that 25% of Americans are adverse to needles. This is playing a role in the slower than desired vaccination rates against COVID-19.

Needle fear has increased dramatically since 1995 when it was reported that 10% of adults and 25% of children feared needles. Prior to 1980, children’s last vaccination was at age 2, except for DPT boosters every 10 years. Since 1980, children receive booster injections between the ages of 4 and 6, when fears form. A study in 2012 from Canada shows 63% of people born after 2012 have needle phobia. 

Pain Care Labs has developed Buzzy for the management of needle phobia. This combines the distraction of cold with deep vibration which blocks the pain signal. Managing needle phobia is important for increasing vaccination rates among people of all ages. It can also play a role in clinical research if a clinical trial is a vaccine trial or a protocol requiring multiple needle-sticks, Such trials may have higher drop-out rates or decline to enroll due to the subjects’ fear. 

After the presentation, there were questions, answers and discussions.  We then allowed newer participants the opportunity to tell us about their history in the industry and ask how the group can be of help. Additionally, after the event Heather Hollick shared observations about what makes the GLSA online networking events work so well is: 

  • Starting with initial casual conversation
  • Having a 15-20 minute learning session
  • Breaking into groups of 2-4 people several times so all can meet each other and share what they’re working on
  • Ending with closing remarks, comments and observations. 
  • Online networking requires light moderation, because we’re missing body language for our cue as to who is to speak next. 

Amy provided a good suggestion that we start these with a general ice breaker, a question or topic each can respond to. We’ll begin implementing that for our July event. The July and August events will be light-hearted and casual, imagine sipping a cocktail on a beachside outdoor deck with friends. In September, we’ll return to focused topics/presentations after the general ice breaker and before break out networking.

Attendees (bolded names indicate first time attendees):
Amy Baxter, MD; Pain Care Labs
Nicole O’Brien; Pain Care Labs
Peter Payne; Consultant
David Rodrin; IMA Clinical Research
Daniel Paszterko; Myonex
Ari Cofini; VeriSIM Life
Neil Banerjee; QMS Integrity
Nancy Zeleniak; Atrium Health
Mike Minor; IMA Clinical Research
Brittany Barber, Syneos Health
Nicole Aubrey; Aubrey Cole Consulting
Maria Frane, Simbec-Orion
Ravipal Luthra, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Heather Hollick, Rizers LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Edwin Gershom, Noble Life Sciences
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Screenshots from the event:

Screenshot with Teddy in center square
Amy Baxter, MD; CEO & Founder of Pain Care Labs
Needle Fear Statistics
Buzzy for needle pain
Screenshot of Attendees
Screenshot of Attendees

Karen Key – Larger than Life

 

I’m at the age where family, friends and acquaintances are passing away at greater frequency. It’s a part of life and comes as no surprise. That knowledge  doesn’t make the grief of such events any less painful. Recently the world lost one of its great people – Karen Key. My soul is deeply sad at Karen’s passing.

There are a few people I’ve known in my life that I describe as “larger than life”.  I’d seen that descriptive phrase for years in books I read and didn’t truly grasp the meaning of  it.  My friend, Peter Holthe who was the impetus, actually the creator for FOCM – the website, events, etc was “larger than life”. It was after his passing that I truly appreciated the phrase. At Peter’s memorial service, his college room-mate Byron Pitts was in attendance. In Byron’s autobiography “Step out on Nothing” there is a portion wherein he describes how much Peter helped him in college.

Karen is also a member of this elite group of rare individuals who touch your life and impact it forever. Her consistent kindness, respect for others,  sincere and contagious enthusiasm, love of America coupled with her joy at having fun, smiling and laughing are what I think of and how I will remember Karen.

We met while working at Burroughs Wellcome Co., a unique pharmaceutical company founded in the UK in 1880. It was purchased in 1995 by Glaxo, which subsequently merged with SmithKlineBeecham to become GlaxoSmithKline. I think I met Karen in 1985 while we were both in Sales Representative Trainer Training class. My territory was in southern California and hers was the Raleigh-Durham, NC area.

We both came into the home office/headquarters around the same time. Senior management could tell early on that she was special – one of those people who excel at whatever they are assigned.

We weren’t in touch much in our post-coworker era but our friendship was one of those where that wasn’t necessary. In the most recent 10 years we were back in touch and saw each other more. I had a memorable stay with she and Donna and other BW alumni at their Hyco Lake house. She helped me get my dog Micah into the kayak so I could paddle him around.

Hyco Lake: Karen, Micah and me

The late stage lung cancer diagnosis was a huge shock and she handled it well and fought it with all that her optimism, her doctors and medications could provide.  https://www.clementsfuneralservice.com/obituaries/Karen-Letisha-Key?obId=24530539

Heaven has added another angel. Rest in peace my friend.

 

 

March Networking Event Summary

On March 16, the GLSA and FOCM held their monthly online networking event.  We start the meeting with a featured presenter spending 10 – 15 minutes presenting information about themselves and a clinical research topic of relevance to them.

This event featured Wessam Sonbol, founder of Delve Health. Wessam has been in the clinical research industry for 23 years. Many of these years have been in leadership and founding roles in the technology and product development to facilitate trials. He founded Delve Health in 2018.  Delve Health provides innovative decentralized clinical trial solutions to improve clinical trial conduct for patients, caregivers, doctors and pharma/device. Offerings include ePRO/eCOA, eConsent, study tasks, wearables and biosensor integration, EMR data collection and Real-world evidence capabilities.

After the presentation, there were questions, answers and discussions.  We then allowed newer participants the opportunity to tell us about their history in the industry and the group can be of help.

Attendees (bolded names indicate first time attendees):
Wessam Sonbol, Delve Health
Andrew Mulchinski, Symbio Research
Ravipal Luthra, University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine
Heather Hollick, Rizers LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Michael Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Edwin Gershom, Noble Life Sciences
Taylor Biche, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Todd Neilson, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance

https://globallifesciencesalliance.com/

Please join us on April 20 where the featured presenter will be Amy Baxter, MD; CEO and Founder of Pain Care Labs. PCL’s NIH-funded pain relief device is an ingenious intervention to reduce needle pain and fear – improving patient participation in clinical trials.

Selected screen shots appear below:

Delve Health Presenting
Screenshot #1
Screen shot #3
Screenshot with Teddy in lower left
Screenshot #2

 

 

FOCM Members in Chicago at ASCO

Yes ’tis true I am only 8 years behind in posting photos of members captured at various conferences.

This photo was taken at ASCO in June of 2014 in Chicago.  American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) has been held in June in Chicago for many, many years. It is one of the largest Oncology focused conferences.  It draws medical and clinical oncologist, oncology RNs, oncology NPs and PAs. The exhibit hall is huge and takes place at McCormick Center in Chicago.

I was working at YPrime at the time and was fortunate to be selected to attend. One of the things I love about conferences is running into friends and former co-workers. In most cases, its both. This time I ran into two of my favorites: Erica Hill and Sue Ruane. I’d  met them both while working at ICON Clinical Research.

 

Erica Hill, me, Sue Ruane

February Networking Event Summary

 

On February 16, 2022, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event. This was the second event of 2022 and like the January event, we again had 3 first-time attendees. Thank you to super-connector and FOCM member, Nadia Bracken for sharing our event with others.

We spent the first 15 minutes with introductions and general discussion about the weather in various attendees’ cities.  

This event featured a presentation by Kalyan Ghosh, Founder and CEO of Inference, Inc (https://inferenceinc.com/).  Inference, a GLSA client, was formed in 2017 by Kalyan.  He has over 25 years experience in clinical biostatistics, having worked at both big pharma (Merck and BMS) and CROs (Vislation, INC Research and West Coast Clinical Trials). Kalyan is an accomplished presenter and presented an overview of biostatistics and the role that data management and biostatistics have in drug development. 

Please join us next month on March 16 at 7:00 p.m.  Wessam Sonbol, CEO of Delve Health, an e-clinical technology platform service provider and client of GLSA will spend 10 – 15 minutes talking about their approach to patient-centered hybrid and decentralized studies in drug development.

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees):

Kalyan Ghosh, Inference Inc,
Andy Mulchinski, Symbio
Justin Gundelach, Mayo Clinic
Pauline Luong, Creative Clinical R & D
Chris Bergey, NaviDx
Brian Langin, Matrix Medical
Ravipal Luthra, University of Miami College of Medicine
Jon Matheus,  A.T. Pancrazi Real Estate Services, Inc.
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Sally Haller, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Todd Nielson, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Screenshots of the attendees can be seen here: https://globallifesciencesalliance.com/february-networking-meeting-summary/

 

 

 

January Networking Meeting Summary

On January 19, 2022, the Global Life Sciences Alliance along with FOCM Networking held its monthly online drug and medical device development industry networking event. This was the first event of the new year and we had 3 first-time attendees.  

We kept everyone in one main room and went around the room having each person introduce themselves.  There was an open dialog and discussion on a variety of topics: expectations for COVID cases and treatments, the impact on travel and conventions/conferences and hopes for it to lessen and burn out and become similar to seasonal flu. The concern for another variant that could put us into strict measures is real yet the thought of having to deal with that makes us tired.

Heal Mary, (https://healmaryapp.com/) a GLSA client is an oncology patient recruitment platform founded by Cassandra Hui. Cass is from the tech industry and she started Heal Mary driven by her personal story: “My mom was told to go home and get her affairs in order, that there were no other options… I’ve made it my mission to ensure that patients know ALL of their options.” We showed a video of Cass explaining the motivation for starting Heal Mary using her tech and Artificial Intelligence skills to make sure patients know of treatment options available via clinical trials. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLB_CmGY3-trX3rKePF0FWw

Please join us next month on February 16.  Kalyan Ghosh of Inference, a data management  and biostatistics service provider and client of GLSA will spend 10 minutes talking about the role of data management and biostatistics in drug development.

ATTENDEES (bolded names were first time attendees):

Heather Hollick, Rizers, LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Mike Burrows, Burrows Life Science Associates
Kate Findlen, Life Molecular Imaging
Kimberly Lupo, Portrett Pharmaceuticals
Mike O’Gorman, Life Science Marketplace
Andy Mulchinski, Symbio
Brian Langin, Matrix Medical
Charlie Speno, Matrix Medical
Michael W. Young, biomedwoRx: Life Sciences Consulting
Chris Matheus, Global Life Sciences Alliance & FOCM
Denise McNerney, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Joe Buser, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Zulma Varela, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Holly  Cliffe, Global Life Sciences Alliance
Hannah Lloyd, Global Life Sciences Alliance

Screenshots of the event follow:

Screen Shots

FOCM Membership Ceremony

You would have thought those first days of Covid lockdowns would have been a great time for me to try to catch up on my backlog of posts. But no, here I am during a snow storm warning in Wilmington, NC doing some catchup.

So, Mike Jones sent me this picture in June of 2014, so it had to be at a DIA Annual Convention. This is of dear friend and former co-worker at ICON Clinical Research, Robin Tuck receiving her FOCM membership card.  The sheer joy on her face says it all doesn’t it? Clearly this was before I’d been taught how to edit photos by FOCM member Michelle Jacobson. She literally changed reality in front of my face by lightening and changing the contrast of  a back lit photo.  FOCM will provide 1 year free FOCM membership ($20 dollar value) to the first person who contacts me who will then be sent this photo, lighten it up and return it to me. Upon receipt of improved photo, the membership will be issued.

Robin Tuck FOCM Membership Ceremony

Resume Review

As I hope is clear from previous posts, networking is essential to improving your ability to make an employment change.  Getting referred into a company or an endorsement via an employee submitting your resume, gets your resume a second look. Put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter reviewing resumes.

The information below was submitted to me by Dick Winokur, who I have known for 11 years.  We met when he was working for the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis (now Sanofi). When I first started FOCM Networking and launched the web site  he shared some information with me that he relied up on in his career.

WHAT SMART RESUME REVIEWERS LOOK FOR

  1. They keep the job criteria firmly in mind–look for “buzz-words.”
  2. They look for a stated job objective.
  3. They look for the “can-do” candidate.
  4. They read between the lines for the “will do” candidate.
  5. They search for consistent career advancement.
  6. They look for job results versus activities.
  7. They notice how the resume appears.

ASK YOURSELF: IF I HAD TO LOOK THROUGH 200 RESUMES IN THREE HOURS, WHAT WOULD I LOOK FOR?

Additional resources:

https://www.agbsearch.com/tips/top-10-tips-for-writing-job-winning-resume

https://www.michaelpage.com/advice/career-advice/cover-letter-and-resume-advice/how-write-winning-resume-0