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“Mr. Researcher Goes to Washington” for GoBoldly


  • Posted by Stephen Yates, PhD, Clinical Program Director, Global Clinical DevelopmentFly_in_pic_for_blog_1280x960





    L to R: Eddie Lee, Pharm.D., Robert Suruki, Sc.D., Ali Bozorg, M.D., Pamela Doty Braker, Ph.D., Stephen Yates, Ph.D.

    Last week, 55 U.S.-based biopharmaceutical researchers from 20 different companies headed to Capitol Hill to share their stories with members of the U.S. Congress as part of the 2018 Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) GoBoldly Fly-In.

    I was joined by four of my UCB colleagues—researchers, Pamela Doty Braker, Ph.D., Ali Bozorg, M.D., and Robert Suruki, Sc.D., from Research Triangle Park (RTP) in Raleigh and Health Economist, Eddie Lee, Pharm.D., from our U.S. headquarters in Atlanta.  We prepared our personal stories to share with our home state representatives from North Carolina and Georgia. We wanted to share why each of us works in biotech and what motivates us to do the work we do each day for patients. We were excited to share our passion for finding solutions for patients living with severe disease with our legislators. 

    In Washington, we boarded buses to Capitol Hill at 7:30 AM on a spectacular sunny day. As we drove down Pennsylvania Ave. on to Constitution Ave., we were met by a red-clad sea cheering us onward. (Actually, they were Washington Capitals fans who were there for the celebratory Stanley Cup parade, but we felt empowered nonetheless!) Throughout the day, the UCB team met legislative aids from the offices of Representatives Doug Collins and Karen Handel from Georgia and Representatives Ted Budd and Mark Walker from North Carolina. We were quite honored to meet and share our stories with Congressman David Price from UCB’s own district in Raleigh, North Carolina.

    Our experience with each office, staffer, and member was an enjoyable one. I had the opportunity to share two stories about patients that motivate me every day. We’ll call the first one Mary; she has primary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. I shared how Mary always helps me remember that even though UCB has several antiepileptic solutions, there is more work to be done. I also shared about John who lives with Parkinson’s disease. John was introduced to me by his neurologist who told me about how he was wheelchair-bound until his treatment with one of our medicines.  John reminds me of the value we help create – from scientific discovery to solution for individual patients like John. 

    It was great to be able to share our stories with legislators about what motivates us every day and about the value we’re creating in biopharmaceutical research in the U.S. and at UCB.  I look forward to future opportunities to again share my experience and UCB’s passion for finding solutions that enable patients live their best lives.
     
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