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Get Science Podcast
18 minutes | Feb 25, 2020
Sought After Skills in the Transition to Industry
We’ve reached the final installment of this special miniseries of the Get Science Podcast, featuring the exciting work of Pfizer’s postdocs. We recently attended Pfizer’s Annual Postdoc Symposium at our La Jolla, California research site, where we had a chance to interview a handful of next-generation scientific leaders.
25 minutes | Feb 14, 2020
The Power of the Mentor-Postdoc Relationship
Continuing our podcast miniseries from Pfizer’s Annual Postdoc Research Symposium, held this year at our La Jolla research site, we sit down with the next generation of scientific leaders to learn more about what drives their passion to advance research. In this episode, we’ll hear from a few postdocs and their mentors about navigating the transition from academia to industry, the importance of mentors to help prioritize research goals, and their scientific inspirations.
19 minutes | Jan 30, 2020
The Next Generation of Scientists Learn the Ropes of the Industry
This week, we're speaking with Sydney Lavoie, a postdoc in the Inflammation and Immunology research unit based in Pfizer’s Cambridge, Massachusetts research site, who’s interested in the gut microbiome. Later in this episode, we’ll meet Sharon Campbell and her mentor, Orla Cunningham, who are based in the biomedicine design research group at Pfizer’s Dublin, Ireland research site. They’ll tell us an interesting story of how Sharon came to Pfizer with no experience in next-generation sequencing skills, but quickly got up-to-speed to make a big impact in her current research project.
21 minutes | Dec 12, 2019
Decoding the Complexity of the Immune System to Find Drivers of Disease
Continuing on our theme of “rule-breaking” biology, Thomas Wynn shares his own insights on the the exciting and sometimes frustrating aspects of pursuing hypotheses that “don’t pan out” as you expect them to. And, given his knack for making the immune system understandable for non-scientists, we think you’ll especially enjoy tuning in to this episode.
20 minutes | Dec 6, 2019
An Urgent Quest to Bring 'True Relief' to Patients with Rare Diseases
In our latest episode of the Get Science Podcast, Seng Cheng, Chief Scientific Officer of the Rare Disease Research Unit at Pfizer, discusses his urgent mission to help find breakthrough treatments for rare genetic conditions, such a hemophilia, sickle cell anemia and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. “There are many thousands of rare diseases,” says Cheng, who is based at Pfizer’s Kendall Square, Cambridge, Mass. research site. “For me, the challenge is to make sure we can develop medicines for as many different conditions as we can bring to bear, so we can provide not just hope, but true relief for these individuals.”
30 minutes | Nov 27, 2019
Pushing the Frontiers of Cancer Cell Biology
Continuing our series on “rule-breaking” science, we have a conversation with Mike White, Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer in the Tumor Cell Biology Group at Pfizer’s La Jolla Research site. For nearly two decades, White was based at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center as an expert in cancer cell signaling. But in 2016, he joined Pfizer, making the leap from academia into industry. For White, the transition has been an opportunity to “go out onto into the wild frontier and be aggressive in finding new medicines for patients.” Listen to our latest episode to learn more about White’s passion for diving into the complexity of biology to uncover new pathways to fight cancer.
31 minutes | Oct 18, 2019
The Extended Reach of a Vaccine
When babies are born, they are at their most vulnerable, as their immune systems are still developing and they are too young to be vaccinated. But thanks to the protection from antibodies they receive in the womb, through a process called maternal immunization, many babies arrive into the world with a special set of protections already circulating inside of them. Still, it’s a sophisticated process that can sometimes defy convention as these antibodies navigate their own unique path through the body. In a special series of the Get Science Podcast, we’ll explore some of science’s unknowns with the scientists pushing the boundaries of biology as they travel into unchartered territory. For this episode, we chat with Kathrin Jansen, Pfizer’s Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development, who breaks down how the powerful tool of maternal immunization works, the challenges it presents and the steps being taken to broaden its reach. Listen here for Kathrin’s insights.
30 minutes | Oct 9, 2019
A Scientist’s Instinct to Pursue New Treatment Pathways
In the latest series of the Get Science podcast, we’re talking to Pfizer researchers about how pursuing rule-breaking science can lead to new discoveries. Our next guest, Mike Vincent, Senior Vice President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Inflammation and Immunology Research Unit offers a new twist on our theme. Being open to counterintuitive science is vital, says Vincent, but so is having “good instincts to know when to poke further into something that’s often the initial lead to something important.”Vincent, who began his career as a physician and academic researcher, had the instincts to specialize in the rheumatology and immunology when he saw how autoimmune diseases offered enough “clues” about what may be driving these conditions. “I thought If I spend a lifetime here, I can make some progress and figure things out,” he says.And indeed, he has. At Pfizer, he’s leading teams of scientists to better understand the immune system to develop new medicines for dermatologic conditions with critical unmet need such a atopic dermatitis, alopecia areata and vitiligo.Listen here to follow our full conversation.
28 minutes | Aug 15, 2019
When Biology Breaks the Rules
Since grade school, we’ve been taught that the laws of science are hard and fast. But as technology enables scientists to delve deeper and collaborate better, they’re increasingly encountering surprising pockets of science that defy these “rules.” In a special series of the Get Science Podcast, we’ll explore some of science’s unknowns with the scientists pushing the boundaries of biology and following the data to unexpected places. First up: Christine Bulawa, a Senior Director in Pfizer’s Rare Disease Research Unit, and Stefan McDonough, Executive Director, Head of Human Genetics at Pfizer. As part of Pfizer’s Innovative Target Exploration Network (ITEN), they’re working with academic researchers across the globe to deepen their understanding of repeat expansion disorders, which include Huntington’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Their research is uncovering many insights – all valuable, but some strikingly unanticipated. In this episode, Bulawa and McDonough help us explore the “rule-breaking science” behind repeat expansion disorders. Listen to some of the insights they’ve discovered.
19 minutes | Apr 26, 2019
A Mind for Design: Charlotte Allerton
In the kickoff series of the Get Science Podcast, we’re focusing on scientific careers of people working in biopharma, and their different paths and opportunities taken as they hunt for potential cures to human disease.Charlotte Allerton has dedicated her career to helping optimally design medicines that transform patients’ lives. With a MPhil in organic chemistry from the University of Cambridge, Allerton began her career at Pfizer working in the Medicinal Chemistry department at the Sandwich, U.K. research site. Nearly 25 years later, Allerton, today, is Head of Medicine Design at Pfizer’s Cambridge, MA research location. In this conversation, we’ll hear more about how the surprising way Allerton’s childhood allergies inspired her chemistry training, and how she progressed into a leadership role that combines a variety of disciplines to deliver innovative medicines.Hear the story of her journey here.
21 minutes | Apr 12, 2019
Finding That Key Ingredient: Kathrin Jansen
In the kickoff series of the Get Science Podcast, we’re focusing on scientific careers of people working in biopharma, and their different paths and opportunities taken as they hunt for potential cures to human disease.Vaccine research and development just like drug development is risky and challenging work in the pharmaceutical industry. But Kathrin Jansen, Senior Vice President and Head of Vaccine Research and Development at Pfizer, has risen to the upper echelons of the industry based on her flexibility, ability to trust her gut and her determination.Born in Communist East Germany, Jansen’s parents fled to the West where she grew up and eventually earned a PhD in biology at Philipps University in Marburg. She later came to the U.S. to do post-doctoral research at Cornell University. While she initially intended to work in small-molecule drug development, she pivoted to vaccines early on and since then has been involved in the development of three successfully licensed vaccines (Gardasil, Prevnar-13 and Trumenba).Learn more about Jansen’s career journey here.
17 minutes | Jan 10, 2019
Seeing Science With Varied Lenses: Susanna Tse
In the kickoff series of the Get Science Podcast, we’re focusing on scientific careers of people working in biopharma, and their different paths and opportunities taken as they hunt for potential cures to human disease.Susanna Tse studied zoology and physiology in her native Hong Kong before earning a Master’s in public health and Ph.D. in Environmental Health/Toxicology at the University of California, Berkeley. Today, as a Senior Director in Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics and Metabolism at Pfizer, Tse is an expert in understanding medicine’s impact on the body. In the latest episode of the Get Science Podcast, Tse shows how her cross-disciplinary training shapes her thinking today: “When I see something, I don't necessarily think about it purely as say, a zoologist or a physiologist or environmental scientist,” says Tse. “I think of it from all these different possible ways and it opens up my way of thinking about a particular problem.”Listen here for more:
17 minutes | Dec 3, 2018
Doing the Undoable: Megan Robinson
In the inaugural series of the Get Science Podcast, we’re focusing on scientific careers of people working in biopharma, and their different paths and opportunities taken as they hunt for potential cures to human disease.As a young postdoctoral researcher, Megan Robinson expected her career would follow a straight line, rising the ranks as a bench scientist. But nearly two decades later, her career in the pharmaceutical industry has taken winding turns from business consultant to educating key stakeholders about drug discovery. We recently caught up with Robinson, who is Director of R&D Scientific Learning based at Pfizer’s Groton, Connecticut research site, to learn more about her perspective on leaning into your strengths as a scientist.Take a listen here.
15 minutes | Nov 12, 2018
Seizing Opportunities: Marie-Claire Peakman
In the pilot series of the Get Science Podcast, we’re focusing on scientific careers of people working in biopharma, and their different paths and opportunities taken as they hunt for potential cures to human disease.At 18, Marie-Claire Peakman volunteered in a hospital in her native U.K., becoming intrigued with how medicine works on a molecular level to heal patients. Rather than become a doctor, Peakman chose to make her impact by helping to create new potential medicines. “The idea of making such a difference in people’s lives is really what pushed me down the path to the career I’ve chosen,” says Peakman, Executive Director of Discovery Sciences at Pfizer’s Groton, Connecticut research site. Listen to the next episode of the Get Science Podcast to hear more from Marie-Claire.
25 minutes | Oct 18, 2018
Navigating Science Careers: Barbara Dalton and Barbara Sosnowski
We’re excited to unveil the Get Science Podcast, a series of conversations with Pfizer’s passionate and creative scientists, business leaders, researchers and clinicians. In our pilot series, we’re focusing on scientific careers of people working in biopharma, and their different paths and opportunities taken as they hunt for potential cures to human disease.In our first episode, we sat down with Barbara Dalton and Barbara Sosnowski, two colleagues with interesting stories, who today are at the forefront of creative models of collaboration and seeking out the best science.Please take a listen!
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