1. Tell us about yourself.
From the beginning of my career as a pharmacist, I have been deeply focused on patient relationships. I enjoyed working with patients, especially those with chronic conditions, to help them find solutions that worked.
The reason I was so excited to come on board UCB last year as Medical Affairs Lead for Dermatology in the US is because they have that same dedication. Patients are everything to us. They are at the center of every decision we make—it’s so much more than a tagline.
I’m so grateful and fortunate to have grown from being a pharmacist who dispenses medicines for patients, to now being part of a team with almost a century of history developing those innovative medicines. It’s very gratifying.
2. As a leader at UCB, how do you demonstrate your personal commitment to developing innovative medicines?
My personal involvement is really just a reflection of UCB’s patient-centered approach. We’re planning and running clinical trials, gathering and analyzing data, but at every step, we ask: “How does this affect the lives of our patients? How does it address their needs?” And we’re not just asking ourselves—we’re listening to clinicians and patients all the time as well. That’s absolutely central to what we do. We recognize that every patient has a unique journey, and by putting them at the heart of everything we do, we hope to enable patients to live their best lives.
3. What areas of research is UCB focused on, and how would you describe the organization’s scientific approach?
At UCB, we are invested in creating value for people living with neurological and immunological conditions—including various dermatologic conditions. We bring leadership to the immuno-dermatological space, particularly focusing on the areas of psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and hidradenitis suppurativa. Our approach, from discovery to development to delivery, is continuously designed around patient needs.
We are building upon a long commitment to the dermatology community, not only by listening to patients but also by collaborating with clinicians and caregivers, working side by side with researchers, and building relationships with patient advocates, educational foundations, and research facilities.
4. How is UCB showing its commitment to patients?
UCB has been considered a highly innovative scientific organization throughout its 90-year history, from the development of leading-edge medicines in the 1950s, up to today, where, I am happy to say, we devote approximately 25 percent of our revenue toward meaningful research—whether that is clinical trials, real-world evidence, or advancements in science related to the pathophysiology of various diseases—in an effort to improve patients’ lives.
We firmly believe this is the path toward optimizing treatment outcomes, improving patient outcomes, and ultimately, delivering innovative solutions that will make a real difference in people’s lives.
5. What was your biggest takeaway from this year’s AAD Virtual Meeting Experience (VMX)?
I had two big takeaways this year. One, I was extremely excited to see that AAD decided to continue their meeting in a virtual capacity.
I applaud their dedication to creating an innovative way for dermatologists to continue to learn, given the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m certain it must not have been easy, but it shows great leadership from AAD, and I look forward to their future meetings.
The second big takeaway from AAD this year was a deepening appreciation for the fact that AAD continues to be an important and highly credible medium for the presentation of significant and up-to-the-minute new data—often on a large scale. UCB has always maintained a significant presence in respect to sharing new and innovative data at AAD, and this year was no exception. We recognize AAD as a valuable forum that provides us with the opportunity to connect directly with our clinical partners in a two-way exchange—we’re able to present the latest data that can be so impactful, but also listen and learn from physicians in their care of patients. We put a high premium on this type of real-world experience. It is perhaps the most important feedback loop we have.