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Meeting Summary July Virtual Networking

The GLSA | FOCM Networking Event on Wednesday, July 20th, 2022 at 5:00 PM EST was a lively affair boasting a diverse crowd of life science professionals. Many who attended were the previous colleagues and / or the current friends of Chris Matheus (FOCM, President; GLSA Chief Commercial and Networking Officer).

The topic of the day was “Summer Fun” due to the prevalence of the industry to go semi-dormant in July and August to accommodate the well-deserved vacations of its workers. The introduction, led by Chris, briefly spoke of former events which usually involved the related capabilities or education topic of a guest speaker to spur industry-related discussions and aid in collaboration among the group. He expressed the intention of this event to be focused more on the personal activities and vacations of attendees in order to keep our minds on the relaxation of these summer months. 

To nobody’s surprise, we couldn’t stay away from discussing work including the most recently held conferences; BIO International Convention in San Diego, CA and DIA Annual Meeting in Chicago, IL with a specific mention about the limited presence of sponsors. An outbreak of Coronavirus at these events and the apparently foul-tasting Paxlovid medicine used to treat moderate cases of COVID sparked conversation about who among us has contracted the virus and the varying degrees by which each individual was affected. 

Andrew Mulchinski stated that Symbio hasn’t fully adapted to DCT yet, sparking the post-quarantine observations of many regarding the transition to decentralized and hybrid studies. Chris noted a number of CRO’s that have changed leadership or have been acquired by other companies.

By far the most celebratory moment of the event was the announcement of the recent success of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in a small clinical trial using immunotherapy. They achieved 100% remission of rectal cancer without the use of surgery, chemotherapy or radiation that can leave patients with life-long effects including infertility and colostomy bags.

Let’s continue to reinforce our collective goal to improve patients’ lives across the globe. If you would like to present briefly on an educational life sciences topic and spur our event discussions, please contact me.

Attendees: (first time attendees in bold)

Kimberly Lupo, MS, MBA, RAC Founder & CEO at Portrett Pharmaceuticals LLC
Sara Tylosky CEO, Farmacon
Nadia M. Bracken Operational Advisor, Medidata
Brian Horan CEO & Co-founder, SupplyRx
Tina Tran Director, Business Development,
Heather Hollick Rizers LLC; Author of “Helpful, A guide to life, careers and the art of networking”
Amy Zastawney Seeking a new executive business development role
Jon Matheus Commercial Real Estate, A.T. Pancrazi Real Estate Services
Unnat Patel Founder & President, AnalysisMate
Peter Payne Life Sciences Executive – Available for Consulting
Griffin Robertson Partner Account Manager, Mednet
Nancy Zeleniak Enterprise Strategic Partnerships & Participant Engagement; Atrium Health
Dhruv Wadhwa Director of Business Development, HUMA
Michael Young Founder & Principal, BIOMedworx
Scott Robertson Vice President of Sales, Global Partnerships; Mednet
Ravipal Luthra, MS, BDS Clinical Research Coordinator, University of Miami, Miller Medical Center
Andrew Mulchinski, MPA, MT, ASCP, CCRC Business Development; Symbio, LLC
Lani Hashimoto Associate Director Patient Engagement Management; Novartis
Amanda Putnam Team Lead Manager; Data Recognition Corporation
Michael O’ Gorman CEO and Founder at Life Science Marketplace
Eliana Burke Global Head of Client Engagement & Marketing; Greenlight Clinical
Michael Minor EVP, Clinical Research; IMA Clinical Research
Vaibhav Sawant Pharma Marketing Executive
Denise McNerney Chief Operations Officer
Hannah Lloyd Account Manager
Zulma Varela Director of Public Communications
Sally Haller Operations Manager
Todd Neilson Account Manager
Joe Buser Chief Revenue Officer
Chris Matheus Chief Commercial and Networking Officer
Yutong Liang Intern, Data Management and Technology

Screen shots of the event follow:

Screen shot at 5:06 Start of the event Screen shot at 5:18 Screen shot at 5:21

Break out rooms
Screen shot at 5:45
6:02 p.m. screenshot

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.

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.

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

Southwest Influenced Cooking

I grew up in Yuma, AZ and as such I have eaten a lot of Sonoran-style mexican food. Sonora is the state in Mexico directly south of Yuma. Sonoran style Mexican food shows its differences in a few particular dishes. Perhaps I’ll cover that in a future post. The point it is, I think you can just about put any food into a tortilla with cheese and salsa and it will be very good.

I’ve done several videos demonstrating such on my youtube channel.

A Life Hack

So one day I got in the mail a note from the Lakota Sioux tribe with return address labels, so I sent them $10.  I also order things from the Southwest Indian catalog and they sent me labels. I sent Easter seals $20 for some labels they sent me.  This was in 2018 that I did that.

I get labels from so many places now: ASPCA, Doctors without Borders, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Southwest Reservation Aid, Susan Komen Foundation, Guideposts, Foundation, March of Dimes. I’ll never need another return address label for as long as I live.

Some also send note pads, shopping list note pads, To-do list note pads, bookmarks; it’s been great!

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.

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

A Matter of Perspective

This humorous story was sent to me by a friend of 53 years, Greg Stanford.

I mowed the lawn today, and after doing so I sat down and had a cold beer. The day was really quite beautiful, and the drink facilitated some deep thinking. 

My wife walked by and asked me what I was doing, and I said ‘nothing’. The reason I said ‘nothing’ instead of saying ‘just thinking’ is because she then would have asked ‘about what?’ At that point I would have had to explain that men are deep thinkers about various topics, which would lead to other questions. 

Finally I pondered an age old question: Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the nuts? Women always maintain that giving birth is way more painful than a guy getting kicked in the nuts, but how could they “know”? Well, after another beer, and some more heavy deductive thinking, I have come up with an answer to that question. Getting kicked in the nuts is more painful than having a baby, and even though I obviously couldn’t really “know”, here is the reason for my conclusion. 

A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, “It might be nice to have another child.” On the other hand, you never hear a guy say, “You know, I think I would like another kick in the nuts.”  I rest my case.  Time for another beer, and then maybe a nap in that hammock.

Senior Citizen Jokes

Submitted to me by my brother, Jon.

Senior Wit

1. Gone are the days when girls used to cook like their mothers. Now they drink like their fathers.

2. You know that little feeling you get when you really like someone? That’s common sense leaving your body.

3. I decided to stop calling the bathroom the “John” and renamed it the “Jim” I feel so much better saying I went to the Jim this morning.

4. Old age is coming at a really bad time. When I was a child I thought “nap time” was a punishment. Now, as a grownup, it feels like a small vacation.

5. The biggest lie I tell myself is…”I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”

6. I don’t have gray hair; I have “wisdom highlights.” I’m just very wise.

7.  If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would have placed them on my knees.

8. Why do I have to press one for English when you’re just going to transfer me to someone I can’t understand anyway?

9. Of course I talk to myself; sometimes I need expert advice.

10. At my age “getting lucky” means walking into a room and actually remembering what I came in there for.

11. I am what is called a “Seenager” (senior teenager). I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 60 years later. I don’t have to go to school or work. I get an allowance every month. I have my own pad. I don’t have a curfew. I have a driver’s license and my own car. I have an ID that gets me into bars and the whiskey store.

12. Life is great. I have more friends whom I should send this to, but right now I can’t remember their names.

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.

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



Humorous Look at Gender Differences

A humorous look at men.

Men are simple creatures.
Their last name stays put.
The garage is all theirs.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park. You can wear NO shirt to a waterpark.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal. You never
have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don’t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
Wedding dress is $5000. Tux rental-$100. People never stare at your chest when you’re
talking to them.
New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
One mood all the time.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase. You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is $12.95 for a three-pack.
Two pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes. The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe
You only have to shave your face and neck.
You can play with toys all your life.
One wallet and one pair of shoes — one color for all seasons.
You can wear shorts no matter how
your legs look.
You can ‘do’ your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes. No wonder men
are happier.NICKNAMES
� If Laura, Kate and Sarah go out for lunch, they will call each other
Laura, Kate and Sarah.
� If Mike, Dave and John go out, they will affectionately refer to
each other as Fat Boy, Bubba and Wildman.

� When the bill arrives, Mike, Dave and John will each throw in $20,
even though it’s only for $32.50. None of them will have anything
smaller and none will actually admit they want change back.
� When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators.

� A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he needs.
� A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn’t need but it’s on sale.

� A man has six items in his bathroom: toothbrush and toothpaste,
shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel.
� The average number of items in the typical woman’s bathroom is 337.
A man would not be able to identify more than 20 of these items.

� A woman has the last word in any argument.
� Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.

� A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
� A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.

� A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn’t.
� A man marries a woman expecting that she won’t change, but she does.

� A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the trash, answer the phone, read a book, and get the mail.
� A man will dress up for weddings and funerals.

� Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed.
� Women somehow deteriorate during the night.

� Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about
dentist appointments and romances, best friends, favorite foods,
secret fears and hopes and dreams.
� A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

A married man should forget his mistakes. There’s no use in two people remembering the same thing!