Bringing Science to Life for Patients

Dr. Bill Chin takes helm of PhRMA’s Scientific & Regulatory Affairs

08.15.13 | By Dr. William "Bill" Chin, M.D.

As I read the Wall Street Journal’s article this week on gene breakthroughs in cancer treatment, I felt a range of emotions. First was excitement. Decades of devotion to research have taken science to new heights and it’s important that people are aware of the tremendous progress that has been made. This awareness is what saved the life of Kellie Carey featured in the story. Next was hope. Ron Winslow’s profile of this tenacious woman’s battle with lung cancer is a powerful example of the hope we can have for continued incremental advances in treatments and, eventually, cures. And last was pride. I’ve spent my whole career in medicine and know firsthand many health professionals, academics, scientists, regulators, and biopharmaceutical researchers who have dedicated their lives to trying to save others. Through their collective work, we’re finally gaining a better understanding of the genetic links to cancer, which will ultimately enable us to defeat cancer’s pathways to abnormal growth and spread. We should take a moment to savor this collective victory, but we also cannot forget we still have a long way to go. 

I’m Bill Chin and the latest PhRMA face to join The Catalyst dialogue.  I’m the new Executive Vice President of PhRMA’s Scientific & Regulatory Affairs department. I take on this leadership role just when science and transformative biomedical advances are coming into their own. New therapies are improving the quality and length of life and, since 1980, the five year survival rate for cancer patients has increased by nearly 40 percent. Science – and the resulting medicine and other therapeutics – is the key to solving our health problems.

I am a physican, an endocrinologist and an academic at heart, including a former Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. After 25 years in research, teaching, patient care and administration, I bridged another critical link in our healthcare ecosystem and led Eli Lilly’s global drug discovery and clinical investigation efforts for a number of years. I was at Eli Lilly for 11 years before returning to Harvard Medical School to serve as Executive Dean of Research. And now I come to PhRMA to help ensure the biopharmaceutical voice is recognized within the discovery ecosystem and to help advance the scientific and regulatory processes so they keep pace with the rapidly evolving drug development system. The biopharmaceutical sector is a crucial player in bringing science to life and putting it into the hands of patients. This is a natural place for me to continue advancing cutting edge science while raising the bar for the entire healthcare sector. When it comes to science, we must all embrace the unexplored path, including a regulatory system that supports this pioneering work.

I look forward to keeping you updated on my efforts at PhRMA to elevate science and the voice of the biopharmaceutical sector in transforming science into vital medicines and other therapies. 


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