Building a team
Successful teams are often managed by leaders who inspire their subordinates to meet deadlines while making sure that their teams enjoy an enthusiastic work environment that allows them to fulfill their career objectives. Achieving this goal requires employing leadership approaches that range from being authoritative when important deadlines are to be met, to, being affiliative when a team is going through a hard time, so that a team can remain productive while not losing their innovative edge. Being able to strike the fine balance between these two extremes is what we will discuss in this panel. While leadership styles can vary significantly based on the need for the hour and a leader’s personal traits, is there any consensus on a universal set of skills that all leaders must have? Is it possible to cultivate these skills and what are some of the approaches towards learning these skills? Lastly, for those who may not want to lead from the front at this very moment, how do you spot a team with a good leader?
Serena was bit by the research bug after spending her first summer as an undergrad in a developmental biology lab at NYU. She continued to explore the relationship between genes and phenotypes, working on MAPK signaling and the Retinal Determination network for her PhD at MIT, and then interrogating the interplay between microRNAs and signal transduction during her postdoc at Harvard Medical School. Serena joined the Broad Institute in 2006 to build a screening group in the RNAi Platform, collaborating with faculty across the Broad community to develop and deploy RNAi screens to understand disease and developmental biology. She transitioned to industry in 2011, first leading a Target ID & Validation team at Sanofi Oncology and more recently leading the Molecular Pharmacology group in Oncology at NIBR. In April, Serena joined Fulcrum Therapeutics to lead a team focused on finding targets and therapeutics for rare disease.
Alexander McCampbell currently leads the preclinical neuromuscular research efforts at Biogen. Alex received his PhD from University of Pennsylvania and completed his post-doc at Massachusetts General Hospital. In 2011, he helped establish a collaboration between Biogen and Ionis around the use of antisense oligonucleotides to treat CNS disorders. This joint effort has resulted in approved drug (Spinraza for SMA), one agent in a pivotal trial (tofersen for SOD1 ALS), and two others in phase 1/2 testing. In addition to the Biogen Ionis collaboration, Alex has established numerous academic and industrial collaborations. These have resulted in additional clinical and near-clinical assets for ALS. A goal of his group is optimizing external and internal sources of new treatment approaches for neuromuscular diseases.
Richard is a physician-scientist who joined Third Rock Ventures in 2018 to focus on neuroinflammation research and development opportunities throughout the portfolio. Richard is a distinguished academic and leader in the field of neuroinflammation. His research has focused on glial biology across the spectrum of neurological disease, with a particular emphasis on the functions of chemokines and chemokine receptors in the development and pathology of the central nervous system. He joins us most recently from Biogen (2014-2017) where he was vice president and senior research fellow of neuroimmunology. There, he led the neuroimmunology efforts to find targets for treatment of neurological disease and bring those relevant for acute neurology, pain and multiple sclerosis indications through clinical proof of concept. Before joining Biogen, Richard was at the Cleveland Clinic (1984-2014), where he founded and directed the Neuroinflammation Research Center in the Lerner Research Institute. He was also Professor of Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University and staff neurologist at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research. Richard has served on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards (SAB), currently including SABs of the Gladstone Institute for Neurological Disease; the German Center for Research in Neurodegenerative Disease (DZNE); the Keystone Symposia and Chemocentryx. His extensive body of research encompasses more than 400 publications across the fields of neurology, neuroscience and neuroimmunology. As a physician, he was named annually (1996-2014) to the “Best Doctors in America” for his expertise in the clinical care of patients with multiple sclerosis. He also received the 2012 John Dystel Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and American Academy of Neurology for multiple sclerosis research. Richard received his MD from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, where he was later a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology.
Dr. Meena Subramanyam is Vice President and Global Program Leader in the gastroenterology therapeutic area unit at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge., MA and is responsible for developing strategies for global development of therapeutic assets in functional gastric motility indications. Prior to joining Takeda, Meena spent 19 years at Biogen in Cambridge, Massachusetts. As Vice President and Head of the Translational Sciences and Technology group she held broad responsibilities for developing and implementing biomarker, bioanalytical and diagnostic strategies for products in clinical development for neurodegenerative and autoimmune disorders and contributed to several successful BLA and NDA filings. She is a co-inventor of the STRATIFY JCV™ diagnostic test for stratifying the risk of Progressive Multifocal Leukoencephalopathy in Multiple Sclerosis patients. Meena is a board member of WEST, a learning community to advance Women leaders in the enterprise of science and technology, and a recipient of the “Luminary Award” for leadership and mentorship from the Healthcare Business Women’s Association. Meena holds a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Miami University in Ohio, USA.