Editor’s note: This story is part of our 2022 PharmaVoice 100 feature.
In the world of scientific discovery and development, those are important traits for a leader to possess, and that’s exactly how Houda Hachad is described by her nominator.
“Throughout her career, Hachad has consistently focused on unlocking deep scientific insights and making that information actionable and tangible across the healthcare industry,” her nominator writes.
Hachad is vice president of clinical operations for AccessDx Laboratory, which provides advanced diagnostics and software solutions for personalized medicine, infectious disease programs, and COVID-19 testing for clients that include large national health systems, employers, long-term care organizations, municipalities, pharmacists and providers.
There, “she applies her expertise in precision medicine and technology to putting important genomics and clinical insights directly in the hands of the healthcare professionals that need it most,” her nominator writes. Doing so has allowed her to merge “her passions of pharmacy and genetics to put new discoveries about drug-gene interactions on the map across the healthcare ecosystem.”
Hachad says she entered the life sciences field because of “curiosity and my desire to understand how the human body works and the biological laws that govern our interactions with the outside world.”
She has channeled that curiosity into invention throughout her career.
“She co-invented the largest drug-drug interaction database of its kind — the Drug Interaction Database (DIDB) — which the majority of drug development companies and regulatory agencies use in their drug safety research,” her nominator writes. “She applied a similar approach in co-developing e-PKgene, a drug-gene information repository used by scientists across the world.”
Now she's applying these “genomics advancements on a larger scale” at AccessDx, where she is developing new technologies to manage data and use insights from genomic testing.
“This work is critical given that genetic factors impact how patients metabolize approximately half of all commonly prescribed medications and contribute to 46 million adverse drug reactions each year,” her nominator writes. “Hachad oversees initiatives that help get ahead of these risks and make drug-gene interaction data more readily available to curb excess hospitalizations and extraneous costs, while improving patient outcomes. Specifically, she is further streamlining the integration of precision medicine information into the clinical workflow by designing tools and strategies that electronically pinpoint issues and put critical details at the clinician’s fingertips.”
She also consistently works to advance colleagues, too.
When asked about her key piece of leadership advice, her guidance is deceptively simple: “Empower team members and collaborators to achieve their full potential and make sure to give them the opportunity to shine.”
She does this outside the organization, too, working as “an active and dedicated mentor,” her nominator notes.
“As a preceptor for Southern Illinois University of Edwardsville’s pharmacy program, she provides students with opportunities to gain real-world exposure and a deeper understanding of the profession,” her nominator writes. “Hachad works with students to collect, analyze, and present clinical insights data, while also empowering the next generation of pharmacists to advocate for patients and go beyond the status quo to find better ways to deliver medicine.”
“Empower team members and collaborators to achieve their full potential and make sure to give them the opportunity to shine.”
Vice president, clinical operations, AccessDx Laboratory
Her volunteer and advisory efforts are also extensive, including working with organizations including the Pharmacogene Variation Consortium, the Association for Molecular Pathology Pharmacogenomics Group, and the Clinical Pharmacogenetics Implementation Consortium.
She also encourages this behavior in others, she says, by “engaging my team members in activities that can benefit the broader scientific community.”
In this way and so many others, Hachad is more than just a “tech wizard.”
“Hachad’s knowledge and desire to solve some of the industry’s major challenges have made significant impacts in medicine and equipped doctors, nurses, pharmacists and laboratories with resources that reach countless patients,” her nominator writes. “Fueled by this commitment, she will continue to drive healthcare forward through her ongoing research work and leadership contributions.”