Every year, the PharmaVoice 100 salutes leaders in the life sciences who are blazing new trails. From Nobel Peace Prize nominees to Silicon Valley executives, marketing entrepreneurs and clinical trial innovators, our PharmaVoice 100 honorees stand out from the pack by catalyzing change across the industry.
And while many of our winners have landed in new roles since being on the list, they continue to inspire, innovate and most of all, positively impact their companies, colleagues and communities.
As we invite nominations for the 2023 PharmaVoice 100, here’s a look at how some of our previous honorees are still pushing boundaries in their roles today.
Dr. Ryan Saadi
Years honored: 2011, 2015, 2019 Red Jacket
Roles then: Global head, market access and policy, oncology, Johnson & Johnson; Global vice president, evidence, market access and strategic pricing, CSL Behring
Why he was honored: A leading global expert in health economics and market access with a business model of “doing well by doing good,” Saadi has spent his career challenging the status quo. Beyond his decorated resume that includes high-ranking positions at CSL Behring, Sanofi and Johnson & Johnson, Saadi’s commitment to pushing the needle on patient access and health equity earned him recognition as a PharmaVoice 100 and then later, a Red Jacket — a distinction for “hall of fame” winners.
Where he is now: CEO, Tevogen Bio
Ongoing impact: Today, Saadi remains steadfast in his quest to improve patient access, with a goal to create a T cell therapy that can be given in any doctor’s office. He believes Tevogen’s platform technology could bring down the cost of personalized immunotherapies even further. It’s this most recent work that recently led Dr. Curtis Patton, professor emeritus at Yale University’s School of Public Health and a Tevogen board member, to nominate Saadi for the 2023 Nobel Peace Prize. While the winner of the international award will be announced in October 2023, Saadi doesn’t appear phased by the spotlight.
“It hasn’t really sunk in,” Saadi said of the award in an interview with PharmaVoice. “If it actually brings attention to the fact that there is a way to lower the barriers and reduce the costs allowing more patients to have access to these therapies, then I’m all for it.”
Years honored: 2010, 2014, 2015 Red Jacket
Role then: CEO, chair, Johnson & Johnson
Why he was honored: During his decadelong tenure as Johnson & Johnson’s CEO, Gorsky notched a number of high-profile achievements, such as deploying an Ebola vaccine in Africa, leading J&J’s $100 million pledge to tackle health inequities in communities of color in the U.S., and developing a COVID-19 vaccine in just over a year. In 2013, Gorsky also led J&J to join the U.N. Global Compact, a strategic policy initiative for businesses committed to aligning operations with 10 principles related to human rights, labor, environmental and anti-corruption practices.
Where he is now: Executive chair, Johnson & Johnson; board member, Apple; board member, IBM
Ongoing impact: In our 2018 Red Jacket interview with Gorsky, he emphasized the increasing role of technology in healthcare, and specifically drug development. At the time, J&J had announced new partnerships with tech companies including IBM, Google and Apple. And although Gorsky is now one-year retired from his role leading J&J, he has remained intent on pushing forward connections between technology and drug research through his role on the boards of Johnson & Johnson, Apple and IBM.
Years honored: 2013, 2014, 2018 Red Jacket
Roles then: Managing director, health and life sciences, Microsoft
Why she was honored: Recognized as a thought leader in patient engagement and cloud compliance, McGonigle stands at the forefront of integrating technology into drug development. During her decadelong tenure at Microsoft, McGonigle led development of tools and platforms that allowed companies to collaborate, optimize physician directed pharmaceutical sales and innovate. Equally a powerhouse outside of the nine-to-five, McGonigle spearheaded the creation of the Microsoft Women in Health Employee Group, the Executive Council for Women in Healthcare & Life Sciences and is heavily involved in the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Where she is now: General manager, healthcare and life sciences partnerships, Google Cloud
Ongoing impact: At Google, McGonigle is continuing to marry technology innovation with drug development to help solve some of the biggest problems facing the industry today — including the creation of a new drug filing system that brings treatments to market more quickly.
Year honored: 2008
Role then: Director, HCP Complementary Channels, Sanofi-Aventis
Why he was honored: An expert in user experience (UX) design, Appel is a disrupter in healthcare communications. As the digital landscape evolved in the mid-2000s, Appel adapted, creating engagement strategies for companies like Lifescan, Genentech, Biogen Idec and Allergan. During his tenure at Sanofi-Aventis, he led development for the company's omnichannel communications strategy to reach healthcare practitioners before it became a buzzword.
Where he is now: Chief digital officer, The Bloc
Ongoing impact: After leading digital marketing teams at both Amgen and Bristol Myers Squibb, Appel joined The Bloc, a life sciences-focused advertising agency, last May as its first chief digital officer. In the role, he’s using his prior experience to build out the company’s UI/UX solutions to better engage physicians, consumers and payers as the digital environment evolves.
Year honored: 2022
Role then: CEO, GCI Health
Why she was honored: With more than 30 years of healthcare communications and marketing experience, Lund is continually pushing the boundaries of what’s possible to benefit patients. Noted for her ability to build world-class offerings that help clients achieve their goals, during her 10 years at GCI, a WPP agency, she transformed the boutique healthcare public relations firm into a fully integrated agency and helped grow revenue by 1,000%. Lund is also a fierce advocate for women and has worked to create opportunities for leaders to advance their careers while being mindful of the pressures of having a work-life balance.
Where she is now: Executive vice president, chief client officer, Health & Wellness, WPP
Ongoing impact: After helping Organon relaunch as a global women’s healthcare company in her role as chief communications officer, Lund returned to the agency world and WPP last year. Her goal is to create a collaborative mindset and drive transformation to impact real conversations to address patients’ wellness needs for the holding company’s healthcare clients, which include some of the biggest names in the business — GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Pfizer.
Years honored: 2010, 2016, 2018 Red Jacket
Role then: Former head of clinical innovation, Pfizer
Why he was honored: Lipset is a visionary leader dedicated to revolutionizing the role patients play in clinical research. His industry firsts are numerous: He led Pfizer to become the first pharma to attempt a fully decentralized, blinded/randomized digital clinical trial; he launched the industry’s first online post-trial relationships and communications platform, PfizerLink; and he pioneered the idea of returning deliverables to patients. Lipset also served on the founding operations committee of TransCelerate.
Where he is now: Founder, Clinical Innovation Partners and co-founder, DTRA
Ongoing impact: As an adviser, advocate, educator, mentor and speaker, Lipset remains focused on improving the clinical trial experience for every patient by driving action at the intersection of research, digital solutions and patient engagement. In 2021, along with Dr. Amir Kalali, Lipset co-founded and launched the Decentralized Trials & Research Alliance (DTRA), a coalition of more than 50 life sciences and healthcare organizations. In 2022 and for his 30-plus years of dedication to improving the patient experience, the Drug Information Association named Lipset a fellow, a distinction granted to those who have demonstrated active support of the advancement of global healthcare.
Years honored: 2019, 2021, 2022 Red Jacket
Role then: Chief commercial and strategy officer, Parexel
Why she was honored: Howell has been a driving force in changing how patients access medicines since she founded The Lash Group in 1991, which she grew to be the largest provider of market access services and consulting over the course of 16 years before being acquired by AmerisourceBergen. Upon joining Parexel, she further refined the clinical research organization’s “patients-first” strategy, which extends to addressing the need for greater diversity in clinical trials and improving health outcomes for all. Howell is also a DE&I champion who’s committed to improving the lives and careers of her colleagues around the world.
Where she is now: Chief operating and growth officer, Parexel
Ongoing impact: In 2022, Howell landed her new role and she continues to positively influence the company’s extensive line of service offerings, which range from all phases of clinical trial design to regulatory and commercial consulting. In 2022, Howell was also instrumental in positioning the CRO to win the prestigious Catalyst award for its “Leveraging Gender Partnership to Advance Women in Leadership” initiative which boosted representation of women in senior level roles to almost 40% and to 50% at the vice president level.
Years honored: 2018
Role then: CEO, chair, Merck & Co.
Why he was honored: Under Frazier’s watch as CEO and chair, Merck substantively increased its investment in research, including early research, while refocusing the organization on the launch and growth of key products like Keytruda and Gardasil. Under Frazier’s stewardship as chair and CEO, he safeguarded the heritage and values of the company that has one of the best reputations in the pharmaceutical industry. He also adapted the company to meet the needs of generations to come through involvement with philanthropic initiatives like Merck’s participation in the OneTen initiative, which he co-founded to upskill, hire and promote 1 million Black Americans during the next decade.
Where he is now: Executive chair, Merck; chair, health assurance initiatives, General Catalyst
Ongoing impact: Although Frazier retired as CEO of Merck in 2021, he continues to serve as executive chair of the company and as a board member of many philanthropic organizations. He is also using his influence and experience to foster the next generation of early-stage and innovative technology companies as chair of health assurance initiatives at General Catalyst, a venture capital firm supporting future-focused entrepreneurs. As co-chair of OneTen, he oversees the organization’s mission to help Black individuals land meaningful careers.