Women in Science and Precision Medicine: A hiring manager’s perspective
Mar 31, 2017
Annie Martin, Global Head of Precision Medicine in Oncology at Novartis.
Our Women in Science series is not just about the female scientists and researchers at Novartis – we want to share with you stories of women who contribute daily to every facet of our company – whether that’s Human Resources, Communications, Advocacy, Marketing or something else entirely.
Annie Martin is leading and growing one of the most exciting teams here at Novartis – Precision Medicine in Oncology. Each day, Annie comes to work knowing that she is going to collaborate with some of the best minds in the business, research new approaches in the emerging field of cancer treatment and work with her team members to make an impact on patients’ lives. Each day, Annie makes a difference and never forgets the reason why we are here – for patients. We asked Annie to tell us more about what her job looks like day to day and to share some insights into what she values on her team. What’s even more exciting? She’s hiring!
Tell us more about your role and the precision medicine team.
Annie Martin: I am the Global Head of Precision Medicine in Oncology at Novartis. In that capacity, I am responsible for the growth and success of my team – together and individually. The team is accountable for the design, implementation and execution of the precision medicine strategies that support the programs in clinical development. This starts with the discovery of biomarkers, led by Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR), which can be translated into clinical studies, starting with the Phase 1 studies run by Translational Clinical Oncology (TCO).
Once projects transition into development, my team is responsible for ensuring that each clinical study/program has an aligned precision medicine plan. If a study needs to incorporate the development of a companion diagnostic, it is the responsibility of my team to lead and execute the delivery of the companion diagnostic assay.
Who do you work with day to day?
Annie Martin: Our number one focus every day is the patient; they are the inspiration behind the work we do. Internally, we have the opportunity to work with a number of groups, including our colleagues in NIBR, TCO, Development, Regulatory and Commercial. We also collaborate with external stakeholders, including physicians, technology developers, regulators and payers.
What sets Novartis apart as a place to work?
Annie Martin: Novartis’ pipeline is uniquely diverse and includes targeted and immuno-oncology compounds. This gives us a tremendous opportunity to take our learnings from all of our trials and apply knowledge that cuts across all aspects of cancer biology.
What qualities do you look for in prospective employees?
Annie Martin: Passion, curiosity, courage to do something new, leadership, collaboration and an expertise in their specialty area.
What does precision medicine mean to patients?
Annie Martin:Precision medicine is the “customization” of medicines for patients such that, if a patient’s tumor has a specific biomarker(s) that is associated with the efficacy of a drug, and if the biomarker(s) can be measured through accurate and validated assays, there is a strong likelihood that the patient will derive benefit from the medicine(s).