The Top 20 Biotech & Pharma Influencers on Twitter

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Scientists. Doctors. Academics. Investors. Analysts. Patient advocates. There are a wide variety of social thought leaders in the biotech and pharma Twitterscape (you know, it’s like ‘landscape’, but for Twitter).

There are plenty of articles addressing the regulatory and compliance concerns that are preventing the industry from embracing social media, but very few that talk about bringing the community together to engage in meaningful social conversations. Can you imagine how much activity there could be if more than 10 of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies in the world used all 3 of the top social media channels?

This post is intended to provide you with a list (in no particular order) of the top 20 industry influencers on Twitter as of 26 May 2016 so that you will know who to follow. But it is also a dare to engage with these influencers to get real-time industry news and information and to gain insights into some of the hottest industry topics. (Note: This list does not include corporate accounts, such as @FierceBiotech.)

The Top 20 Biotech & Pharma Influencers on Twitter

Amy Harmon (@Amy_Harmon): Amy is a National Correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner at The New York Times, who digs into topics such as social ethics in science, biotechnology, and genomics.

Eric Topol (@EricTopol): Eric is a prominent Cardiologist at Scripps Health in San Diego, and a Professor of Genomics at The Scripps Research Institute. He was an early advocate of health IT and continues to be a thought leader in this area.

Paul Sonnier (@Paul_Sonnier): Paul runs a 37,000+ member digital health LinkedIn group. He is the founder and principal at Digital Health Consulting and is on the Strategic Advisory Board at Pathway Genomics Corporation.

Ryan Bethencourt (@RyanBethencourt): Ryan is a Program Director & Venture Partner at IndieBio, Cofounder and former CEO of Berkeley Biolabs, Cofounder of Counter Culture Labs. You can count on him for live tweets from industry events and up to date information on industry activists and activities.

Adam Feuerstein (@adamfeuerstein): Adam is a Senior Columnist for You can follow him for information on publicly traded biotech stocks. His wit is sharp and he doesn’t hold back any punches if he thinks something is fishy at a company.

Paul Tunnah (@pharmaphorum): Paul is the CEO & Founder of pharmaphorum media, a digital podium for communicating thought leadership and innovation within pharma.

Daniel MacArthur (@dgmacarthur): Daniel is the Co-Director of Medical and Population Genetics at the Broad Institute, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. He leads an academic research team devoted to developing methods for interpreting the functional impact of genetic variation.

Jason Moore (@moorejh): Jason is a Director and Professor at the Institute for Biomedical Informatics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He tweets about science, precision medicine, and how technology is impacting the industry’s future.

Jonathan Eisen (@phylogenomics): Jonathan is a Professor at the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology and Section on Evolution and Ecology, U.C. Davis Genome Center, at the University of California. As his handle implies, he tweets a lot about genomics. He also will keep you up to date on what he’s reading and provide some humor about recent political topics.

Craig Lipset (@CraigLipset): Craig is the Head of Clinical Innovation within Worldwide Research and Development at Pfizer and on the Board of Directors for several non-profits. Has been in the field of drug development for over 15 years.

Mike Thompson (@mtmdphd): Mike is a Clinical Adjunct Assistant Professor for the Department of Medicine at University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. He is also a Medical Director, Early Phase Cancer Research Program, Patient-Centered Research at Aura Health Care. Mike runs some interesting Twitter polls and provides frequent ASCO updates.

Rahlyn Gossen (@RebarInter): Rahlyn is a patient experience enthusiast, health tech geek, and proud New Orleanian. She tweets for Rebar Interactive.

Luke Timmerman (@ldtimmerman): Luke is a biotech journalist and founder of @TimmermanReport. He is a contributor at Forbes and co-host of Signal, a podcast at STAT News. He covers all areas of the industry from sexism in the workforce to new PD-L1 breakthroughs.

Bruce Booth (@LifeSciVC): Bruce describes himself as an early stage biotech VC and recovering scientist. He tweets about investing topics, such as the behaviors of first time biotech CEOs and where biotech VC funding is heading in the future. He can also be relied upon for inspiration quotes in the form of Metallica quotes.

Dan Sfera (@TheRealDanSfera): Dan runs a website called The Clinical Trials Guru, where he discusses clinical trials in plain English. His company is called DSCS Sweat Equity & Investments, LLC. He is an entrepreneur who partners with, invests in, and advises clinical research companies. He uses his Twitter account to promote a lot of his YouTube vlogs, which covering everything from dealing with a confrontational CRA to professional development opportunities for PIs. Anyone who follows his Twitter account knows that he is also a frustrated sports fan, as every team he starts to root for instantly looses.

Luke Scicluna (@Biotech_Updates): Luke is an immunologist and neuroscientist who moved to the Biotechnology sector, and is interested in Life Science developments. His tweets will keep you up to date on the latest industry changes, approvals, failures.

Michael Fisch (@fischmd): Michael is the Director of Medical Oncology at AIM Speciality Health and a clinical specialist in the Department of General Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He tweets about patient advocacy, cost of care, and challenges with getting cancer patients enrolled in clinical trials.

Wendy Blackburn (@WendyBlackburn): Wendy is a marketer who is focused on pharma. She covers topics you won’t see elsewhere, like how to create compliant medidata for branded organic search results.

Mark Schoenebaum (@MarkSchoenebaum): Mark has been a biotech and pharma analyst since 2000. If his profile photo looks familiar, it is because you have probably seen him on CNBC. He also loves sharing data visually, with cool charts and word clouds.

Matthew Herper (@matthewherper): Matthew writes about genomics and other biomedical science topics for Forbes. He also talks about many of the struggles that the industry sees when trying to develop new drugs.

And there you have it. Enjoy your new connections. Get to know them, engage in meaningful conversations with them and with others, and help advance the biotech and pharma industry down a new path!


robin-brodrick-head-shotRobin Brodrick is a Talent Acquisition Consultant at Veristat and an aspiring minimalist. Follow Robin on Twitter or LinkedIn for a unique mix of minimalism, job search, and recruiting advice. To learn more about Veristat and its open positions, click here!


Veristat to Share Its Partnership Insights at GoBalto Webinar

The Role of Transparency in CRO-Sponsor Partnerships: Enabling Better Collaboration Models


About the Webinar

Join GoBalto for an exciting webinar that examines both the Sponsors and CROs point of view on how to retain successful Sponsor-CRO partnership that ensures study success.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

 1:00 – 2:00 PM EDT (10 AM  PDT)

Successful collaborations between sponsors and CROs require skills in communication and relationship management to create a shared vision of partnering and trust. One of the critical components of a successful partnership is transparency, from both a data and business process perspective. This mindset may be lacking in sponsor/CRO relationships, which can limit the potential to complete projects better, faster and more efficiently. The challenge increases significantly when a sponsor works with several CROs. Against this backdrop, many sponsors seek to achieve strategic and transformational change, while many such initiatives currently achieve only small, incremental improvements.

This webinar will address common collaboration obstacles from both the CRO perspective and the sponsor perspective with a focus on increasing the value of strategic partnerships. Panelists will share their views on how transparency in data and business process can be leveraged to increase the quality of the relationship—and ultimately, the success of the study.

Webinar Panelists Include

Executive Vice President, Strategic Development

Director of Client Engagement

Senior Manager, Clinical Outsourcing Management
Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Register To Attend Webinar

Please visit the GoBalto website to register for this complimentary webinar.

Register Here

Learn ‘How to Manage Your Outsourcing Strategies’ From Veristat CEO Patrick Flanagan At the Chief Medical Officer East Summit

CMO East 2016Join Veristat, as well as Chief Medical Officers and R&D Executives from small to mid-sized life science companies at the Chief Medical Officer Summit East 2016 to share ideas, solutions and support for bringing new products through the clinical development process.

The conference will address the unique challenges of accomplishing this while directing and managing all R&D functions with limited resources, while raising capital and planning for the appropriate exit strategies.

Attend the Panel Discussion

Hear Veristat’s CEO Patrick Flanagan speak on the panel titled:


Whatever the Outsourcing Model, What’s the Best Way to Manage it?

Date:  Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Time:  1:55 – 2:35 pm


The reality with clinical outsourcing is that it’s extremely people dependent. Once relationships are sourced and emerging biotech settles on governing and economics, the relationship moves down to different levels into the project teams. Everyone is under huge financial pressure and this tension can drive negative behavior, causing flare-ups.

In this session, we address best practices to meet the long term development needs, specifically non- traditional agreements and approaches to minimize cost, prevent change orders and ensure on time deliverability on a fixed budget. We will hear from both CROs and CMOs on what they really want from their external teams and discuss what can be different for 2016 and 2017.

Panel Moderators:

  • ShiYin Foo, MD, PhD Former CMO, Cardioxyl
  • Catherine Wheeler, MD CMO, SVP, Clinical Development, Acetylon Pharmaceuticals


  • Patrick Flanagan Chief Executive Officer,Veristat
  • Lynn Sutton VP, Clinical Operations, InSeption Group, LLC
  • Graham Wood, PhD EVP, Phase I Clinical Development, Altasciences Clinical Research: Vince & Associates

 Schedule a Meeting

Meet with Veristat at the conference. Even if you are not attending, reach out today to schedule a meeting.


Veristat Expands Its Clinical Operations into Europe


Veristat Expands Its Clinical Operations into Europe

Acquires UK-based CRO, Spero Oncology

Veristat announced today that it is expanding its clinical research offerings into Europe through the acquisition of UK-based CRO, Spero Oncology. Spero Oncology is a UK-based CRO specializing in providing clinical operations support for oncology clinical trials primarily throughout Europe, but also in Australia and New Zealand.  With the acquisition of Spero Oncology, Veristat now offers its clients full clinical operations support in Europe including feasibility studies, legal representation in the European Union, Clinical Monitoring, Project Management, Protocol Writing and Regulatory Strategy.

“Veristat’s expansion into Europe marks an important milestone in our history,” stated Patrick Flanagan, Chief Executive Officer of Veristat. “Adding the Spero Oncology team to Veristat will strengthen our ability to deliver value to our clients’ multi-national trials throughout North America and Europe. The Spero team has an impressive reputation for delivering valuable guidance and insight to their clients’ clinical trials. We feel that this team is a great fit culturally and professionally and will enhance our ability to make a difference in the trials we perform on behalf of sponsors.”

Spero Oncology will immediately be integrated and operate under the Veristat brand and name.

Theresa BruceVeristat has appointed Spero’s founder and Managing Director, Theresa Bruce, to the newly created position of Vice President of Clinical Operations at Veristat.   In her new role, Theresa will provide leadership and strategic oversight to Veristat’s global clinical operations team.   She joins Veristat with more than 23 years of clinical research experience in both the pharmaceutical and CRO industry.  She is passionate about drug development having spent the last 16 years providing leadership and project management support for numerous oncology trials.  Prior to founding Spero Oncology, she was the COO of Nexus Oncology. And, following the acquisition of Nexus by Ockham Oncology, she remained as Vice-President, Global Operations. Originally trained as a nurse, she worked as a Research Sister in a large teaching hospital in Glasgow and subsequently completed her MBA in the city.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Veristat family,” stated Theresa Bruce, Vice President, Clinical Operations at Veristat. “Being part of an international CRO allows us to provide clients with an expanded service offering and the ability to run clinical trials in North America and Europe. Veristat is a great fit for my team because we share the same passion for helping clients bring new therapies to market.”

About Veristat:

Veristat is an innovative full-service, science-focused clinical research organization (CRO) with over 20 years of experience in supporting clinical trials and regulatory submissions for pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device companies. Veristat offers comprehensive clinical development services, including biostatistics, statistical programming, medical writing, clinical monitoring, project management and data management, for a single study or an entire clinical program, as well as preparation of integrated summary documents and submission-ready CDISC data for regulatory filings. Due to Veristat’s unwavering commitment to scientific integrity, client focus and exceptional performance, long-lasting client relationships are our hallmark.  For more information, please visit


Veristat Contact:
Gillian Dellacioppa, Marketing Director or 508-306-6336

Veristat Recognized as One of the Top 50 Fastest-Growing Private Companies in Massachusetts

Veristat BBJ

Veristat announced today that it has been recognized as one of the top 50 fastest-growing private companies in Massachusetts, taking the #35 slot.   According to Privco[i], there are over 4,000 private firms operating in Massachusetts today.

“Veristat is honored to be recognized as one of the top 50 fastest growing private firms in Massachusetts,” stated Patrick Flanagan, Chief Executive Officer of Veristat. “Over the past four years, Veristat has nearly tripled its size in both revenues and talent.   We continue to grow in order to provide our clients with the strategic and scientific expertise needed to manage their clinical trials and navigate the regulatory process.   In the coming months, we will be expanding our geographic reach and service offerings.”

The Boston Business Journal “Fast 50” list includes the top 50 privately held businesses in Massachusetts that recorded the fastest revenue growth from 2012 through 2015.   This year’s rankings were published in the April 22 weekly edition of the Business Journal.

To learn more and view the BBJ’s list of the Fastest Growing Private Companies in Massachusetts, click on the link below:  (you must be a BBJ subscriber to view the full list):

See Veristat Speak at Regulatory Writing for Approvals Conference

Don’t miss Paula Wun’s panel discussion on “Editing Considerations for Submission Documents” at the 5th Annual Regulatory Writing for Product Apporvals Conference.


Join Veristat and industry leaders in regulatory writing and submissions management at the upcoming 5th Annual Regulatory Writing for Product Approvals Conference to share and discuss the challenges of writing regulatory submissions in a continually changing regulatory environment.

Panel Discussion

Paula WunOn Thursday, April 28 at 10:40 AM, we invite you to join Paula Wun and an esteemed panel of industry experts will discuss the following:

Paula Wun, Senior Director, Medical Writing



  • Avoiding edits to verbatim data from source materials
  • Designating a final authority decision maker
  • Editorial comment specificity
    • Clear text changes
    • Data edits vs. writing style comments
  • Develop editorial timelines for success
  • Reducing reviewer fatigue
  • Editorial checklist development
  • Integration of edits into final submission


  • Laura Sheppard, MBA, MA, Manager, Medical Writing, MALLINCKRODT PHARMACEUTICALS
  • Becky Nuttall, Medical Writing Lead, EMD SERONO
  • René Alvarez, Associate Director, Medical Writing, FIBROGEN
  • Gretchen Griffin, MS, Director, Regulatory Writing Strategic Solutions and Operations, ABBVIE
  • Leslie Lescale-Matys, Medical Writing Group Lead, SHIRE

We hope to see you at this exciting panel discussion.

Schedule a Meeting with Veristat

Veristat can offer you strategic guidance in planning for your regulatory submission, we provide representation at the agency meetings, and we provide the statistical as well as medical writing support to prepare the submission documents. We have over 20 years of experience helping clients prepare INDs, CTAs, NDAs, BLAs, and MAAs.

Schedule a time to speak with Paula or any of Veristat’s experts at the show about the challenges you are trying to overcome with your current or upcoming submission project.

Schedule Meeting

What Does the Future of Quality Assurance and Regulatory Compliance Look Like?

Written by Susan Yadlon, BS. Edited by Robin Brodrick.

What Role does Quality Assurance Play at a CRO?

A contract research organization (CRO) has the unique ability to expose QA Specialists to a broad range of therapeutic areas. QA professionals in a CRO must be flexible to a continually changing environment because the role is exciting, never boring, and very fast paced.

QA Specialists provide guidance and mentor colleagues on Quality Management Systems (QMS) and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) regulations. They may be the administrator of the Document Control program, provide training in the QMS, assist in investigating a departure from standard practice, assess compliance to internal procedures, assist in the selection of vendors, conduct internal or supplier audits, provide input into investigations, create quality metrics, and provide vision to management on the company’s compliance status.

Which Personality Traits do Exceptional QA Specialists Tend to Have?

Successful QA Specialists are self-driven to continually improve the quality and compliance of the organization. They have strong project management skills, with a high-level attention to detail and accuracy, and drive projects to completion.  Their excellent written and communication skills provide guidance and influence over people whom they have no authority. They are flexible, dependable and diligent.  Most companies also look for candidates who have GCP knowledge, a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, and experience in an FDA regulated environment.

What Does the Future of QA Look Like in Pharma & Biotech?

Quality has a strong influence on the regulatory compliance within an organization.  However, it does not always guarantee a quality product. According to the FDA, everyone owns quality within an organization. Quality needs to be built into the product from concept to final release. Looking at quality from a systems approach will help prevent a reactive mode from occurring after a problem has been discovered, and will change it to a proactive approach where compliance is thought about before a project begins and the system is looked at as a whole. A true clinical quality professional will have a thorough understanding of the overall quality management system (QMS) and will mentor the business to take ownership and build in quality from the start of each project.

Are you a Quality Assurance Specialist in the Greater Boston area? If so, Veristat may be interested in hiring someone like you! Click here to apply for a QA role.


Susan-Yadlon-VeristatSusan Yadlon is passionate about fostering cats that are unlikely to be adopted, civilizing them, and then introducing them to a loving family. She spent several years as an industry consultant before leaving the consulting world and grounding herself back into industry so she could foster cats. Susan is the Associate Director of Corporate Compliance at Veristat, LLC in Southborough, MA. To learn more about Veristat’s open positions, click here.