A graduate of Rutgers University Medical School, Dr. Leonardo Salese began his career as a gastroenterologist, treating diseases of the digestive tract, including the esophagus, stomach, pancreas and liver. After several years of practicing medicine in the Philadelphia area, he decided to transition to biopharmaceutical research, believing it could lead to a greater impact on patients. Today, he is a global medical director at Pfizer.
“As a practicing clinician, I interacted with patients on a case-by-case basis, day-in and day-out,” says Dr. Salese. “Working now in the biopharmaceutical industry, I have the opportunity to make a global impact in a different way.” Research Snapshot. The dynamic nature of Dr. Salese’s day-to-day work means he is constantly on the move, working to advise the extensive research process inside Pfizer by providing a medical perspective on potential treatments and helping to keep the patient in mind.
The dynamic nature of Dr. Salese’s day-to-day work means he is constantly on the move, working to advise the extensive research process inside Pfizer by providing a medical perspective on potential treatments and helping to keep the patient in mind.
“What excites me most about my work is that I’m surrounded by people who are focused, first and foremost, on patient care,” he says.
Depending on the day, you’ll find Dr. Salese reviewing data from Pfizer’s ongoing clinical programs, working with a team to evaluate the efficacy and safety of potential new therapies or advising on ways to inform both patients and health care providers about new medicines as they become available.
The Driving Force
Dr. Salese was motivated to transition from private care to the biopharmaceutical industry by his drive to help improve patient lives, and that motivation stays with him every day. While his daily to-do list is long, he is passionate about his work. Dr. Salese is driven knowing that every task has the potential to contribute to a better quality of life for hundreds, if not thousands, of people.
Challenges and Collaboration
As a researcher, Dr. Salese works with a diverse set of internal and external stakeholders before picking out a path for what’s next. While this adds a new layer of challenge to his workflow, he says it is ultimately a good change.
“I actually welcome the new way of doing things because I realize sometimes I may have an idea, and with other people’s input that idea becomes even stronger,” he says.
This collaborative approach is just one of many diverse ways Dr. Salese and his team are working to help improve patient lives.
“If I could emphasize one thing, it is that our work is focused on helping to improve patient care,” he says. “At Pfizer – and within the industry more broadly – we are working for the same goal as healthcare providers.”
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