The Pistoia Alliance announces first female president


The Pistoia Alliance, a global, not-for-profit alliance that advocates for greater collaboration in life sciences R&D, today announced Dr Becky Upton as its first female president. Dr Upton will lead the Pistoia Alliance’s strategy and defining its future within areas of increasing importance to the industry, such as data standards, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and precision medicine. Dr Upton will build on the Alliance’s work as champions of science, through pre-competitive collaborative projects that bring together diverse perspectives and contributions from across the life sciences ecosystem to accelerate innovation in R&D and deliver better outcomes for all.

“I’ve been a supporter of the Pistoia Alliance’s work for many years and I’m delighted to be appointed as president. I firmly believe the collaboration the Alliance enables is critical to advancing science. The willingness of people to work together across the industry creates huge value for our members and proves that change is better together,” commented Dr Becky Upton, Incoming President at the Pistoia Alliance. “I want to work with our members to build on the progress we’ve made through existing projects and to ensure outcomes meet their organizations’ and the industry’s most critical needs. Our work makes a difference across the entire R&D value chain – from delivering better workflows to scientists in the lab to improving patient outcomes. As president, I encourage members to reach out to me about the barriers they want to overcome, new projects they want to establish, and how the Alliance can bring further value to their organizations as a whole.”

“Global not-for-profit organization The Pistoia Alliance announces first female president.“

Dr Upton first engaged with the Pistoia Alliance on its Lab of the Future project whilst at VWR (now part Avantor) where she worked for over a decade in sales, business development and scientific services. From here, she joined scientific instrumentation and analytical services company, Pion, as Managing Director, before moving to the Alliance as a project manager. Dr Upton later became Chief Portfolio Officer and within this role established the Alliance’s first and thriving Diversity and Inclusion in STEM Leadership program. After a return to the commercial world as a Director at Impellam Group where she led the company’s STEM services strategy, Dr Upton is excited to re-join the Alliance as President.

“With experience across both the lab and commercial sides of biopharma, Dr Upton has an expert understanding of the issues facing the industry globally today,” commented Dr Chris Waller, founding member and Chair of the Pistoia Alliance Board of Directors. “Dr Upton’s established track record in driving greater diversity under the umbrella of the Pistoia Alliance has shown she’s the kind of voice the industry needs to hear more of. We welcome her innovative new ideas and leadership, and look forward to her continued development of our project portfolio, as well as driving our global growth and increasing value for members.”

“The landscape of life sciences, particularly pharma, has changed massively in recent years. Breakthroughs during the pandemic have raised both expectations and trust in the industry, and we must continue building on these gains on a global scale,” added Dr Upton. “The Pistoia Alliance is perfectly placed to accelerate the industry’s transformation and ask the important question of where will we be in ten years and what skills will we need? I am keen to explore more ways the Alliance can branch out, including expanding our educational programs. The life sciences must change based on society’s demands, and I want to put the Alliance at the center of big conversations, from AI and precision medicine to sustainability. Our shared model for collaboration between our members provides the engine for innovation in life sciences R&D and I am looking forward to speaking to our members about how we can help them to achieve their goals.”

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