Pistoia Alliance appoints first female president  

The Pistoia Alliance has appointed its first female President with Dr Becky Upton taking on the position, the organisation has announced. 

Dr Upton will lead the not-the-profit’s strategy with a focus on areas of increasing importance such as data standards, diversity and inclusion, sustainability and precision medicine. 

Dr Upton aims to continue the Pistoia Alliance’s work in instigating 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 health outcomes.  

Speaking about her appointment, Dr Upton said: “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.”  

“I want to work with our members to build on the progress we’ve made through existing projects and to ensure outcomes meet their organisations’ 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 organisations as a whole,” she added.  

Dr Upton first worked 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 there Dr Upton 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  Diversity and Inclusion in STEM Leadership program. She then became Director at Impellam Group where she led the company’s STEM services strategy before rejoining the Pistoia Alliance as President.  

Official comments  

“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 10 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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