Scientist as Businessman: Video Transcript

Steve Gilman, PhD (Miami, 1975) [Executive Vice President of Research and Development and Chief Scientific Officer of Cubist Pharmaceuticals]: I moved from a pure scientific job and pure scientific interest into a mix of science and business. I did that because I felt that I could contribute both scientifically and in terms of the overall company strategy, development of new drugs. I've always been interested in pharmaceuticals and providing new medicines for people with significant unmet medical needs.

I started to transition from the pure science many years ago and did that, really, by learning about other aspects other than science, asking questions, being curious as you are as a scientist, but actually extending that curiosity from the raw data (microbiology data and other types of data) into really how does a business work? How do you convert science into medicines, into business, into providing new treatments for patients, both from the bench into the clinic and then on the market?

So that got me into a lot of interesting areas. Regulatory approvals, for example, where I've been at FDA meetings and talking about how do we get the science, the data we need to make sure the drug is safe and efficacious. And it's got me into, actually, a CEO job where I actually was CEO of a company, which I can tell you was something when I was at Miami was completely something I would never have imagined.

The way I did that was by being curious, accepting new opportunities when they came along, asking for new opportunities, being out there in front of the company, the university, wherever I was and saying, gee, I'm anxious to learn, want to contribute in many ways. So just sort of be out there and be interested in what other things you can contribute in your work environment.

[April 2012]