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Patients Inspiring Growth at UCB's Bedford Lab


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    UCB researchers like Jessica Williamson, PhD, come to work driven by a singular purpose – to create value for people living with severe disease. That’s because patients depend on the important work of scientific research to discover new medical innovations that will help them achieve their goals. Read more from Dr. Williamson about why she's passionate about innovating for patients and UCB's growing research presence in the greater Boston area.

    'Each day, I have the great privilege of pursuing a rewarding and inspiring career doing something I love. From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to be a scientist. I began my career as an academic studying protein biophysics and biochemistry, but when I moved into pharmaceutical research and development, I was able to anchor my research in a passion for impacting people living with severe diseases.

    Now, as a Protein Production Lead at UCB, I am fortunate to work with our incredible team, who are just as dedicated as I am to advancing science. Together, we relentlessly innovate to deliver treatment options to patients.  

    Whether at UCB research sites around the world or in our facility here in Bedford MA, where I am based, we put patients at the heart of everything we do. Our expanding team in the Boston area is constantly generating new ideas, contributing to progress and helping bring early stage solutions to the clinic– always with the patient journey in mind. I am extremely proud to work for a company that invests more than a quarter of our revenue back into research and development, well above the industry standard.

    Today, our research impact is growing, with our new focus on next generation therapies, such as those working through targeted protein degradation and in the future with gene therapy. In particular, for gene therapy, we’re currently recruiting a team that can engineer and produce novel gene therapy vectors at research scale. We’re also investing in our ability to find novel chemical matter through DNA encoded libraries, which will enable us to more quickly discover and develop starting points for high impact medicines.  

    To fuel this research, I’m excited to see our capabilities continue to grow and welcome new bench researchers and data scientists so that we can continue to explore, innovate and deliver to those patients, as well as the greater Boston community.

    As I walk into our laboratories each day, I’m motivated by the photos of patients lining our walls. With continued growth in the greater Boston biotech community comes the promise of delivering impactful solutions to these patients as fast as possible, and enabling them to live their best lives, whatever that means for them – and I’m excited to be part of UCB as it all comes to life.'

    Read the article on LinkedIn.

    About the Author
    Jessica Williamson, PhD is the Protein Production Lead at UCB and has been with the organization for four years, starting as a Research Scientist in Protein Purification in 2015. Her background is in protein biophysics and biochemistry. She completed her PhD at Yale University in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, studying the structure and assembly of an amyloid protein using NMR spectroscopy. As a postdoc at Harvard University, Jess studied membrane protein structure and behavior using NMR as well. This background in challenging proteins has been useful in managing a protein production group. In addition to her role overseeing the Protein Expression and Purification team, Jess is also engaged in UCB’s initiatives for Women in Leadership and environmental sustainability practices.

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