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Mark Kryah

Senior Advisor and COO, Pharmaceutical Project Management, Immunology, Eli Lilly and Company
DIA Project Management Community Chair

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When did you realize you wanted to manage projects ranging from early to late phase drug development?

After a number of cross-functional positions at Lilly, I had the opportunity to work on a late phase development team, which was at that time executing multiple post-launch studies across several indications. It was in this role, as a project manager—where the ability to see the big picture across the breadth of drug development, integration across many areas, influencing and leading teams to accomplish common goals, and where strong organizational, problem solving and communication skills are essential—that I realized I wanted to pursue pharmaceutical project management as a career. Fortunately, these are skills that come rather naturally to me, and it is a thrill for me to exercise them every day in work that brings improved therapies to patients around the world.

Where do you see your field going? What is your vision of the field in 2030?

It’s hard to walk down the street, communicate with a family member, friend or colleague, read something, anything, without being impacted or using some type of digital technology. It’s everywhere. The rate of evolution of the science in healthcare is also incredible, due in many ways to leveraging the technology I mentioned above. However, I believe in the potential for broader application in our field, whether from operational perspectives, improving patient interactions, or from research innovations. Technology exists now that can reduce the time to bring new medicines to market, therefore reducing cost and time to bring new therapies to patients. I’d like to see our industry really accelerate the integration of science and technology in the next 10 years.

What advice would you give your younger self about to enter the “real world?”

Find those attributes, responsibilities, or skills that come naturally to you, and pursue a career path that exercises those strengths. Many people have high learning agility and the potential to learn a great many things, but I believe that when you enjoy most of what you are doing, and are good at it, then both you and your organization benefit! (Traveling the world or watching TV don’t pay that well for most people. :-) ) Also, be positive, patient, and persistent in your pursuit of what you want.

Who would you have over for a dinner party, and what would you talk to them about?

Martin Luther King, Jr. It would be incredible to hear about Dr. King’s journey, his passion, persistence, struggles, and visions in a life cut way too short.

How has DIA helped you?

Over the years, DIA has been a source of education and learning about the healthcare industry, in particular drug development. It has helped me grow and appreciate the importance of external focus, paying attention to how environmental events need to shape our internal strategies and plans. Just as importantly, if not more, DIA has given me the opportunity to develop a network of colleagues. Many of them have become friends with whom I can share experiences and learn from in the spirit of advancing the important work we do to develop new medicines for patients around the world who are waiting for improved care.

Mark Kryah, BS, PMP, has been leading projects ranging from early to late phase development for 20 years, with extensive international, cross-cultural, and partnership experience. He has led multiple global development programs, consistently demonstrated an ability to build strong cross-functional working relationships, effectively managed operational complexity, and has delivered strong business results. For the last nine years, he has been a COO/Senior Advisor in Lilly’s Bio-Medicines Business Unit, leading Phase 3 development and preparation for numerous registrations and launches across immunology, cardiovascular, and men’s health products. Mark has been involved with DIA for more than 15 years, contributing as a presenter and session chair at many DIA Annual Meetings. He served on the Annual Meeting Program Committee from 2013 to 2018, and is a member of the Project Management Core Committee, taking chair of the PM Community in 2018. He also serves on the DIA Community Leadership Council. Kryah obtained Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI) in April 1999 and currently maintains that designation.

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