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Jeffrey Sherman

Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President, Horizon Therapeutics
Fellow of DIA

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In your opinion, what is the greatest challenge in your field?

Our company Horizon Therapeutics does a lot of work in rare diseases. There are more than seven thousand rare diseases and only five percent have treatments, meaning 95 percent don’t. And of those that have treatments, many of those treatments are lacking, so there’s a tremendous unmet need for rare diseases that needs to be addressed, and these are very dire diseases.

What in your opinion is the biggest gap between research and practice in your field?

Given the inordinate amount of time that clinicians in the field need to spend now with electronic health records and the like, the gap is in thinking about underlying disease, disease pathways, and how to do clinical research to better serve the needs of patients.

Imagine a day without work, the internet, and any other obligations. What would you do?

I would probably play with my grandchildren: a four-year-old granddaughter; two-year-old twins, so another granddaughter and grandson; plus our soon-to-be, on-her-way, granddaughter in October.

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

Never say never. When opportunity knocks, take advantage of those opportunities because you never know where they may lead. And it’s a small world. You’ve got to think long-term in your relationships, and that’s a key aspect of building your career.

How has DIA helped you?

It’s not only professionally enriching, but an opportunity to meet individuals worldwide who you likely wouldn’t have had an opportunity to meet, and to learn from one another. It’s been not only rewarding in the past, but rewarding in the present, and, seeing the trajectory that DIA is on, will continue to be rewarding as well. I’d encourage anyone to join DIA and participate, learn, and share. At the end of the day, it’s really all about helping patients, and at the end of the day, we are all patients.

Jeffrey W. Sherman, MD, FACP, is Chief Medical Officer and Executive Vice President at Horizon Therapeutics. He has more than 25 years of pharmaceutical industry experience through engagements with IDM Pharma, Takeda Global Research and Development, NeoPharm, Searle/Pharmacia, and Squibb/Bristol-Myers Squibb. Sherman is a Past President of DIA and serves as DIA liaison to the FDA Clinical Trial Transformation Initiative Steering Committee. He has served as DIA Annual Meeting Chair, received the DIA Outstanding Service Award, and was an inaugural DIA Fellow. Sherman is a member of the Global Genes Medical and Scientific Advisory Board, is involved with the National Organization for Rare Diseases (NORD), and serves on the Board of Advisors of the Center for Information and Study on Clinical Research Participation (CISCRP).

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