Leadership course explores contemporary issues faced by scientific and medical professionals

Author: Shadia Ajam

The Crowley Family

This past Saturday, March 21, the College of Science held a course on Scientific and Medical Leadership in Jordan Hall of Science. This day-long event brought together scientists and physicians from a variety of fields to address relevant topics facing contemporary leadership roles.

John Crowley, Chairman and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, shared his experiences the biotech industry. Crowley’s interest in the biotech industry began with the diagnosis of two of his children with Pompe disease, a severe and often fatal neuromuscular disorder. Determined to find a cure and save his children, Crowley left his position at Bristol-Myers Squibb and co-founded Novazyme Pharmaceuticals, a biotech start-up conducting research on a new experimental treatment for Pompe disease. In January 2005, he was named the President and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, a biotech based in Cranbury, N.J. dedicated to developing treatments for human genetic disorders, especially lysosomal storage diseases. 

“If you consider a career in drug development, in whatever role you may play, it’s tough, maybe harder than any other industry,” Crowley said. “Most of what we do is going to fail, but someday, we may be able to help someone. It may not be in time to help the people today, but our work may help somebody in the future.”

Crowley and his family’s journey to find a treatment for Pompe disease is well known across the country.  The Crowleys have been featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal and in a book authored by a Pulitzer prize winning journalist, Geeta Anand. Their story was also the source of inspiration for a major motion picture, Extraordinary Measures, release in 2010. In addition, Crowley wrote a personal memoir that was made available to students who attended the class called, “Chasing Miracles: The Crowley Family Journey of Strength, Hope and Joy.”

Lindsey & Taite Anderson

After Crowley’s presentation, Doctors Taite and Lindsey Anderson discussed balancing their professional and personal lives. Dr. Taite Anderson, DDS, owner of Granger Oral Surgery, grew up in the small town of Alexandria, Minn., as the son of a dentist. Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College and then attended Dental School at the Indiana University School of Dentistry. A native of Mishawaka, Ind., Dr. Lindsey Anderson also earned her bachelor’s degree from Wheaton College, and her Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University. As a married couple who both practice medicine, they explained the intricacies of medical marriages through their own journey.

“In the past medical marriage was an unusual thing and to us it is very common, we have multiple couple friends that have medical marriages, a lot of people make this work while raising kids,” said Lindsey Anderson.

“I like that the class offers leadership perspectives from a wide variety of disciplines, including business, military, and medical fields.  It gives a comprehensive view of what leadership should be, and helps give you idea to tailor a leadership style specific to you,” said senior biological sciences major Katie Carpenter.

In addition to Crowley and the Andersons, the students heard presentations from the following speakers.

  • Robert Bernhard, Vice President of Research at Notre Dame and Secretary General of the International Institute of Noise Control Engineering
  • Albert Gutierrez, President and CEO of St. Joseph Regional Medical Center
  • Rochelle Pennington, award-winning newspaper columnist and bestselling author
  • Mike Flavin, CEO of Shamrock Structures
  • Captain Regan Jones, Notre Dame Naval ROTC’s Marine Officer Instructor
  • Lieutenant Colonel John Polhamus, Professor of Military Science at Notre Dame
  • Colonel Frank Rossi, Professor of Aerospace Studies at Notre Dame
  • Captain Michael Ryan, Professor of Naval Science at Notre Dame
  • Gregory Crawford, William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science
  • Chris Stevens, Adjunct Instructor in the Mendoza College of Business

Crowley also invited the class, as well as any current Notre Dame student, both undergraduate and graduate, to apply for a summer internship at Amicus Therapeutics. The internship will be paid and will last 6-8 weeks. Interested students should contact Holly Decker at hdecker1@nd.edu