Bob Coughlin: Why I Do What I Do

Oct 19, 2017

Whenever someone asks me why I do what I do, my answer is easy: for the patients. They’re the reason I go to work every day, and they’re the last thing I think about when I say goodnight to my kids. Most people who know me have heard this before, but my true motivation for stepping out of public service and to MassBio was personal. I didn’t join MassBio because I wanted to work for the biopharma industry, I took the job because I wanted to help find a cure for my son Bobby who has cystic fibrosis – and to help others like him who are in dire need of new therapies and cures.

If you talk to anyone in the industry, you’re likely to hear a similar story. Everyone I meet has some personal motivation for doing what they do, whether it’s because a loved was diagnosed with cancer or some other disease, or because they were inspired by the research going on in our state’s academic institutions and research hospitals. It’s no surprise then that our annual Patient Advocacy Summit is one of our most successful and important events. We’re all trying to improve their lives and provide them with access to lifesaving cures and treatments. And that starts with ensuring the patients’ voice is heard throughout the entire drug development pipeline.

The next time you go to a healthcare related networking event or dinner (which in my case, is very often), ask the people you meet why they do what they do. I have no doubt you’ll be inspired by their story. Because of the research going on at the biotechs, hospitals and universities, sick people around the world have hope that one day they will have a cure.

After 10 years in this role, I continue to see hope for patients whether it’s cutting-edge new cancer cures for kids with leukemia or gene therapy that cures blindness. And because of the breakthrough therapies for cystic fibrosis on the market now, and the amazing products in the pipeline for CF, I can confidently say that my son Bobby will not die before I do – something I could not say five years ago.

Improving the lives of patients around the world is the impetus behind our Patient Advocacy Summit. I hope to see you there:

– Bob Coughlin

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