People Behind the Cures: Recruitment, Opportunity and Diversity for the CGT Workforce

19 Jan 2023
Commercializing the Therapies of the Future Track
Heidrick & Struggles

1:00pm Chair Introduction

Angela Justice, Chief People Officer, TCR2 Therapeutics


1:05pm Presentation: People Behind the Cures: The CGT Workforce – Attracting, Motivating, and Retaining Top Talent

  • Understanding the talent shortage and competitive talent war
  • Evolution of the employee value proposition
  • Connecting purpose and values

Scott Gottesman, Vice President, Human Resources, AVROBIO


1:20pm Presentation: Piloting Biotech Through Talent and Capital Headwinds

  • Despite a significant capital and talent crunch that continues to challenge the biotech sector after 2021’s selloff, the global industry’s outlook encourages us, especially as it applies to cell and gene therapies and novel therapeutic areas. By one count, over 1,800 cell and gene therapies are in trials and producing clinical readouts, and that’s reason enough for optimism.
  • It is important to return to the fundamentals of sound clinical and CMC development to ensure registration and commercialization success.
  • Transferable talent from other modalities (novel biologics/small molecules) are important solutions to manage moving forward

Jeffrey Boyd, Partner, Global Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice, Heidrick & Struggles


1:35pm Presentation: Inclusive Hiring for Cell and Gene

  • Novel approaches to recruitment and job descriptions
  • Creating a pipeline of diverse talent
  • Ensuring retention of diverse talent

Leela L Paris, Vice President, Process Engineering and Manufacturing, VCGT CMC Cell Manufacturing, Vertex Pharmaceuticals 


1:50pm Presentation: One Band, One Sound: Leveraging Authenticity, Accountability, and Consistency to Optimize The Candidate Experience

  • Creating a shared accountability model for Talent Attraction/Acquisition
  • Ensuring a consistent experience to reduce bias in hiring process
  • Owning and amplifying your Employer Brand

Michael Conway, Senior Director, Head of Talent Acquisition and Workforce Planning, BlueRock Therapeutics


2:05pm Closing Panel with Q&A

With all session participants, joined by:

John Balchunas, Workforce Director, NIIMBL


Angela Justice
Chief People Officer
TCR2 Therapeutics
Jeffrey Boyd
Partner, Global Healthcare & Life Sciences Practice
Heidrick & Struggles
John Balchunas
Workforce Director
The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL)
Leela Paris
Vice President, Process Engineering and Manufacturing, VCGT CMC Cell Manufacturing,
Vertex Cell and Gene Therapies
Michael Conway
Senior Director, Head of Talent Acquisition and Workforce Planning
BlueRock Therapeutics
Scott Gottesman
Vice President, Human Resources