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Chad Beyer, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Chad Beyer, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Dr. Chad Beyer is the President and CEO of Promentis Pharmaceuticals (www.promentispharma.com). He is also a father, golfer, skier, assistant hockey coach and scientific professional with more than 15 years of experience in the development of medications designed to treat brain disorders.

Prior to joining Promentis, Dr. Beyer worked in the Discovery Neuroscience group at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. He held positions with increasing responsibility including serving as the Head of Neurochemistry and leading the Psychiatry Task Force. During his career at Wyeth, Dr. Beyer managed several drug discovery teams, contributed to the submission of more than 30 INDs and provided supporting data for the commercialization and life-cycle management of Effexor® and Pristiq® -- two blockbuster antidepressants.

Dr. Beyer’s research career began at the National Institutes of Health in NIDA’s Addiction Research Center and he subsequently received a PhD in Neuropharmacology from LSU Medical Center and an MBA from the Rutgers Business School. Notably, Chad has authored more than 70 manuscripts, 5 patents, is the co-editor of a psychiatry review book, is co-founder of the journal "Technology Transfer & Entrepreneurship” and is an adjunct faculty member at Thomas Jefferson University. 

Conducted and contributed by Brian | October 2013

“The 'one-size-fits-all' approach is not going to work for all of your students. You have to know all of your students. It’s a personalized approach like medicine. Not everybody responds to the same drug even though they have the same disease. You have to do a semi-biopsy of the students to see what they might respond to, see what their goals are, how they need to be treated, and see what they want to be - then work and tailor something to them.”

Listen to the conversation podcast below (player should appear shortly).

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Featured songs: "Hanging Onto Every Heartbeat" by Cut Copy and "Diane" by Mike Doughty

Conversation Highlights

Chance favors the prepared mind. Being out there, being in motion, being engaged is the only way to be when you are looking for work.”

[On his academic support network] “I’ve always had a good relationship with [my] mentors and advisors [and] picked people that I interacted well with.”
“At some point, you cannot stay in school forever. You need to get out.”

“There is absolutely no substitute for networking and putting yourself out there and interacting with people. If you want to interact with other academics or other people who are PIs – then that is what you should do. If you want to interact with people who are doing CRO [Contract Research Organizations] work – you should interact with them. [However], you shouldn’t exclusively do that. I interacted with a lot of people, but it really comes down to networking.”

“If you send your resume to a database or you [blindly] apply online, I don’t think you are hedging your bets well enough to get it across the desk of the right people.”

[On being in the ‘right place at the right time’] “You can’t plan for it, you can’t advise students for that other than to say ‘network, network, network’ and stay in motion because chance favors those in motion.”

“I want to get a coffee mug or a T-shirt that says #IlovePromentis. I love what I do day to day.”

[On a startup's need for individuals to wear multiple hats and have a 'do it all' mentality] “I’ve worked at a company that has 70,000 people and worked at a company that has 7. I can tell you the company that has 7 does not have the bandwidth to have all of the pieces covered all of the time compared to the way a company like Pfizer would.”

[On the life and routine in a small startup] “You toggle back and forth in your mind between IP, some business development, investments, paying some bills, and doing science and drug development. Just when you get all the way through all of those five or six things, you hit repeat and you do it again and you just keep doing it until you are successful at getting where you want to go. That is the day in the life of me at Promentis and a lot of people at a small company. You know a lot about a lot of different things. That is always something I liked. I’ve been training my whole life for this role.”

You wear a lot of hats in a small company. In a big company you wear maybe one or two, depending on your role. [For example] if you are a PhD scientist at Merck you are probably spending a lot of your time in the lab thinking about science and probably not thinking about who you should contact in the investment community about a Series A funding round for my idea.”

“This was something I noticed when I was in graduate school – that I like to be learning about a lot of things and involved in a lot of different projects. I like when things go fast.”

“There is no substitute for experience and doing something. Once you get your foot in the door, even a toe, you have to run as fast and as hard as you can. You have to learn and be engaged as much as possible. I am a firm believer that if you really focus on what is immediately in front of you that things will sort themselves out.”

[If you were an academic advisor, what advice would you offer to those individuals interested in making the leap from academia to industry?] “I would help that person interact with faculty members that have those connections with pharma and biotech companies. I would send them to meetings where biotech and pharma folks go and rub elbows or have a cup of coffee with them because that is going to help down the road. [Telling students to] go to the website and see if they are hiring is not helpful. My advice would be to get out there!”

[On getting industry experience] “I would suggest to students to do a postdoc in industry. If you want to get into business, try to get an internship in business. Apply for one of the programs. People should test things when they can if it is available. Knowing what you want and being able to communicate that is important. You have to take ownership for where you are going and where you are headed.”

“Having a PhD has been very valuable in helping me look at data and interpret data. Getting a PhD, you are being trained to think [analytically].”