Giving Thanks for Our Employees’ Incredible Dedication: Six Employees Explain Why Sarepta is a Top Place to Work

Our employees are connected by a shared passion for improving the lives of patients. Disrupting conventional thinking and a passion for exploring scientific possibilities are us transform the future of medicine. Our culture and deep commitment to our people helped earn us a top spot – 27 of 150 companies – on the 2020 Top Places to Work list recently released by The Boston Globe.

“This commitment to our common purpose – our shared commitment to making a difference in the lives of patients – drives our people each day and it’s being part of this collective effort to make a lasting impact that people mention when they interview to work here,” said Joan Nickerson, senior vice president of Human Resources at Sarepta. “As we near the end of what has been a complex and challenging year, I am so thankful and inspired by our employees’ incredible focus and dedication to navigate new ways of working while continuing to think unconventionally, advance science in innovative ways, and quickly pursue the milestones we need to achieve to help more patients.”

Six employees recently shared their roles in contributing to the legacy we're building, explaining how we have empowered each other to think creatively, disrupt conventional thinking and be curious about what could be possible in medicine.

Joe AmicoJoe C. Amico, Sr.

Director of Facilities Strategic Planning and Project Engineering

  1. Briefly describe your work at Sarepta and how it contributes to our mission of transforming the future of genetic medicine?
    Our role is to support all other Departments in achieving their goals, with emphasis on the scientific organization. We do that through the daily inspection and maintenance of equipment, including HVAC and BAS systems, Specialty Gas and Compressed Air systems, Water and Vacuum Systems. We’re also supporting the strategic planning, building our space for long-term growth.
     
  2. How have you adapted your work this year?
    At home, we converted the room used by the dog into a home office to allow two of us to work from home when I am not at one of Sarepta’s sites.
     
  3. What motivates you in your work?
    My family and Sarepta staff motivate me. I see co-workers collaborating, but I also witness their passion, drive and commitment to accomplish great things over time. It motivates me to be better.
     
  4. How do you describe Sarepta to your friends and family?
    The leadership, the environment, the continuation of growth, the positive outlook on the programs for patients and the projects assigned to me are why it has been and still is fun to be a part of Sarepta.
     
  5. As you look back on this year, what are you thankful for – both professionally and personally? 
    I’m thankful for Sarepta’s ability to continue its mission and its support to colleagues and patients, especially during a difficult year. I am also thankful for my health, the health and wellness of my work family, and my immediate family.

     

katkinsKaren Atkins

Associate Director, Quality Assurance Operations

  1. Briefly describe your work at Sarepta and how it contributes to our mission of transforming the future of genetic medicine?
    I work in Quality Assurance and support the RNA platform. My team is responsible for the release of both on-market product and clinical trial supply. We work to ensure product meets our standards while ensuring that we have adequate supply to serve patients.
     
  2. How have you adapted your work this year?
    Our team didn’t skip a beat and I have to add that our IT department is amazing. They adapted so quickly to provide us with the tools and resources to be successful. We meet as a team more frequently, and we have ad hoc calls. It really wasn’t too much of a change for my team, as so many of our meetings were video calls before the pandemic. The team is thankful to have more time at home and with family.
     
  3. What motivates you in your work?
    I’ve found that working in QA you are exposed to new experiences and continually learning. Even being at Sarepta for a short time I’ve been exposed to different aspects of the industry that I haven’t been involved in before. Coupled with Sarepta’s passion and sense of urgency, it’s hard not to be motivated.
     
  4. How do you describe Sarepta to your friends and family?
    What stands out about Sarepta to me is what we do. It’s the focus on finding treatments for patients with rare diseases. I always get emotional during the videos of patients and their families. Everyone cares so much. Everybody’s voice is heard. There’s respect for people that you don’t find everywhere.
     
  5. As you look back on this year, what are you thankful for – both professionally and personally?
    Personally, I’m thankful that my family is healthy and safe and we’re able to persevere through this pandemic and able to adapt to this change. I feel the same professionally. We’ve been given the tools to succeed.

     

xniXiao Ni

Senior Director, Biostatistics

  1. Briefly describe your work at Sarepta and how it contributes to our mission of transforming the future of genetic medicine?
    As the biometrics lead for the PPMO platform, our team provides biostatistics and programming for our next-generation RNA technology.
     
  2. How have you adapted your work this year?
    We adapted in two ways – connectivity to one another and connectivity to our work. I had only been to the Cambridge office once and that was for my interview, then everyone transitioned to work from home. We organized some virtual team-building events, including bringing a picture and telling a story about ourselves as a way to get to know one another. We were also early adopters of Microsoft Teams, organizing topics and channels for our work so we could collaborate real time and gain insights from the data.
     
  3. What motivates you in your work?
    Patients are waiting and the goal is to help people live longer. And professionally, there are a lot of opportunities to apply innovative design in statistics in the rare disease space as a way to accelerate clinical development for patients.
     
  4. How do you describe Sarepta to your friends and family?
    What’s special about Sarepta is the patient first principle. It’s such a prominent part of how we approach our work. Sarepta genuinely cares about patients. And the potential of the pipeline is tremendous. We’re in a place to keep innovating.
     
  5. As you look back on this year, what are you thankful for – both professionally and personally?
    I’m thankful for my team. We really work effectively together to achieve our milestones and delivering on our commitments for key studies. On a personal side, I think it’s a challenging period for all families. We have a 12-year old and a 5-year old who entered kindergarten remotely. I’m thankful to see the children are still advancing in this environment.

     

kgiblinKathryn Giblin, M.D.

Medical Director, Clinical Development

  1. Briefly describe your work at Sarepta and how it contributes to our mission of transforming the future of genetic medicine?
    In clinical development, one of our roles is to oversee clinical trials that are ongoing along with those planned. I design and write protocols that can help answer a scientific question around an investigational therapy’s potential safety and effectiveness. We also look at what’s practical or feasible for patients by getting input from the community. Clinical trials are like building a house – we make plans, or “blueprints” for what the house should look like, and then we work as a team to ensure it’s built properly.
     
  2. How have you adapted your work this year?
    It’s been fun to think about clinical trials more creatively. Making trials more virtual has been coming – even prior to the pandemic. Things like electronic consent, remote data collection, and telemedicine visits have all been accelerated. Every step in the process is being pressure tested – collecting labs in the home, remotely monitoring studies, and capturing data in the cloud.
     
  3. What motivates you in your work?
    On a day-to-day basis, it’s fascinating and there’s always something new to learn. I love working with the team. The substance of the work is interesting. The potential for our research is the long-term motivation. Everyone we work with is so wonderful and putting in the work and getting the job done. We’re working on something really special.
     
  4. How do you describe Sarepta to your friends and family?
    In my role as medical director, I have the opportunity to expand the toolbox of what clinicians have available to treat patients. I did my medical training and practiced in neurology -- and the therapies available for certain neurological diseases either don’t exist or are inadequate. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me.
     
  5. As you look back on this year, what are you thankful for – both professionally and personally?
    There are so many things to be grateful for with so many people who have less fortunate circumstances. I’m thankful for my health and the health of my friends and family. My grandmother is 101. She’s been healthy. I joined Sarepta this year in April and I’m very grateful to be at Sarepta even though I’ve never been in the office. I’m grateful to work in an area of science that I feel very passionately about.

     

tgriffinTammy Griffin

Associate Director, Global Quality Systems

  1. Briefly describe your work at Sarepta and how it contributes to our mission of transforming the future of genetic medicine?
    I’m responsible for our global Quality Management System. I also oversee the document control and training teams. We play an integral role of ensuring data integrity, product efficacy and safety, and global compliance.
     
  2. How have you adapted your work this year?
    We’re accustomed to working globally, so our work environment hasn’t experienced significant change. We’ve done a great job leveraging online capabilities, increasing communication, and providing a heightened level of end-user support to advance our goals for the year.
     
  3. What motivates you in your work?
    I love our pipeline and products focused on rare diseases. As a mother of two boys, our mission motivates me on a personal level. My team has grown this year. I was very excited to boast to our newest team members about the company’s commitment to the science and improving patient lives -- it makes me proud and honored to be part of Sarepta.
     
  4. How do you describe Sarepta to your friends and family?
    As I’ve talked with family and friends about how other companies have responded to the pandemic, I’m in awe at how Sarepta has been thoughtful of employee safety, personal situations, and considerate of work-life balance. I think it helps people feel more dedicated to the mission knowing the company equally cares about its employees and how we’re doing.
     
  5. As you look back on this year, what are you thankful for – both professionally and personally?
    It’s been an eye-opening year. I’ve reflected a lot on work, life, and the people around me. I’m always thankful, but this year I’m more grateful for the people in my life and for the kindness, resilience, and respect they’ve exhibited for one another during this difficult year. I’m extremely grateful and blessed.

     

nyocumNicole Yocum

Director, Global Clinical Operations

  1. Briefly describe your work at Sarepta and how it contributes to our mission of transforming the future of genetic medicine?
    I provide operational oversight to one of Sarepta’s gene therapy programs.
     
  2. How have you adapted your work this year? 
    I have been working on “refining” a new routine. Without the commute time, I have no excuse not to exercise before the workday starts. The best thing I did was get a standing desk – it’s amazing how sedentary you can become! I also try to leave my house every day after work whether it’s getting groceries or walking the dogs, so I have some “transition” time.
     
  3. What motivates you in your work?
    Working with colleagues who want to achieve the same collective goal always helps to create a motivating environment.
     
  4. How do you describe Sarepta to your friends and family?
    Sarepta is a special because it’s small enough to be dynamic and fast-paced, but large enough to have plenty of opportunities. Because Sarepta is still in an evolving state, you can have an impact and generate change, which is unique.
     
  5. As you look back on this year, what are you thankful for – both professionally and personally?
    I am thankful for a team that is flexible and works hard and for a boss who listens and has a great sense of humor. I am thankful for a family that is healthy and mostly staying sane -- and for my loveable little doggies that I now get to smother with affection all day.

     

Learn more about what it’s like to work at Sarepta and meet more of our team members: www.sarepta.com/join-us