Dr. Maher “Max” Noureddine joined Thought Leader Select as its chief scientific officer in 2007, after a two-year stint as a senior research fellow in molecular genetics at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences/National Institutes of Health (NIEHS/NIH). Prior to his time at the NIEHS/NIH, Max conducted post-doctoral research in Parkinson’s disease at Duke University Medical Center from 2002-2005. In 2002, Max earned a PhD in biology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During his career, Max has co-authored 13 published research studies and presented his research findings at 13 conferences.
The Thought Leader Select Blog recently sat down to catch up with Max Noureddine and learn about his background and how he makes his professional contribution to the work of Thought Leader Select.
TLS Blog: Thanks for agreeing to an interview with your busy schedule, Max. Why did you join Thought Leader Select in 2007?
Max: I was at a critical juncture of my career, finishing up my post-doctoral work at Duke in the field of Parkinson’s disease. Basically, I was weighing up my career alternatives, which normally would mean that someone with my academic and scientific background would head straight into university teaching and research.
I had gotten to know Paul Meade, the founder of the company, since we were both pilots in the Civil Air Patrol together. I became intrigued by his idea of bridging the worlds of pharmaceutical development and fighting diseases with the expertise of key opinion leaders, especially clinical investigators, in the medical field. This seemed like a great way to make an impact for better public health.
My talks with Paul throughout my time at the NIEHS/NIH convinced me that I could have a greater impact in public health, with my specific talents, by helping him match the people in pharma who want to make medicines that give people a better quality of life with the people who have the expertise in medical research.
TLS Blog: How does your academic and professional background inform your work at Thought Leader Select?
Max: My background and understanding of clinical research and basic science fundamentals comes from my time working in genetics research and clinical trials for drugs that fight Parkinson’s disease, cancer, and genetic disorders. I was fascinated by how my fellow researchers and I could approach our Parkinson’s disease work from several angles, including basic genetic models, candidate genes, genotype-phenotype correlations, and patient responses to different medications.
As chief scientific officer, I have been tasked with ongoing refinement of our research methods in identifying key opinion leaders, as well as developing new services that ensure that our pharma clients capture the essential information they need on KOLs to deploy them properly in the various aspects of drug development. My work in clinical trials and research in these disease states leaves me particularly qualified and well-suited to weigh the data we compile on the skills and experiences of KOLs, particularly with regard to their scientific backgrounds.
TLS Blog: What aspect of your work at Thought Leader Select do you like most?
Max: Definitely the scientific challenge. I love being able to apply my background knowledge across multiple therapeutic areas and disease states for the companies we serve. My role marries scientific knowledge with research methodology to weigh the experiences of key opinion leaders. I love learning about the breakthrough medicines being pursued in multiple disease states. What I enjoy most of all is being able to collaborate at TLS with a multi-disciplinary team hailing from both the science and the pharma backgrounds, to help connect pharma and KOLs.
TLS Blog: Last question—what are you reading right now? You know what they say—“You can tell a lot about a person by what they are reading.”
Max: Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Magazine. Like I said, I’m a pilot, and I really enjoy reading aviation magazines to remain up-to-date on modern avionics and flight safety practices. That’s my escape! They say, “a good pilot is always learning”, Staying at the forefront is the essence of innovation and leadership, no matter what the discipline is. My goal is to apply that principle in my professional and personal life.