Leadership Insights

Working and Riding for Cancer Patients 

September 28, 2017 | Tom Lynch, Chief Scientific Officer, Bristol Myers Squibb

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Chief Scientific Officer, Tom Lynch, prepares to ride 75 miles for cancer research in the Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer Ride

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Chief Scientific Officer, Tom Lynch, prepares to ride 75 miles for cancer research in the Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer Ride

There are only a few times in life when you can actually say that your life’s work and your personal passions meet in a meaningful way. Before becoming the Chief Scientific Officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, I dedicated many years researching cancer and treating patients. I also have a passion for sports. More specifically, I am very passionate about football (go Patriots!), cycling, tennis and running (I’ve had the honor of running the Boston Marathon 22 times—including  14 times for the MGH Cancer Center in Boston).  

Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to marry my two passions yet again when I was invited to participate in the Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer ride. I put on my cycling shoes and joined seven teams of Bristol-Myers Squibb employees who are biking nearly 2,800 miles across the country to raise money for Stand Up To Cancer to accelerate cancer research.

Chief Scientific Officer, Tom Lynch, leads group of cyclists during ride

Chief Scientific Officer, Tom Lynch, leads group of cyclists during ride

For me, this meant that I rode 75 grueling miles on my bike from St. Louis to Indianapolis.  As I faced hot crosswinds and steep climbs on this ride, I realized that any struggle I faced paled in comparison to what patients face on a daily basis.  Knowing that my ride ended on Colts football territory, I took my time, and used the opportunity to reflect on the evolution of cancer research and treatments throughout my career. As I rode, I thought about the many patients and families I have met throughout my career and what the future holds for cancer treatment today and tomorrow. 

In my role at Bristol-Myers Squibb, I lead a team of scientists who all share my passion for cancer research and are in the labs diligently working to research and discover more options that will improve outcomes. Our goal is to continue to deliver on our promise to patients and discover the next generation of transformational medicines for hard-to-treat cancers and establish new standards of care in areas of high unmet need. I believe that Coast 2 Coast 4 Cancer is an important part of reaching our goal and I was proud to ride.

I am optimistic and excited about the future of cancer treatment. We learn more about cancer biology every day and the pace of innovation to find new approaches and biomarkers has never been faster.  I finished my journey to Indianapolis, but our journey to potentially transforming the way cancer is treated for more patients has only just begun. I am even more proud to be a part of that ride and look forward to what we may be able to deliver for patients in the future. 

Bristol-Myers Squibb will match donations raised through the ride, dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000, in support of Stand Up To Cancer’s research efforts. To learn more about this ride, go to cancerbikeride.org.  Our goal is to raise at least $1 million for Stand Up To Cancer.