Sharon Cload, Ph.D
Discovery Biotherapeutics, East Coast
Sharon Cload serves as vice president of discovery biotherapeutics, East Coast and is based at Bristol Myers Squibb’s Cambridge, Mass. site. There, she leads a team working collaboratively with other sites across the U.S. to uncover novel biotherapeutic approaches to treat difficult diseases, in hopes of delivering first-in-class and best-in-class molecules.
As head of her group, Sharon aims to ensure that there is a smooth exchange of ideas both within her team and with their discovery partners. Sharon and her group are instrumental in helping drive the early phases of discovery in the lab. For example, by being able to engineer proteins, generate antigens and discover antibodies with the desired attributes quickly, their aim is to help accelerate the discovery process.
“We partner with the biologists that have a specific problem they want to address, and help develop molecules that have the particular properties needed. We provide the engineering perspective, they provide the biology perspective, and that teamwork is really gratifying.”
Sharon joined Bristol Myers Squibb in 2008. Previously, she spent time at various biotech companies in the Boston/Cambridge area. She received her Ph.D. in bioorganic chemistry from Yale University and is an inventor with more than a dozen patents.
Interests and Expertise
Sharon’s interest in the life sciences began at a young age. Sharon realized she had an aptitude for chemistry in high school and decided to pursue a career that would allow her to put her natural aptitude for problem solving to good use.
“It’s my job to make sure that we have a mix of scientists with the right skills, enabled with the right technologies and tools, operating as a team to make a difference. By doing this correctly, we can create a self-motivated community that is excited about acting on new ideas.”
Outside of the lab, Sharon is passionate about running. As a West Coast native transplanted to Cambridge at the beginning of her corporate career, Sharon is now fully ensconced in her environment. She’s even completed the Boston Marathon five times. For Sharon, the parallel between running the lab and long distance running is too great to be ignored. Like a marathon, drug discovery requires endurance, dedication and drive; but the success that comes with crossing the finish line makes it all worth it.
Running the Lab
Cload runs a multidisciplinary, cross-functional team of scientists at the Cambridge R&D lab site who work alongside biologists to create molecular models, in order to better understand how a certain drug may interact with its intended target.