The Boston Globe’s in-house brand content studio BG BrandLab and Pfizer are partnering on a series called “Dear Scientist”
This series is aimed to help people better understand how passionate biopharmaceutical scientists are for their research, and also for the patients and families impacted by the diseases they are working to cure.
The series brings together scientists at Pfizer’s Kendall Square research site with families and patients for heartfelt and meaningful conversations about the research progress being made on the disease that bonds them. Each family participating starts the conversation by writing a letter directed at biopharmaceutical scientists. The Pfizer scientist reads the letter and then is introduced to the writer behind it, allowing them to share an intimate dialogue around their perspectives on the disease.
These conversations are recorded in a video, and produced in a narrative story. There will be three installments to the “Dear Scientist” series, covering three separate diseases.
“The Globe was thrilled when Pfizer chose our content studio to help tell this incredibly important story about these scientists whose work is far too easy for us as a society to overlook. Cambridge and Boston have seen incredible growth in the biopharmaceutical industry, and Pfizer is a worldwide leader,” said Vinay Mehra, the Globe’s President and Chief Financial Officer.
“This is exactly the sort of partnership the Globe is positioned for, and the authentic and powerful content BG BrandLab was created to produce,” added Doug Most, a former Globe newsroom editor who heads up BG BrandLab.
In the first installment of the “Dear Scientist” series, released this week, Nancy Horwood, a woman from Sandwich, Mass., writes a letter about her mother’s 25-year journey through pain and suffering from Parkinson’s Disease:
“Parkinson’s stole my mother’s independence. It stole her ability to walk, time with her friends and grandchildren, opportunities to travel and enjoy retirement, and even her ability to smile and smell. My family’s story is only one of thousands, and the struggles I’ve described can only provide a snapshot of the heartbreak and pain, mental and physical, my mother has endured. Although a cure could not replace the years my mother has lost, it will prevent other families from enduring the same agony. I implore you to continue the important work you are doing to eradicate this debilitating disease.”
David Gray, Senior Director in Pfizer’s Neuroscience Research Unit in Kendall Square, was deeply moved reading the letter. When Gray, who has been pursuing a Parkinson’s cure for almost a decade, met with Nancy Horwood, he told her, “I personally believe we’re going to find a cure. And I don’t say that lightly.”
Horwood told him how grateful she is for the work he and his team are doing, at which point Gray pointed back to his Cambridge building and told her, “There are a whole bunch of people over there working on this as hard as they can.” And he’s right: more than 1,000 researchers from all over the world are headquartered at Pfizer’s Kendall Square site working on a range of discovery and clinical programs across therapeutic areas, including inflammation and immunology, cardiovascular risk and metabolic disease, neuroscience and rare disease. The site is also home to Pfizer’s large molecule discovery efforts, medicinal sciences, and early clinical development.