Director, Alliances - Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals

Apr 09, 2024
Director, Alliances - Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals

Tamisha Vaughan, PhD is the Arrowhead Director, Alliance Management. In this role, she manages programs Arrowhead has partnered with or licensed ranging from Discovery to Ph3 stages. Day-to-day activities include implementing working structures for two independent companies, liaising with legal teams in determining best practices for successful collaborations, identifying opportunities to accelerate timelines, and collaborating with each function group to ensure milestones are achieved (both developmentally and financially.

What is the highest degree you have earned and what can you tell us about your academic path?

I have a Ph.D. in Immunology. My academic path was a bit unique. After completing my bachelor’s degree at Johnson C. Smith University, I knew I would need an advanced degree in the sciences but felt unprepared for a doctoral program. I’m not sure if it was the stigma of coming from an HBCU that scared me or the competitiveness of the acceptance process. Instead, I took a different path and applied to a post-baccalaureate program through Virginia Tech graduate school. This was a program designed to prepare recent graduates for a doctoral program in the sciences. It was really hard!!! But somehow, with the push from my PI, I managed to stay on track with his “traditional” Ph.D. students and completed the doctoral coursework requirements as a post-bac student before even applying as a grad student. I went on to complete a postdoctoral fellowship at Emory University School of Medicine and later obtained an MBA in Project Management.

Where do you work now and what is your company about?

I work at Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals, Inc. headquartered in Pasadena, Ca. Our company specializes in using our TRiM platform to develop RNAi molecules targeting rare diseases. This platform allows us to target and silence pathways of genes causing hard to treat diseases. Once specializing in targeting the liver, Arrowhead has expanded its pipeline with assets targeting the liver, lung, and muscle.

How did you first learn about the company?

I first learned about Arrowhead on LinkedIn.

What do you like most about the company?

What I love most about Arrowhead is our vision to keep patients first. We think outside the box to deliver effective drugs to our partners and patients as quickly as possible. The patients are at the center of everything we do and every decision we make. The company also fosters a strong work-life balance and collaborative environment. I love that!

What skills make you successful in your role and why did you choose this role?

Skills that make me successful in this role include having a science background to understand complexities, problem-solving, people skills, attention to detail, and people skills. I don’t believe I “chose” this role. I was just prepared to take on a role that fits all the skills I possess and Alliance Management just fits my personality, and passion for science and challenges me. This role encompasses all the things that make me happy and contribute to the greater good of better health.

How do you define success?

Work success for me is defined by actively collaborating and making a positive impact on the company and cross-functional goals. However, I define life success as doing things that bring me happiness and joy.

What's the most fulfilling aspect of your job?

The most fulfilling aspect of my job is collaborating with every functional group throughout the drug development process to deliver quality products for corporate partners and patients. I am constantly learning new things and supporting the teams which excites me.

What advice do you have for students and job seekers?

Be open to identifying a variety of things you love to do. Many skills are transferable, and specific life skills may actually turn out to be a lucrative career in the industry you seek. I had never heard of an alliance manager until I became one. But I knew I loved science, networking, traveling, and building strong lasting relationships. This role, as unique as it may be, fits all of the skills I’ve gained over the years.

What book did you read last?

Baby Step Millionaires by Dave Ramsey