Kevin is a seasoned drug developer with outstanding people skills. He has a passion for helping people see the “bigger picture” so that they can achieve their most important goals. During his 30-year career with Pfizer, Kevin held many varied roles that have given him a broad and deep understanding of the Drug Discovery and Development Process. After retiring from Pfizer, Kevin started Salem Oaks™ Consulting.
In the latest episode of our Emerging Researchers Series, we talk to Emily McIntosh (@MCINTOSE) a recent Ph.D. from the University of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario. Living less than an hour from Toronto, she is a big Leafs fan (that is the Maple Leafs for all you non-hockey listeners.) Emily earned her doctorate in biomechanics after studying age-related muscle loss and how that influences balance and mobility. As she says, it seems so intuitive, but she wanted to know why this happens. Emily began her work with elderly people as part of a summer research project just before her senior year in undergrad. She went on to get her master’s and eventually started her Ph.D. studies. And that’s when the story got quite a bit more interesting. Emily had gotten a piercing headache that went away in a day or so. It was bad enough that she was worried but not so bad to call the doctor.  She attributed it to dehydration and stress.  When it happened again, she did call a doctor and was referred to a neurologist who found what he thought was a benign tumor in her brain. After getting a somewhat different and scarier second opinion, Emily used her well-earned scientific skills to start learning as much about this type of tumor as possible. It was this initiative and her ability to think clinically about her own condition that may have saved her life. You’ve just got to listen to hear what happened.   You can reach Emily on LinkedIn ( ( and via e-mail ( Please help support Improbable Developments at (   Support this podcast
We continue our Emerging Researchers series with an interview with Robin Powers, a student just starting her master’s degree work.  Robin is an enigma. She has a wealth of energy and a very fast-moving mind. She has dreams and aspirations that will change the world.  Yet she has yet to find the right experiences and coaches to refine her approach. She most certainly has not come from a place of privilege. Robin is a patient who has been managing and advocating for her own Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome for 17 years now, including identifying the issue and securing the genetic testing required to confirm the diagnosis. She has presented at conferences, been a PCORI Ambassador, and volunteered with other rare disease organizations.  She has done all this independently without the luxury of programs or an organization paving the way. Robin talks about how she came to Buffalo State College and designed her own degree program, Biochemical Pharmacology of Rare Diseases. She also discusses her work to earn a degree in patient advocacy and public policy.  The goal of our Emerging Researchers series is to highlight people like Robin who are full of potential but lacking the experience our other guests may have. These younger people have fresh ideas and the freedom to be bold. For Robin, her life depends on it.     Support this podcast
We are excited to introduce our Emerging Researcher Series. Over the next 4 months, we will be talking to some people who are at various stages in their education. Each of them is excited about the research they are doing now and are looking forward to promising futures.  We thought it would be interesting to hear what motivated them to pursue science and what they have learned so far. We also thought this would be a great way to showcase some diamonds in the rough.  Our first emerging researcher is Layne Rodden who is studying for her Ph.D. at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center under the mentorship of Dr. Sanjay Bidichandani. Layne is currently looking at the contribution of DNA-methylation to the silencing of the frataxin gene in Friedreich’s Ataxia.  Layne has a unique ability to communicate about the science she is doing to non-scientists.  Layne hopes to earn her Ph.D. in early 2021 and begin looking for her first “real job.” She has a curious mind and is open to many different possibilities. Hearing her talk about this crossroads will throw you right back to those times when you were about to take the leap into a new chapter.  If you would like to connect with Layne, you can reach her at  You should follow her on LinkedIn ( Sound Design: Jake Tompkins Graphics: Heather McCullen Support this podcast
We first met Dr. Ethan Perlstein on our other podcast (Raising Rare).  Dr. Perlstein is a biotechnology entrepreneur. Dr. Perlstein has nearly two decades of experience in biomedical research and over five years in biotech company formation and executive leadership. He holds a doctorate in molecular and cell biology from Harvard University and was a Lewis-Sigler Fellow at Princeton University from 2007-2012. In 2014, Dr. Perlstein founded Perlara PBC, the first biotech public benefit corporation with a legal mandate to co-develop drugs in collaboration with families and communities affected by genetic diseases. During that time, Dr. Perlstein served as a member of the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of Global Genes, the leading rare disease community-led advocacy organization. Prior to becoming a biotech entrepreneur, Dr. Perlstein conducted and led cross-disciplinary academic research in genetics, cell biology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and drug discovery. In 2019, Ethan joined the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation as their first Chief Scientific Officer, but due to unexpected COVID-related financial constraints, his team was let go in Spring 2020. Dr. Perlstein currently advises (  and a few other small foundations. His story is one of a relentless pursuit of ways to help families affected by rare disease. ( Support this podcast
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Creator Details

Jun 19th, 1962
Episode Count
Podcast Count
Total Airtime
9 hours, 40 minutes
Podchaser Creator ID logo 768177