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The Elixir Factor Podcast

The Elixir Factor podcast brings researchers together with industry leaders, advocacy groups, patients and their loved ones to discuss how Lilly tackles the world's most significant health challenges. Tune in as we unpack complex science and innovative breakthroughs that can make life better for people around the world.

The Elixir Factor Podcast's Season 4

There are currently about 7 million people globally living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a chronic disease that encompasses both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. The disease can affect how people work, travel and spend time with family and friends, and can make it difficult to talk about with loved ones and healthcare providers.

The CONFIDE survey is a global cross-sectional survey of more than 800 healthcare professionals and more than 1,600 adults living with ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease in the United States, Europe and Japan. The study was designed to better understand the burden, barriers and care experiences of those living with moderate to severely active ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease and how they communicate with their healthcare providers.

Guest host Dr. Cem Kayhan, U.S. and Global Head, Medical Affairs, Gastroenterology at Lilly, is joined by Dr. David Rubin, Section Chief of Gastroenterology at University of Chicago, Lilly’s Dr. Deborah Fisher, U.S. Medical Affairs, Gastroenterology, and Eoin Flynn, Global Scientific Communications Manager at Lilly, who also serves as a patient advisor for the CONFIDE studies, as he lives with ulcerative colitis. The group will discuss how Lilly’s CONFIDE survey sheds light on key gaps in patient-doctor communication that can impact optimal treatment approaches and reinforce the stigma that can be associated with these diseases.



Our understanding of genetics is critical to understanding the cause of diseases, allowing scientists to target the root cause of diseases to better treat – and even cure – patients. For patients with so-called “untreatable diseases,” such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, the possibility of a finding a cure through genetic medicine offers great hope. This week, guest host Andrew Adams, vice president of genetic medicines and neurodegeneration research at Lilly – overseeing the research and development of novel therapeutic modalities, including oligonucleotide therapeutics, RNA therapeutics and other emerging platforms – is joined by Ruth Gimeno, vice president of diabetes research and clinical investigation, and Michelle Lynn Hall, associate vice president of genetic medicine at Lilly. The group discusses what is dubbed as the “medicine of the future,” focusing on the advancements in genetic medicine, obstacles faced when developing genetic therapeutics and the hope and promise genetic medicine brings to patients who have so-called “untreatable” diseases.


Medical innovations rarely happen in a silo. For the last decade, the biopharmaceutical industry has been working to accelerate the research and discovery process by creating a “new normal” for innovation by fostering collaboration. Embracing start-up culture with shared innovation labs — an accelerator model to offer start-ups and other companies’ direct access to mentorship, lab space and equipment and potential to access opportunities for venture funding — have been becoming more popular in recent years as a way to speed the discovery of medicines through collaboration.

This week, guest host Brooke Frost, external engagement leader in business development at Lilly, is joined byJulie Gilmore, Global Head at Gateway Labs by Lilly. Brooke and Julie will share insights of working in a shared innovation space, how this kind of collaboration is fostering scientific breakthroughs and addressing the challenges of start-ups in the industry and how shared innovation labs can accelerate medical innovations in order to bring medicines to patients faster, more safely and more efficiently.



Atopic dermatitis (AD), or atopic eczema — the most common chronic inflammatory skin disease — is characterized by intense itching, dry skin and inflammation on any part of the body.1,2 While data on the prevalence of AD in adult skin of color (SOC) populations is limited, in patients 17 and under in the U.S., the prevalence of AD is higher among African Americans, at almost 20%, compared with European Americans (16%) and Hispanic Americans (8%).3

There has been limited representation of people with SOC in AD clinical studies. People with SOC may present with unique symptoms, such as skin trauma, irritation or inflammation that causes a change in skin color known as post-inflammatory hyper- and hypopigmentation. In hypopigmentation, affected patches of skin become lighter than a patient’s normal skin tone. Hyperpigmentation causes the opposite reaction, turning patches of skin darker than normal skin tone. Unfortunately, diverse representation in clinical trials has been limited and current clinical measurement scales can vastly underestimate the severity of AD in people with diverse skin tones.

This week, Lotus Mallbris, Ph.D., M.D., is joined by Renata Gontijo Lima, M.D., as well as Lillian, an African American woman living with AD. The group discusses the impact of AD – particularly in people with SOC – and the steps Lilly is taking to generate new disease information to aid investigators and clinicians in providing diagnoses and treatment options for all skin tones. Learn more about Lilly’s AD research efforts.

1 Weidinger S, Novak N. Lancet. 2016;387:1109-1122.

2 Bieber, T. Nat Rev Drug Discov 21, 21–40 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41573-021-00266-6.

3 Fu T, et al. Pediatr Dermatol. 2014 Jan-Feb;31(1):21-6. doi: 10.1111/pde.12237.


As Lilly delivers medicines with speed and purpose, patient safety during clinical trials remains one of Lilly’s top priorities. This week, we welcome back our host Brian Winger, Lilly’s Associate Vice President, Digital Health Research and Development, Xiangnan Dang, Director of Engineering, and guests from Part 1, Tony Fantana and Chuck Benson. Guests on this episode will dive into the uniqueness of this technology; its effects and benefits to clinical trials; and, what’s next for Lilly in the future of clinical trials and monitoring for patient safety.


What is continuomics, and how can it help drive innovation and improve patient experience? Continuomics is the application of technologies to measure an individual’s physiological data in a continuous and unobtrusive manner, and that is exactly what Lilly is striving to do, and what the latest episode of The Elixir Factor will discuss.

Ensuring patient safety during clinical trials, alongside optimal patient experience, is imperative to the research and development of new, innovative treatments, as well as the overall patient experience during research. In this episode, we’ll discuss the pharmaceutical industry’s need to measure a very critical side effect in some clinical trials, heart rate, in a patient friendly way that allows for continuous and reliable monitoring of patient safety through clinical trials. 

Today, guest host Brian Winger, Lilly’s Associate Vice President, Digital Health Research and Development is joined by Chuck Benson, Senior Medical Director, and Tony Fantana, Lead, Emerging Technology Strategy, Clinical Design, Delivery and Analytics (Sr. Director) who will explore how Lilly is utilizing ‘continuomics’ in attempt to change the pharmaceutical industry’s monitoring of patient safety throughout clinical trials and how one clinical trial led to important insights that could change the future of patient safety and the patient experience during clinical trials. Tune in to Part One of this two-part series to learn more and stay tuned for Part Two of this episode to launch on Thursday, September 29.

Patient safety is measured, evaluated and followed in all clinical trials conducted at Lilly.  The material presented in these podcasts represent emerging technology that Lilly believes may provide additional capabilities to monitor and evaluate safety and enable a different experience for clinical trial participants.

More than six million people currently live with Alzheimer’s disease, and it’s expected that this number could rise to nearly 13 million by 2050. Fighting and advocating for this disease requires courage and resilience – as well as kindness and patience in the face of fear.

On this episode of The Elixir Factor, Alzheimer’s disease advocates, Jim and Geri Taylor, sit down with Dawn Brooks, head of global development at Lilly. The couple share their story of fighting this disease with courage and resilience and finding ways to appreciate life together despite a chronic diagnosis.

The X Factor, a special series of The Elixir Factor podcast, introduces you to the top innovators at Lilly.

Tune in as we put the leaders of Lilly under the microscope to explore what drives them to work on new discoveries with the potential to transform how serious illnesses are managed. In this episode, Lynn Deardorff, associate vice president of LRL portfolio strategy and chief of staff sits down with Michelle Lynn Hall, associate vice president of genetic medicine at Lilly. Michelle recounts the journey that brought her from working as a runner at a restaurant to leading a team of Lilly researchers in Boston and New York – all who are committed to the continued advancement of promising and potentially life-altering new medicines. Michelle also talks about her excitement for the future potential of genetic medicines and her love of mac & cheese! All of this and more when you hit play.


Welcome back to the second episode in our two-part series on breast cancer in the Black community. In our last episode, we learned that Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women due to a number of factors.1 In this episode, we’ll sit down with Dr. Stacy Moulder for the medical perspective on this important topic.

Before joining Lilly as Associate Vice President and Global Development for certain breast cancer trials at Lilly, Dr. Moulder was a practicing medical oncologist for more than 20 years. In this episode, hear from her on lessons learned during this time, how the medical community can offer better care and education, and why diversity in clinical trials is so important.

1. Richardson LC, Henley J, Miller, JW, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Patterns and Trends in Age-Specific Black-White Differences in Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality – United States, 1999–2014. 2016;65(40):1093-1098.

Did you know Black women are 40% more likely to die from breast cancer than white women?1 Higher rates of death from breast cancer in Black women are due to a combination of factors, including barriers to early diagnosis, the aggressive nature of certain breast cancers that are more prevalent in Black women, genetics, lack of quality care, discrimination, and systemic racism. In this first segment of two episodes on the topic, guest speakers from Lilly and Pink-4-Ever Ending Disparities will shed light on these issues and share how they are working together to combat these life-changing obstacles so that Black women can access the education, care and support they need while living with breast cancer.

Links mentioned in today’s show:

Pink4Ever — Ending Health Disparities

Black Health Matters

1. Richardson LC, Henley J, Miller, JW, et al. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR). Patterns and Trends in Age-Specific Black-White Differences in Breast Cancer Incidence and Mortality – United States, 1999–2014. 2016;65(40):1093-1098.


When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it changed the way we operate across countless areas of our lives. Now, many people are assessing what changes should remain moving forward. At Lilly, where we’re focused on developing medicines that will make life better for people around the world, we’re harnessing what we’ve learned to advance our work and asking ourselves: What lessons from the pandemic can we apply to improve clinical trials? The answer: Quite a few.

On this episode of The Elixir Factor, guest host Phyllis Ferrell, global head of Alzheimer’s disease external engagement at Lilly, explores how the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are providing new ways for us to think about clinical trials and our work to discover breakthrough medicines. Janelle Sabo, PharmD, vice president of Clinical Research Capabilities at Lilly, shares her perspective on how Lilly’s approach to clinical trials started shifting pre-pandemic and how COVID-19 impacted that work. Jessica Langbaum, PhD, director of Alzheimer’s Prevention Initiative led by Banner Alzheimer’s Institute and Jared Brosch, MD, Indiana University School of Medicine, also join the conversation to talk about how a decentralized approach to clinical trials can advance the science and increase patient access, specifically to cutting-edge Alzheimer’s disease clinical trials.

The group explores how key learnings from the last two years, coupled with recent clinical trial innovations, give us a new path forward to make trials more accessible and expansive, so more people have access to innovative, life-changing new medicines. 


Medical innovation happens through clinical trials—but many minority or marginalized communities are not as likely to participate, for a number of reasons. Low participation contributes to this health inequality as clinical trials can help give patients the opportunity to participate in and benefit from new medicine development. This week, guest host Brandy Matthews, associate vice president of global and U.S. medical affairs at Lilly, talks with Ralph and Mollie Richards, and Natalie Cheung Rotelli, senior director of diversity in clinical trials at Lilly. Ralph and Mollie are members of the Alzheimer's Association Greater Indiana Chapter Board of Directors and Indiana Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center Community Advisory Board and work with Black American communities in the Indianapolis metro area and other parts of the country. The group discusses the importance of diversity in clinical trials, the systemic barriers, how sponsors can engage, and Lilly’s role in this work.


The Elixir Factor Podcast’s Season 3

Imagine one day if there was a way to treat or even cure a genetic disease with a single injection? Genome-editing technologies provide the possibility to correct genetic problems at their source by precisely editing the DNA of a living organism. These methods have the potential to transform how a variety of diseases are treated, including a group of genetic disorders characterized by muscle weakness also called muscular dystrophies. Duchenne is the most common and severe form, caused by loss of dystrophin, beneath the sarcolemma.

The molecular mechanisms of the disease have been extensively investigated since the discovery of the gene in 1986. Joe talks with Hawken Miller and Debra Miller about their own experience with DMD, the factors that inspired Debra to start CureDuchenne, and their goal to remove any barriers to finding a cure. Joe also talks with Lilly scientists, Ruth Gimeno and Tom Hopkins, and the Chief Scientific Officer of Precision BioSciences Derek Janz, about the promise of gene editing, how it works, and the collaborative research being done to find a cure for one of the most devastating diseases.


Lilly has brought its scientific and medical expertise front and center to attack the coronavirus pandemic around the world. External collaboration, speed and expertise are key to driving solutions that help our scientists and researchers uncover new way to measure, understand and treat diseases, especially COVID-19. The experience gained fighting a pandemic will change the way we work forever. Here, Joe talks with Dan Skovronsky, chief scientific officer and president of Lilly Research Laboratories, about monoclonal antibodies and their role as a potential treatment for COVID-19. Joe also talks to Mike Cohen, M.D., co-principal investigator and director of the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Alexander Stemer, M.D., infectious disease expert and co-chair of Symphony Care Network's COVID-19 task force, about the factors that inspired Lilly to “bring the study to the patients” and develop the BLAZE-2 COVID-19 trial, which enrolled a unique patient population rarely targeted for clinical research.


Kids have a lot of insight, and the health care industry has much to learn from them. For starters, their situations are unique, ranging from specialized peer dynamics to school activities to autonomy differences. Pediatric research takes collaboration from many stakeholders, including regulators, clinicians, industry experts and payers. And let’s not forget parents, caregivers and the patients for it to be successful. International Children’s Advisory Network, or iCAN, empowers pediatric patients worldwide by creating a better understanding about the importance of pediatric patient and caregiver voices in health care, clinical trials and research. Joe talks with Olivia Ohmer and Kyan Sherman Cervati, two amazing kids with type 1 diabetes, about the factors that inspired them to become advocates for pediatric research. Joe also talks to Amy Ohmer, executive director of iCAN, and Courtney Tate, principal research scientist in pediatric capabilities at Lilly, about why raising awareness for this research is critical to improve pediatric health care, medicine and innovation around the world.


The Elixir Factor Podcast's Season 2

In 2018, more than 2 million cases of breast cancer were diagnosed worldwide. While over 3.8 million survivors are in the U.S., more than any other group of cancer survivors, breast cancer is actually a highly complex disease with many different subsets. Oftentimes, informed decisions allow patients to feel more confident about their treatment. Awareness is crucial to better outcomes, but the messaging should be broad and informative, as a breast cancer diagnosis can be different for each patient. Joe talks with Michelle Bazer, oncology nurse, mother and now breast cancer survivor, and Dr. Maura Dicker, vice president of late phase oncology development at Lilly, about the factors that influence treatment decisions, the approaches our scientists are considering to “outsmart” breast cancer, and the significance of friendships during challenging times.


Good science drives innovation. One of the most critical ingredients for an innovation-friendly environment is a strong intellectual property (IP) framework. It allows for collaboration, partnership and larger investments that provide an opportunity to scale research, which in turn can provide a great opportunity for success, and hopefully advance the development of medicines for patients. The U.S. is the global leader of biopharmaceutical innovation because its IP system promotes competition, ensuring each player excels at their role and is incentivized to take risks and share information throughout the process. Joe talks to Dr. John Stewart IV, professor of surgery and physician executive for oncology sciences at University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago, about the factors that have influenced his oncology research and how he has been able to continue this research through partnerships and policies that support IP. Joe also talks to Tonya Combs, vice president and deputy general patent counsel of IP procurement at Lilly, about the drug discovery process, the Bayh-Dole Act and the biopharmaceutical research ecosystem during the COVID-19 pandemic. Here's an infographic that expounds on the importance of IP in the biopharma research ecosystem.


Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Disease (DIAD) is a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease that causes memory loss and dementia in people typically in their 30s to 50s. The disease affects less than 1% of the total population and is devastating to those who are impacted by it, including their families. Joe talks to Dr. Randy Bateman, the Charles F. and Joanne Knight distinguished professor of neurology, director and principal investigator of DIAN-TU, and Dr. Roy Yaari, senior medical advisor of neurodegeneration at Lilly, about DIAD, the factors that were considered in the design of the DIAN-TU Study, and Alzheimer's research in clinical trials. Joe also talks to patient advocate Daisy Duarte about her family experience with DIAD and why she advocates for Latinos Against Alzheimer’s.


Health literacy is about a person’s ability not just to read, but to understand and act on, health information to help optimize health outcomes. Patients are more responsible for their own health education than ever before. Clear health communication is one of the easiest ways to help those with limited health literacy. During this global COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an overflow of conflicting health information. In this episode, Joe talks to Dr. Linda Neuhauser, clinical professor of community health and human development at UC Berkeley, School of Public Health, and co-principal investigator of health research for action, and Lori Hall, advisor of global health literacy at Lilly. They discuss the factors that contribute to the complexity of health information, health care, concepts that have been used by scientists and the media in describing our understanding of the pandemic, and their hope in science to lead us to answers.


The promise of science to change people’s lives has never been greater. Recent progress in understanding biology, including the sequencing of the human genome, has led to new insights – allowing scientists more power and precision to treat diseases, including cancer. As the understanding of cancer grows, scientists have found that it’s actually not a single disease but a collection of diseases that are driven by various causes or genetic breakdowns. Joe talks to Pete Nicholas, co-founder of Boston Scientific, about his diagnosis of a very aggressive form of non-small cell lung cancer. Joe also talks to Anne White, president of Lilly Oncology, about the factors that came into play to redesign a traditional oncology research-and-development organization into a biotech, and how this new mindset has the potential to develop more medicines for people living with cancer.


Brain health is one of the most urgent issues for our health care system, our economy and our country. Evidence is strong that people can reduce their risk of cognitive decline by making conscious lifestyle changes like regular physical activity and participating in social engagements. Joe talks to Brooks Kenny, executive director of WomenAgainstAlzheimer’s, about the factors that inspired the launch of The Be Brain Powerful™ Campaign and its goals to change the path for both women and brain health. Joe also talks to Lilly’s Vera Maljkovic, principal researcher and clinical psychologist in cognition and behavior, and Jen Zimmer, senior medical advisor in Alzheimer’s research, about how we measure the health of our brains, the effects of Alzheimer’s on the brain and what it can mean for cognitive decline.


What is the body’s largest organ, coming in a variety of colors and weighing in at about 6 pounds? The skin. It’s one of the most familiar aspects of our bodies and our health. Skin related diseases, like atopic dermatitis, are more than skin deep and can have devastating effects on people’s lives. There are an estimated 10 million patients in the U.S. with moderate-to-severe-atopic dermatitis. While atopic dermatitis can affect anyone, research suggests that people who are Black, Asian and Latinx are at greater risk than other populations. In fact, one study found that African American children are 1.7 times more likely to develop atopic dermatitis than white children.1

Joe talks with two of our own Lilly scientists, Lotus Mallbris, M.D., Ph.D., and Alison Budelsky, Ph.D., about the unmet needs for people with immunological skin conditions, including those with skin of color. Hear what factors influence dermatology and immunology research and why diverse representation is critical in this space. Joe also talks to Julie Maxwell about the impact atopic dermatitis has had on her life.

To learn more about our efforts in helping people with Atopic Dermatitis, visit our Immunology page.

1 Martinez A, et al. (2021) Structural racism and its pathways to asthma and atopic dermatitis. J Allergy Clin Immunology. 2021;148(5):1112-1120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2021.09.020


It takes optimism, mental discipline and collaboration to deliver life-changing innovation to patients. External collaboration is key to driving new solutions in the world of digital health, which ultimately helps scientists and researchers uncover new way to measure and understand specific diseases or illnesses. The best solutions come from those who truly understand the patient experience, or the “problem.” In this episode, host Joe Kim talks to Yan Fossat, principal investigator of the digital health research lab at Klick Health and one of the winners of Lilly’s first Innovative Challenge, “Transforming IBD Care: Better Disease Monitoring, Management and Care for People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.” Hear what factors inspired Yan and Dr. Michael Docktor to design HealthVoyager, a pediatric virtual reality app for people suffering from IBD – a devastating illness reported to affect approximately 3 million people in the U.S. alone. Joe also talks to Jim Parshall, advisor of digital device innovation, about Lilly’s approach to external innovation, and what it took to get an innovative challenge off the ground.

Disclaimer: Please note that Lilly does not own HealthVoyager, the pediatric virtual reality app for people suffering from IBD.


The Elixir Factor Podcast's Debut Season 

There is great hope in the idea that a better understanding of gene mutations, RNA and RNAi could lead to possible treatments and cures for some of the most difficult diseases, such as ALS. However, the path to finding a cure requires ongoing investments in innovation and collaboration across academia, government, nonprofits and the pharmaceutical industry. No one understands this concept better than patient advocates. In our final episode of The Elixir Factor's first season, Joe talks to a powerhouse couple, Brian Wallach and Sandra Abrevaya, about I AM ALS. Hear what factors inspired them to build I AM ALS, a patient-centric movement raising both awareness and funds for ongoing ALS research. Joe also talks to Lilly scientist Andrew Adams about the process of RNA/RNAi interference and the development of therapies to correct the consequences of gene mutations. To learn more, visit I AM ALS online.


Clinical trials are essential to the development and testing of new therapies. Developing a clinical trial is an incredibly challenging process that usually involves a lot of different perspectives. The only way to build simpler, more convenient and patient-friendly trials is to include people's real-life experiences at research sites. For this episode, Joe talks to one of our own Lilly experts, Megan Laker, about the patient experience and design innovation hub. Hear what factors inspired Megan to create CoDESIGN. Joe also talks to patient advocate Shane Lee about his experience in the CoDESIGN simulation as a patient living with lupus.


Our purpose here at Lilly is to unite caring with discovery to create medicines that make life better for people around the world. It is often the personal stories and our own experiences that ultimately inspire bold advances in science and innovation. The path to recovery from some of the most difficult diseases, such as cancer, needs to include more than the right medicine or treatment. Here, Joe talks to Terri Wingham, founder and CEO of A Fresh Chapter (AFC). Hear what factors encouraged her to start this nonprofit organization, which facilitates life-changing volunteer and leadership experiences to empower people who have been impacted by cancer. Joe also talks to Lilly scientist Scott Hynes and patient advocate Linnea Olson about their participation in AFC's Peru Odyssey program.


Diabetes is a disease that requires management 24 hours a day, seven days a week. People living with diabetes must calculate complex mental math when deciding how much insulin to dose, while also taking into consideration the effects of their exercise, food intake and even stress levels. Digital technology is changing health care, which brings with it the hope of new solutions such as wearables, apps and mobile devices. For this episode, Joe talks to patient advocate and founder of #openAPS, Dana Lewis. Hear what factors motivated her to seek out digital tools to manager her type 1 diabetes and ultimately create an automated DIY closed-loop system. Joe also talks to Marie Schiller, who leads R&D efforts in global product development for Lilly’s Connected Care and Insulins, about the key to finding new and better solutions for diabetes care. 


Real world evidence (RWE) is a powerful tool that can be used to provide insights on diseases, medicines, patient populations and health care practices. RWE also plays an important role in drug discovery and is used by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the pharmaceutical industry. A strategic priority of the FDA is to leverage real world evidence to improve regulatory decisions. In this episode, Joe talks to Brande Yaist, senior director of global patient outcomes and real world evidence at Lilly, about why getting it right is so important. Joe also talks to Dr. Adrian Hernandez, vice dean of clinical research at Duke University, about an exciting new initiative with Google called Project Baseline and why he is hopeful that the collection of RWE in this new digital era will allow us to be more forward-thinking about future health problems. 

Learn more about Lilly's R&D efforts. 


At the root of most research is data. When data have been collected and analyzed in a meaningful and accurate way, they a reused as evidence. Real world evidence, simply defined, is health information collected outside of a randomized clinical trial. In this episode, Joe talks to Erin Moore, a patient advocate and mother of five. When Erin’s son was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, she considered it her job to learn all that she could about it to offer a more personalized approach to treating him and giving him the best chance at a good health outcome. Hear what factors motivated her to start collecting real world evidence and to continue doing so for almost 10 years. Her resilience is inspiring. 


Pain is a uniquely complex problem. As many of us know, pain does not discriminate. It’s personal. It’s subjective, and it affects everyone differently. Pain is also an incredibly challenging area to research because of how subjective it can be. Investigational programs for innovative pain treatments have one of the highest clinical-trial failure rates of any major disease state. Now, new advances in digital health may offer scientists the ability to gain more insight on the course of pain. Here, Joe talks to Seth Ginsberg, a health policy advocate and entrepreneur. Hear what factors led him to co-found CreakyJoints, the first online patient community for people suffering from arthritis. Joe also talks to one our of own Lilly scientists, Dr. Mark Mintun, about why pain has proven to be such a challenging area to research. 


Caregiving can be one of the most stressful, emotional and physically exhausting jobs there is. Nearly half of all caregivers who provide help to other adults do so for someone living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. The role of the caregiver also goes far beyond basic day-to-day care. They are also the "voice of the patient" and play a very important role in future solutions. In this episode, Joe talks to a full-time Lilly employee and full-time caregiver, Beth Stafford. Hear what factors motivated her to seek the help of Denise Saxman, care consultant at the Alzheimer’s Association, during her caregiving journey. Joe also talks to Denise about ways to help caregivers and the importance of recognizing them as part of the equation in health care, and in drug discovery and development.


Alzheimer’s disease is one of the biggest unmet medical needs of our time. Lilly has been committed to Alzheimer’s research for more than 30 years, and continues to remain determined to find solutions for this horrible disease. In 2015, Lilly provided a grant to Academy Award–nominated filmmaker and health care advocate James Keach to make the documentary Turning Point, which granted him access into “the cave” as the Lilly team learned the fate of the Alzheimer’s Expedition 3 study. In this episode, Joe talks with James and Ron DeMattos, Lilly’s chief scientific officer for neurobiologics. Hear what factors inspired the making of Turning Point and the story of the Lilly scientists on the front lines of Alzheimer’s research, capturing both the disappointment and resilience of those working to disrupt the disease. 


Why is research important and why do people participate? Finding new and improved medicines is only possible with the help of brave people who participate in clinical trials. In this episode, Joe talks with Lilly Stairs, head of growth and partnership at Savvy Cooperative. Hear what factors caused her transformation from ordinary citizen to passionate patient advocate. Joe and Lilly also debunk the myths associated with clinical trials with Lilly’s own Leigh Anne Naas, a patient experience and design innovation community leader.


Most of us know a person impacted by cancer. Yet while cancer research has been going on for centuries, we still don’t have a cure. Two major advances, targeted therapy and immunotherapy, have led oncologists to the practice of precision medicine. In this episode, Joe talks to T.J. Sharpe, a cancer survivor and patient advocate. Hear what factors led him to research an alternative treatment plan for stage IV melanoma versus a standard treatment plan, which offered him only months to live. Joe also talks with two passionate Lilly scientists, Dr. Kim Blackwell and Dr. Levi Garraway, who lead the way in oncology research and development, specifically in the area of precision medicine.