Season2 Ep3

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This episode features Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D., CEO of Altesa BioSciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm working to develop new medications for viral respiratory infections with a focus on vulnerable populations. And Dr. Giroir knows plenty about infections, having served as the COVID-19 “testing czar” on the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

In this episode, Dr. Giroir describes how his interest in immunology and infectious disease in medical school led to vaccine research and related clinical practice, which led in turn to serving the nation in various roles (and at one point this included a top-secret clearance).

“I do believe you’re put here for a purpose,” Dr. Giroir says. “And looking back on all the chance events that came into my life, I think that’s what it all meant.”

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Featured on this podcast

Admiral Brett Giroir, M.D.

Chief Executive Officer & Acting Chief Medical Officer, Altesa BioSciences

Dr. Giroir is the CEO of Altesa BioSciences, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing new medicines for viral respiratory infections, especially for the most vulnerable. He has 35 years of experience as a physician, scientist and innovator and is dedicated to improving public health and medical science. Dr. Giroir formerly served as the 16th Assistant Secretary for Health in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Acting FDA Commissioner, and as an Admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps. He also served as the U.S. Representative to the Executive Board of the World Health Organization and was on the front lines of the COVID-19 response as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. He is the author of a new book, Memoir of a Pandemic: Fighting COVID from the Front Lines to the White House, which hit bookshelves in April. 


Melanie Marcus

Chief Marketing & Customer Experience Officer, Surescripts

Marcus joined Surescripts in 2017, bringing with her more than 20 years of experience working at the intersection of marketing, technology and healthcare. Based in our Arlington, Virginia, office, she loves serving as “chief storyteller” and hosts Surescripts’ award-winning podcast, There’s A Better Way: Smart Talk on Healthcare and Technology, helping people understand how technology unites our fragmented healthcare system. Marcus is passionate about leading an organizational focus on “customer obsession” where we put customer value first as we work to increase patient safety, lower costs and ensure quality care. Marcus currently serves on the Board of Directors for The Sequoia Project and the Brem Foundation to Defeat Breast Cancer. She also serves as NCPDP Foundation's National Advisory Council (NAC) Chair for Role and Value of the Pharmacist.