Meet Ujwal Pyati, Ph.D., Practice Lead, Scientific Strategy

1. Uj, we’re excited to have you as our Practice Lead of Scientific Strategy. Can you tell us how that helps our clients build unfair advantage?

Our group focuses on leveraging deep scientific insights to drive best-in-class strategy and storytelling, whether it’s for a product, a disease state, or an organization. We provide a stand-alone scientific and medical communications offering, in addition to infusing world-class scientific thinking across our existing marketing, digital, and communications functions. Coupled with our unparalleled analytics capabilities, we believe that we can now create integrated solutions for our high-science clients like never before.

2. What attracted you to join W2O?

A few things attracted me to W2O. First, the possibility of building a scientific group that works across multiple functions- PR, IR, marketing, and now medical communications, was very appealing. I think there’s still too much of a siloed approach to developing communications to various stakeholders, and the W2O model uniquely addresses that through our unified offering. Second, the chance to work with true analytics experts who can help drive not only measurement, but strategic direction itself. Finally, the fact that we all operate for the good of the network- One Team, One Dream, as we like to say- cuts out a lot of the politics and rigidity that other organizations suffer from. The ability to be agile and build what you want was, and is, incredibly appealing.

3. You’ll work closely with our analytics/digital and value, pricing and market access practices – how does your role fit into these practices?

Science is at the core of much of what we do in helping to build and communicate about brands and organizations. Integrating deep scientific thinking into our analytics offering will help us generate key insights that can’t necessarily be uncovered through traditional stakeholder interactions—namely, the underlying perceptions, attitudes, and lexicon that can drive behavior based on scientific understanding. With value, pricing, and market access, the key is to build and communicate a scientific story that lives up to the true advancements that are constantly being generated by our clients. Part of this is through trial design itself, generating endpoints that show the economic benefit of a therapy to society and the healthcare system, and part of it is creating a strong, scientifically sound value proposition that ensures optimal pricing and coverage.

4. Where does science belong at the intersection between health, communications, and marketing?

Scientific understanding is the underpinning for discovery and is the basis for human health as well as the maintenance of human health. However, scientific communications often fall short in that they are overly technical, uninteresting, and burdened in complexity that does a disservice to the amazing healthcare advances that are occurring every day. This is where scientific storytelling comes in—taking the objective truth around the data and constructing an interesting story for why a product or company should be considered. We are seeking to empower healthcare decision makers with the ability to have a clear view into how a product might improve health, taking into account any potential caveats of course. 

5. The world of science moves quickly, what is your approach to learning and staying up to speed?

Honestly, email-based alerts from scientific journals and services like FiercePharma and FierceBiotech have been really helpful in this regard. Additionally, social media posts from leading scientists and clinicians give me a quick view into the latest academic and industry developments. In the past, I’d come in and do PubMed searches every morning for the latest interesting articles; however, online services now do this work for me by keeping me up to date on what the latest hot developments are in the world of science. I then dig deeper based on scientific literature, congresses, and interactions with relevant experts I’m in contact with.

6. Fun question: If you were stranded on a desert island and could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Hmmm…that’s a tough one, but I’d probably say Legend by Bob Marley and the Wailers. It’s timeless, it helps me chill out, and it reinforces the fact that regardless of what all might be going on, life is a precious gift that we should all be infinitely thankful for.

Adam Cossman
Adam Cossman
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