Member Spotlight: Jennifer Soller
This month's spotlight focuses on PMSA Professional Development Committee member Jennifer Soller, Principal, Market Analysis & Strategy, at Genentech.
PMSA: How many years have you been in the industry?
Jennifer Soller: I have been an analytics professional for nearly 30 years, with the last decade focused in Pharma.
PMSA: What attracted you to the field?
JS: I have always been a geeky numbers person, who enjoys identifying patterns and trying to find order in the chaos. I began my career as an econometrician at the Fed, then spent many years as a quant researcher at an investment bank. But as time went on, I got disillusioned with the idea of spending all of my time trying to capture the greed-driven, smoke-and-mirrors nature of financial market movements. Searching for more meaning in my work, I decided to focus my analytical skills on modeling customer behavior, and wound up in other industries, like gaming and banking. Moving into Pharma was really fulfilling, as I was able to ply my trade in benefit to society -- helping identify the most efficient and effective way to get impactful and important information to HCPs and patients.
PMSA: How did you first hear about PMSA?
JS: Most likely through some newsletter or published paper. I did (and still do) a lot of foundational reading to keep up with the market landscape, the competition, and the state of the industry.
PMSA: How many years have you attended the PMSA conference?
JS: The first PMSA conference I attended was back in 2011 in Miami. The next year, in 2012, I was a presenter in Anaheim. Since then, I've attended various PMSA symposia and conferences when my schedule allows. In 2018, I was a presenter at the PMSA European Summit in Amsterdam, and will be at the podium again at the 2020 Winter Symposium.
I find PMSA events a great way to get broader insight into the current state of our industry -- what people are working on and what might be the next new thing. And it is more than just the podium sessions -- I also really enjoy the networking opportunities that these events provide: reconnecting with past colleagues who have moved to different companies, picking the brains of the really smart thinkers in our field that I respect and trust, or just having a friendly methodology debate with JP over a glass of wine.
PMSA: Please describe any current projects you are excited about.
JS: We are doing some interesting, cutting-edge work using AI and machine learning to build patient prediction models, and to tease out common themes in field verbatims reporting. However, my personal focus has shifted to fostering an environment where analytics can make more of an impact. I am particularly energized by introducing metrics and measurement to teams not used to thinking that way, and helping analysts develop the communication and presentation skills they need to inspire and influence.
PMSA: Do you have any predictions for the future?
JS: I think that Medical Affairs orgs in Pharma are going to grow in importance and impact, as physicians and other stakeholders get more and more inured to promotional marketing and as personalized healthcare leads to the science within small patient subsets and rare diseases. I think that there is a big opportunity to use analytics to help Med Affairs allocate their energies most efficiently and effectively.
PMSA: What are your hobbies?
JS: I am an avid kayaker and am often out on the San Francisco Bay -- even in the winter! I also have just started playing the ukulele and participate in several uke jams and sing-alongs each quarter.