Sachin Sobale began his career with Cytel as a young statistician. He has been associated with the company for more than 13 years and is now based in the US. In this blog we talk to Sachin about his journey so far, his current role, and achievements; and we get some tips from him for young statisticians who are interested in pursuing a career in this field.
You have been associated with Cytel for over 13 years. How has this journey been for you?
It has been a great journey so far; I joined Cytel right after completing my Master’s degree in Statistics. In my first project, I worked as a Statistician with one of the top 10 pharma companies as our client. It was also one of the initial Functional Service Provider (FSP) projects for Cytel so, it was challenging to understand the domain and put my knowledge in statistics into practice. But this new team had great support from our mentors at Cytel. I later moved to a number of complex services projects where I work on several studies with small to mid-sized pharma companies. Now I am back to FSP and managing a team of Biostatisticians for one of our key customers.
It has been a rewarding journey in terms of the varied experiences I have gathered. I have seen this company evolve from a handful of employees to more than 1000 employees today, but the core values of the company still remain the same.
How did you identify statistics as the right career for you?
During my Bachelor’s, I was inclined towards statistics as a subject and I was also interested in numbers. So, I decided to pursue my Master’s in Statistics and that turned out to be a good decision since I enjoy my work every day and it gives me immense satisfaction.
What is your current role and with whom do you collaborate closely?
Currently, I am working as Director, Biostatistics and managing a team of 38 highly talented Biostatisticians who are working on various therapeutic areas for FSP engagement. I am also involved in the governance of this team and in hiring statisticians for the evolving needs of our customer.
What are the benefits of FSP to our customers?
FSP engagements tend to be long-term partnerships, which enable Cytel to have dedicated teams that work with our customers as their extended project team. It provides the flexibility to our customers to involve these FSP team members in core project activities, scaling numbers over the years, based on the needs of various projects. It also helps FSP team members to understand the projects thoroughly and take them to completion with quality.
What according to you are the advantages of choosing Cytel over a full-service CRO?
Cytel has a breadth of experience in every aspect of biometrics ranging from study planning and data management, to Biostatistics and programming. It is the largest provider of statistical software and advanced analytics for clinical trial design and execution. There are several working models within Cytel based on the customers’ need such as software services, consulting, FSP and complex services projects, and all of these functions have some of the best industry experts to work with.
What excites you about working in this field?
The most important aspect of working in this field is that you feel close to science, and the work done will ultimately help to bring cures to some of the world’s most devastating diseases like hypertension and MS.
Can you tell us about your most memorable achievement or project?
I have been fortunate to get a chance to work on clinical trials that went through health authorities’ approval, and now those medicines are in the market and benefit patients immensely. I was involved in several such submissions to health authorities for diseases including Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Multiple Sclerosis and pulmonary arterial hypertension.
What would be your top tips for early career statisticians looking to develop in this field?
It is essential to acquire domain knowledge to be successful in this field. A strong understanding of Statistics is necessary, but the role of a biostatistician also involves working with cross-functional teams. So, it can be very useful to work on your verbal and written communication skills as it helps to communicate effectively with the study teams.
What are your main interests outside of work?
I like playing different sports such as cricket and tennis, and spending time with my son. I also enjoy traveling and listening to music.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us and sharing your journey.
A career at Cytel FSP provides opportunities to be involved in unrivaled biostatistics and operations research projects to improve drug development success rates, crucial for human welfare.
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