Author: [AUTHOR] Published on 7/1/2021 12:00:00 AM
Qi Liu, PhD, Senior Science Advisor, US Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Maryland
What Professional Accomplishment Are You Most Proud Of?
It is hard to decide which one I am most proud of, because so many US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) projects have been super interesting and impactful. It is probably a tie for the following two projects: (1) Working with my colleagues to establish the Innovative Data Analytics program in our office (Office of Clinical Pharmacology at the FDA), which focuses on the cutting-edge fields, such as artificial intelligence/machine learning, digital health tools, and real-world evidence; (2) Working with my colleagues to establish the Real-Time Oncology (RTOR) and Assessment Aid pilot programs as part of my detail in the FDA Oncology Center of Excellence. The RTOR pilot explored a more efficient review process to ensure that safe and effective treatments are available to patients as early as possible, while maintaining and improving review quality and balancing the review team’s workload through data and analysis standardization, and early iterative engagement with the applicant. For example, RTOR allowed the FDA to approve a new indication of brentuximab vedotin within 2 weeks of the completed application’s submission.
What Is the Most Important Leadership Lesson You Have Learned the Hard Way?
The most important lesson I’ve learned the hard way is that leadership is just relationships plus the courage to do the right things. For many years, I did not consider myself as having potential nor talent in leadership. When I interviewed at Merck in 2004, I told my interviewers that I had no leadership skills (luckily they still offered me the job, for which I am so grateful). In my career, I’ve turned down a few leadership opportunities because I thought I was not leadership material. Fortunately, I have met some wonderful mentors (e.g., Drs. Brian Booth, Issam Zineh, Richard Pazdur, and Shiew-Mei Huang) who saw my potential as a leader. They advised me to get out of my comfort zone and contribute more to the professional community. They have guided me to lead many collaborative projects. Not only did this instill confidence and courage in me, I realized that leadership is all about relationships. When we genuinely care about others, great things follow. It is the foundation to build trust, share vision, and work together toward our common goal.
Who Has Inspired You in Your Career?
Many people have inspired me in my career, including my PhD advisor, Dr. Hartmut Derendorf. He was a true genius with a kind and generous heart. His advice for our research projects were full of wisdom, but still gave us ample room for academic freedom to follow our scientific curiosity. He was like a father-figure to many of us, always having our best interest in mind. The warm memories of so many Thanksgiving dinners at his house, with his family and other students/postdocs/faculty, will be cherished in my heart forever.
When You Aren’t Working, How Do You Spend Your Free Time?
In my spare time, I enjoy cooking (my baking skills have improved significantly during the pandemic), gardening, hiking, and playing Pokemon Go with my family and friends.
What Was Your Childhood Dream Job?
A horticulturalist or a physicist.
Dr. Liu has been a member of ASCPT since 2019.