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Member Spotlight: Patsy Lewis

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July 25, 2022
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The Member Spotlight is an ongoing Q&A series focused on getting to know the CASSS community. Today’s spotlight shines on Patsy Lewis, Director of CMC Development-Virtual at Tonix Pharmaceuticals.

Q. What was your motivation to volunteer with CASSS?

It was a bit ago when WCBP had poster presentations, and I had the opportunity to attend and share my work. During my attendance and networking/socializing with other conference participants, I was just amazed to learn that the conference was assembled by volunteers. The content, casual but strategic information exchange was something that I would not have exposure in my work environment. I walked away with many ideas and resources, and this gave me the inspiration to keep this concept going in whatever form I could contribute.

Q. What do you do to relax? Do you have any hobbies? 

I enjoy walking outdoors to relax and recharge. I like to take two walks a day one in the morning to get the blood flowing and then one in the afternoon to keep the energy high. Summer walks are the best in the northwest as the sun does not set until 10pm. 

Q. What's your favorite type of food or special dish you cook? Why? 

I recently learned to make sourdough bread as it is my husband’s favorite type of bread. I never realized the effort and planning it takes to make this happen. It took 25 years of marriage for him to finally convince me to make bread and now we never buy it at the store, it is always homemade sourdough.  

Q. What is your favorite movie, tv show, music or book?

For the Love of Enzymes: The Odyssey of a Biochemist; is my all-time favorite book, followed by the movie Lorenzo’s Oil.  The reason for this is that they are both about science and people impacted by research, drive, and a passion understanding.  

Q. What famous person (dead or alive) would you choose to have dinner with? Why?

Nelson Mandela because I have always been moved by his quote “It always seems impossible until its done”. And I would like to know how an individual with so many challenges can have a soothing smile and spoken words that settle the soul. I have this quote printed in my office with his smiling face as it gets me through tough times in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Q. What’s your favorite travel experience? 

Our family trip to Fiji. It was so amazing to go with our young teenage kids and experience such kindness, generosity, tradition, and culture. Everything is better when you are on island time. I wish I could bottle an bring that vibe home with me to sprinkle on many throughout my work day.

Q. What would people be surprised to know about you? 

This is hard question, but my guess would be that truly I am only what you see. Nothing behind the curtain so to speak. My intentions are only to learn, grow, and help where I can. Or maybe it would surprise folks to know that I live on 5 acres in the Pacific Northwest and do all my own gardening and lawn mowing.  

Q. How did you get inspired to go into science/biotech/pharma industry? 

Well, this question will definitely “date me”. But I was inspired to go into science after two things. The first was the TV show Quincy; I was fascinated by all the mysteries he solved and data he collected as a coroner (i.e., forensic scientist).  The second was I had great high school biology and physics teachers who had a passion for teaching not only the content in the books but connecting the content to life. My field trip to the local coroner’s lab with all the first year medical students was amazing. 

Q. If you did anything other than your current occupation, what would it be?

Find a way to help other curious scientists (regardless of phase in life) to connect with each other, share knowledge, and know where to go for information; it must include travel, of course.