Chiesi Funds Efforts to Increase DE&I in Life Sciences

[EDITOR'S NOTE: This is an updated version of this story to clarify Chiesi's collaboration with NCCU.]

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Cary-based Chiesi USA continues to expand its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts through partnerships and research funding that directly support students and researchers.

The company says plans are in the works to collaborate on events at North Carolina Central University as well as host opportunities for students to support Chiesi’s work in the community.

Chiesi’s efforts are part of its broader corporate DE&I program.

Caroline Sasser
Caroline Sasser.

“Through [these] partnerships and our other DE&I efforts, we hope to challenge fellow organizations in our industry to create partnerships across the field,” said Erica Paine, DEI committee chair and director of value and market access at Chiesi.

The partnership could support efforts involving NCCU's Biomanufacturing Research Institute and Technology Enterprise (BRITE) program, which prepares students for the state’s changing workforce needs in clinical research and other life sciences sectors. While details of the collaboration are continuing to evolve, a Chiesi spokesperson confirmed that it could include opportunities for students to apply what they have learned through the BRITE program to Chiesi projects.

The BRITE program provides unique opportunities for students to work side-by-side with the school’s faculty on research projects to gain real-world lab experiences that use the latest biochemical, molecular and pharmacological techniques. Within BRITE, students can choose from four programs: drug discovery, biomanufacturing, pharmaceutical sciences and clinical research sciences. Learn more about NCCU’s BRITE workforce development programs.

Chiesi supports research on DEI efforts in pharmacy

One North Carolina researcher is continuing her research thanks to a $10,000 grant from Chiesi. Carolina Sasser is the PharmAlliance postdoctoral fellow and program coordinator at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. Sasser’s project focuses on the influences on BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color) pharmacy trainees’ career goals and attainment. 

“Chiesi is inspired by the incredible research being done as a result of this program, and we see its meaningful impact on the scholars, patients and pharmaceutical industry,” said Paine. “We are always looking for new and exciting ways to make a difference, and through the ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists) Foundation’s program, we are proud to support up-and-coming researchers who will drive progress in our industry.”

Through their partnership, Chiesi and the ASHP Foundation awarded $10,000 research grants to five early-stage pharmacist researchers. Each research project supports research that advances diversity, equity, inclusion and access in healthcare.

Chiesi USA is an affiliate of Chiesi Farmacetici, an international research-based healthcare group.

Mindy Hamlin, NCBiotech Writer
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