Interview with Oliver Schoenborn-Kellenberger

Do you want to change your job?
Are you just looking for you first job?
Do you consider to work for your own company or as a free-lancer?

Then this episode will help you!

Oliver has accrued lots of experience working in different set ups over his career and thus is able to tell about the different strengths and limitations of the set-ups.

Furthermore, Benjamin and myself bring in the perspective of CRO and pharma statisticians and supervisors.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Why starting at a CRO might or might not be the right thing for you?
  • How does working for a large pharma organisation look like.
  • How is it different to work for a CRO compared to a large pharma company?
  • What are the development options at a large pharma organisation?
  • How it’s like to work in a biotech company – especially compared to large pharma.
  • If starting your own company or working as a free-lancer offers benefits for you.
  • What is the most important career advice in terms of choosing the right company from Oliver.

Oliver Schönborn-Kellenberger

Oliver Schönborn-Kellenberger received his MSc in Mathematics at Georg August University in Göttingen.

In 2004 he started as statistician at a CRO [PRA] before joining Novartis Pharma AG in 2006. In 2008, he moved to Novartis Oncology where he took over responsibility for a large compound in early development. He pursued an opportunity at Imclone International in 2012.

Oliver Schönborn-Kellenberger has specific expertise in management of transition activities (Proof of Concept/Phase II to Phase III).

During his career, he was involved in various fully Bayesian single agent and combination escalation trials as well as in Bayesian Phase II trials. His project experience includes Hsp90, pan-RAF, Notch inhibitors and bispecific antibody and amongst others, he worked in indications such as NSCLC, gastric tumors and hodgkin lymphoma.


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I want to help the community of statisticians, data scientists, programmers and other quantitative scientists to be more influential, innovative, and effective. I believe that as a community we can help our research, our regulatory and payer systems, and ultimately physicians and patients take better decisions based on better evidence.

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When my kids are sick, I want to have good evidence to discuss with the physician about the different therapy choices.

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When I get sick, I want to find evidence that I can trust and that helps me to have meaningful discussions with my healthcare professionals.

I want to live in a world, where the media reports correctly about medical evidence and in which society distinguishes between fake evidence and real evidence.

Let’s work together to achieve this.