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Katherine L Beaverson, M.S.

Executive Director, Patient Advocacy Lead
  • Group: Rare Disease Research
  • Location: Cambridge, MA

I joined Pfizer in 2013 and currently serve as Senior Director and Patient Advocacy Lead in Pfizer’s Rare Disease Research Unit. I am a healthcare professional with experience in patient advocacy, public affairs, program development, medical communications/education, basic and clinical research in pharmaceutical and academic clinical settings. I lead the strategic planning and implementation of collaborations with third party patient advocacy groups in support of the Rare Disease Research Unit’s programmatic areas of priority. In my role, I am external facing, engaging with rare disease patient advocacy groups to integrate their expertise and expertise into our discovery and development plans to drive our early drug development programs. I am also internal facing, helping to drive alignment and communication among cross-functional colleagues advancing our science and programs along the rare disease drug development continuum with rare disease patient communities. I currently serve as the Chair of the Companies Constituent Committee of the International Rare Disease Research Consortium (IRDiRC) and am a Member of the New York University Pediatric Gene Therapy Medical Ethics Working Group (PGTME).

Prior to joining Pfizer, I have built or joined patient advocacy teams in several biopharmaceutical companies, operationalizing these roles in various functions. I am professionally trained as a Genetic Counselor, having spent 10 years in academic medicine as a Genetic Counselor at both New York Presbyterian Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center before entering industry. I provided genetic counseling services, supported basic and clinical research programs, and coordinated comprehensive care programs to children, families and individuals with inherited hematologic and ophthalmic conditions.

I have lectured internationally in both academic and corporate roles. I am an author on more than 20 peer-reviewed publications.

I received my BA from Swarthmore College and Masters of Science in Human Genetics from Sarah Lawrence College.


  1. Branca, Malorye. Their lives in their hands. Nature Biotechnology 37: 1255-1260 (2019). Quote: K. Beaverson.
  2. Paquin RS, Fischer R, Mansfield C, Mange B, Beaverson K, Ganot A, Martin AS, Morris C, Rensch C, Ricotti V, Russo L, Sadosky A, Smith EC, Peay H. Priorities when deciding on participation in early-phase gene therapy trials for Duchenne muscular dystrophy: A best–worst scaling experiment in caregivers and adult patients. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases (2019) 14:102
  3. Landrum Peay H, Fischer R, Tzeng JP, Hesterlee SE, Morris C, Strong Martin A, Rensch C, Smith, E, Ricotti V, Beaverson K, Wand H, Mansfield C. (2019) Gene therapy as a potential therapeutic option for Duchenne muscular dystrophy: A qualitative preference study of patients and parents. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0213649.
  4. Yanina Jackson, Ellen Janssen, Ryan Fischer, Katherine Beaverson, Jane Loftus, Kate Betteridge, Stephanie Rhoten, Emuella Flood & Mark Lundie (2019): The evolving role of patient preference studies in health-care decision-making, from clinical drug development to clinical care management, Expert Review of Pharmacoeconomics & Outcomes Research, DOI:10.1080/14737167.2019.1612242.
  5. Tretiakova AP, Murphy JE, Binks M, Mensah P, Rabinowitz J, McCarty DM, Beaverson K, MacLeod M, LaRosa G, Cheng, SH. Realizing the promise of gene therapy through collaboration and partnering: Pfizer’s view. Nature Outlook. December 13, 2018.
  6. Bridges JFP, Tsai J-H, Janssen E, Crossnohere NL, Fischer R, Peay H. How Do Members of the Duchenne and Becker Muscular Dystrophy Community Perceive a Discrete-Choice Experiment Incorporating Uncertain Treatment Benefit? An Application of Research as an Event. The Patient- Patient-Centered Outcomes Research. September 27, 2018. Pp 1-11. Acknowledgements: K. Beaverson
  7. Franson T, Kinnett K, Cripe T. Unique Burdens of Pediatric Clinical Trials in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, April 20-21, 2017, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Therapeutic Innovation & Regulatory Science. First Published March 25, 2018. Participant and Contributor: K. Beaverson.
  8. Hanns Lochmüller, Josep Torrent i Farnell, Yann Le Cam, Anneliene H Jonker , Lilian PL Lau, Gareth Baynam, Petra Kaufmann, Hugh JS Dawkin, Paul Lasko, Christopher P Austin and Kym M Boycott on behalf of the IRDiRC Consortium Assembly. The International Rare Diseases Research Consortium: Policies and Guidelines to maximize impact. European Journal of Human Genetics. Nov (2017) 25:1293–1302. Acknowledgements: K. Beaverson. Beaverson K, Frestedt J, Saltonstall P, Engel PA. The Role of Patient Advocacy in Drug and Device Development for Rare Diseases. ACRP-The Monitor. 2010 April.


Sarah Lawrence College, Masters of Science in Human Genetics, 1996
Swarthmore College, Bachelor of Arts, 1989


2020 Francois Huard Award Recipient, 2020
Pfizer WRDM Team Achievement Award Winner, 2020
EURORDIS: Corporate Patient Engagement Award/Pfizer, 2019
Pfizer Rare Impact Award, 2017
Pfizer Legal Commitment Award: Be Supportive, 2017
Pfizer WE Upjohn Prizes (x12), 2016-2020
Boehringer Ingelheim Reach Excellence in Action Award, 2011

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Seng H Cheng, Ph.D.

Senior Vice President & Chief Scientific Officer, Rare Disease

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Michael Binks, M.D.

Vice President, Clinical Research

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Christian Czech, PH.D.

Senior Director, Biology and Nice Site Lead

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Sarah Grimwood, Ph.D.

Executive Director, Head of Portfolio, Strategy & Operations

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Greg LaRosa, Ph.D.

Vice President, Head of Scientific Research

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Clark Pan, PH.D.

Vice President, Gene Therapy and Discovery Biology

Ken Rhodes, Ph.D.

Vice President, Rare Neurology and Discovery Biology