Katherine L Beaverson, MS

Senior Director, Patient Advocacy Lead
  • Group: Rare Disease Research Unit
  • 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.

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. Parent and adult patient attitudes about gene therapy as a therapeutic option for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Poster presented at the ISPOR 23rd Annual International Meeting; May 23, 2018. Baltimore, MD. Peay H, Fischer R, Beaverson K, Morris C, Hesterlee SE, Ricotti V, Martin A, Rensch C, Ward H, Mansfield CA, Smith E. https://www.ispor.org/Event/ProgramList/2018Baltimore?type=Poster&sess=V&acode=PSY
  2. The International Rare Diseases Research Consortium: Policies and Guidelines to maximize impact. European Journal of Human Genetics. 2017 Nov; 25:1293–1302. 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. (Acknowledgements: K. Beaverson). https://www.nature.com/articles/s41431-017-0008-z
  3. The Role of Patient Advocacy in Drug and Device Development for Rare Diseases. ACRP-The Monitor Magazine. 2010 April. Beaverson K, Frestedt J, Saltonstall P, Engel PA.


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


Pfizer Rare Impact Award, 2017
Pfizer Legal Commitment Award: Be Supportive, 2017
Pfizer WE Upjohn Prizes (x6), 2016-2018
Boehringer Ingelheim Reach Excellence in Action Award, 2011