Freshly graduated from medical school, Dr. Haichen Yang embarked on her journey to the U.S. With 30 years of experience developing new medicine under her belt, her relentless desire to learn and stay at the forefront of the biopharmaceutical sector all comes down to helping people.
Throughout her endeavor, Dr. Yang, Vice President of Clinical Research at Amicus Therapeutics, developed a specific interest in neuroscience and rare diseases and used her skills to bring new drugs to market. Dr. Yang has led many successful global clinical development programs, including several that resulted in global new drug and indication approvals, such as Fycompa®, Keppra®, and Luvox CR®.
“I strive to stay on the frontier of drug development,” said Dr. Yang. “The past few decades, advanced therapies, including cell and gene therapy, have become the new modalities that can potentially offer cures for many diseases that have previously had no treatment. I have taken a great interest in developing expertise in these fields to treat rare diseases and neurological diseases, where I have a special interest.”
After a career that has taken Dr. Yang and her family to cities such as Indianapolis, Indiana; Atlanta, Georgia; and Basking Ridge, New Jersey; Dr. Yang settled in Wayne, Pennsylvania to continue her path to develop life-changing and -saving treatments.
“When I came to Amicus, I had already been living in the region for four years,” said Dr. Yang. “Even when my family lived in North Jersey and were close to New York City, we would take trips down to Philadelphia. We would bring our kids here to go to museums and see shows. I don’t think people realize that you don’t have to go to New York to see a Broadway show! We love the arts and culture here. The Philadelphia Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra are among the best in the world.”
Dr. Yang’s most recent role at Amicus also aligns with her goals to work on rare diseases.
“I was attracted to Amicus because the company was founded by an entrepreneur whose two children live with a rare disease,” said Dr. Yang. “I was inspired by that dedication and commitment to advancing science to help those in need. I knew I would be able to continue to bring important drugs to market here and have the support to do so.”
Dr. Yang thrives in this passionate and supportive environment and is dedicated to making sure other life sciences professionals can succeed as well — for the betterment of their careers and for the patients their work impacts.
“I volunteer as the President of SAPA-GP, a nonprofit pharmaceutical professionals association that promotes pharmaceutical science and biotechnology, facilitates scientific and business collaboration, and fosters members’ career development,” said Dr. Yang. “We are constantly thinking about new ways to help our members. We mentor our early- and mid-career members, pairing them up with our senior members, as well as offer career workshops. In addition to our long-running annual conference, we also created a new conference last year called @Philly Cell and Gene Therapy. It aims to bring together key stakeholders in the region and leverage their resources to raise the visibility of the cell and gene therapy ecosystem in Greater Philadelphia.”
When Dr. Yang isn’t working or volunteering in the biotechnology sector, she loves spending time outdoors in Greater Philadelphia and traveling with her husband, Bill.
“It’s so convenient that we are centrally located to so many different areas,” said Dr. Yang. “And that we have all four seasons. We love to go to the beaches in Rehoboth, Delaware, and go hiking at Rickets Glenn or Hawk Mountain. We go kayaking or biking when it’s nice out.”
Dr. Yang’s love for Greater Philadelphia has even convinced others to make the move to the region.
“My daughter loved Philly so much after spending time visiting us that she ended up moving from Boston to Rittenhouse!” said Dr. Yang. “It’s so nice to be able to spend time in Wayne, and now, when we come into the city, we’re able to see her. She’s been thriving here, and it’s been so much fun.”
To explore career opportunities in cell and gene therapy in the Greater Philadelphia region and join Haichen Yang MD, MA, MBA, and thousands of others in the mission to bring groundbreaking therapies to patients, visit Select Greater Philadelphia’s new job search tool here.
To learn more about what it means to live and work in the life sciences in Greater Philadelphia, watch more of our “Discovery Starts with Me” series here.