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Robert Wood Johnson
loved using my scientific background and
clinical training to benefit women around
the world--many more than I could have
served in private practice."
A Leader in Clinical Research
ergers and acquisitions within the
industry have given Dr. Sampson-
Landers the opportunity to share her
leadership skills and knowledge of prod-
uct development, including the key role
of clinical trials, at most of New Jersey's
pharmaceutical giants: from Johnson &
Johnson/Ortho, where she got her start,
and J&J's Advanced Care Products, to
Bristol-Myers Squibb, where she was ex-
ecutive medical director of the women's
health care division and clinical research.
When Bristol-Myers Squibb reorganized,
it broke up the women's health division,
reassigning topics such as cardiology,
anti-infectives, and antifungals to other
primary care divisions. Dr. Sampson-
Landers decided to move on, saying, "I
thought I might get an extended vaca-
tion, but Berlex called within two weeks,
and I found myself in a wonderful new
Berlex, the U.S. subsidiary of Berlin-
based Schering AG, was interested in
her years of experience in clinical trial
conduct and management in the area of
women's health. A few years later, Bayer
HealthCare Pharmaceuticals acquired
Schering, including Berlex, and she has
been there ever since, continuing to
focus on the development of women's
health care products and anti-infective
Dr. Sampson-Landers worked on a
large multisite clinical trial in 2004, study-
ing the efficacy and safety of a low-dose
contraceptive. A fellow investigator was
Gloria A. Bachmann, MMS '72, MD,
professor and interim chair, Department
of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Repro-
ductive Sciences. Dr. Bachmann was
struck by the team-building skills Dr.
Sampson-Landers demonstrated in inves-
tigators' meetings. "In the discussion, she
brought out individual talents and view-
points, but by the end of the meeting,
she had achieved consensus and a unified
sense of direction," Dr. Bachmann says.
"We all benefited from the civilized in-
terface of different points of view: hers
being the highly informed perspective of
the private sector and mine the stand-
point of a clinical/academic institution."
For a pharmaceutical company, re-
cruitment can be one of the most chal-
lenging aspects of running a good trial,
says Dr. Sampson-Landers, noting one
instance when it took almost 18 months
to assemble an appropriate pool of par-
ticipants. In an "aha" moment, she was
able to solve the recruitment problem by
proposing a new approach modeled on
Bayer's marketing model. Instead of
relying on physicians to suggest a trial
to their patients, Bayer went directly to
the public, as it would in publicizing a
new product, using popular media such
as local newspapers and cable television
to reach potential participants.
Circles, Connections,
and Family
ike her pleasure in coming "back to
the Banks," the circles and patterns
of life are important to Dr. Sampson-
Landers--above all, friends, family, and
family traditions. "They are my retreat,
my solace," she says. So, while pursuing
a career that could have taken her far
afield, she has chosen to remain close to
"I love flower gardening," she says.
"I got this from my grandmother, who
could grow anything. I just love getting
my hands in the dirt and making
things grow." And the family tradi-
tions continue: last year, Dr.
Sampson-Landers introduced her
2-year-old granddaughter to flow-
ers. A year later, she is delighted
to find herself answering a 3-year-
old's unsolicited requests to help in
the garden.