SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 10, 2022 – Life Science Cares Bay Area, a non-profit organization that catalyzes local life science companies to eradicate poverty in the Bay Area, has received a $150,000 grant from The GBT Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization primarily funded by Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT), to launch a summer internship program aimed at attracting more diverse talent into the life sciences industry. This program, while new to the Life Science Cares’ Bay Area affiliate, is part of Project Onramp, a summer internship initially developed by Life Science Cares’ Boston affiliate, where over the last three years it has successfully created pathways into the industry for hundreds of under-represented students. “We need our industry at all levels of our organizations to reflect the diversity of the patients we serve,” said Aisha Baro, Executive Director at Life Science Cares Bay Area. “We are grateful for the support of The GBT Foundation and of all of the life science companies, who will be opening doors for students who may not have otherwise considered our industry.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted healthcare inequities in patient access and outcomes. While the root causes of these issues are longstanding, multiple and complex, one of the addressable opportunities is better representation of BIPOC in life science companies. This will help ensure that the needs of all patients are better represented – from clinical trials design to marketing and messaging strategies. Traditionally, life science fields have not been magnets for students of color. Partially, it is because these students may not historically have had a comprehensive view of the wealth of possible career paths in the industry. Additionally, many life science companies have focused their recruitment efforts on a narrow list of feeder schools. Life Science Cares Bay Area intends to focus a considerable portion of its recruiting efforts for the internship program on non-traditional students with high potential.
“Opening new career possibilities for these talented students will not only increase diversity in our industry, but also enhance the ability of life science companies to deliver innovative solutions to address the needs of historically underserved patient populations,” said Ted W. Love, M.D., president and chair of The GBT Foundation, president and CEO of GBT, and a founding member of the Life Science Cares Bay Area Board of Managers. “The GBT Foundation is proud to join our peers in supporting the work of Life Science Cares Bay Area to improve representation of underserved communities and tackle society’s greatest social issues, including pervasive racial and socioeconomic inequalities.”
Since launching one year ago with a $1 million contribution from J.P. Morgan at the J.P. Morgan Annual Healthcare Conference, Life Science Cares Bay Area has empowered the life sciences industry to invest more than $1 million in nine nonprofit partners.
For more information about The GBT Foundation and to learn about the areas of focus and eligibility requirements, visit www.gbt.com/gbtfoundation.
About Life Science Cares
Life Science Cares is a non-profit organization that leverages the power of the life science industry to solve one of our most intractable social issues—poverty. It currently operates in four locations that boast a critical mass of companies working in biotech, pharmaceuticals, medical technology, and research: Boston, Philadelphia, San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area. By partnering with local nonprofits with proven records of impact in their communities, Life Science Cares directs financial resources, donated goods, and thousands of volunteer hours to address both immediate and long-term needs of the community. To learn more, please visit www.lifesciencecares.org
About The GBT Foundation
Founded in 2021, The GBT Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, primarily funded by Global Blood Therapeutics, Inc. (GBT). Building on GBT’s corporate giving commitment, The GBT Foundation is a community-focused, charitable entity that is committed to improving health equity worldwide, particularly for people living with SCD. The GBT Foundation is a separate legal entity from GBT. To learn more, please visit www.gbt.com/gbtfoundation.
Aisha Baro (Life Science Cares)