Mel Chiang Enjoys Opportunities to Make His Mark in Taiwan and Around the World
Chih-Yuan (Mel) Chiang
Global Medical Affairs – COVID-19
Location: Taipei, Taiwan
Joined Gilead: August 2019
In his work on our Global Medical Affairs team, Mel Chiang helps educate healthcare providers on COVID-19 and serves as the global project manager for Phase 4 studies of Gilead’s antiviral for the treatment of COVID-19. Read about how he came to do this work, why he joined Gilead and what he’s gained from being in a global role at our Taiwan affiliate.
Q: What drew you to your field?
I was working as a post-doctoral scientist in the lab after obtaining my PhD in Neuroscience. I then made a career transition from bench work to a small contract research organization assisting local companies with development of potential therapeutic compounds. With the skills and knowledge I developed related to regulatory filing, I decided to join the Regulatory team at another pharmaceutical company. Through collaboration with colleagues in Medical Affairs, I found I was intrigued by the science-driven discussion as well as the work to collect insight from healthcare providers to help patients. This is how I decided to switch gears and join Medical Affairs.
Q: Why did you choose Gilead?
When I was searching for a position in Medical Affairs, I was looking for a company that was science-focused and equipped with a strong pipeline for future development. Gilead ticked both of these boxes and more, so here I am.
I originally joined the Medical Affairs team at Gilead in Taiwan in 2019 with a focus on hepatitis C (HCV), and I was inspired by the many passionate and gifted colleagues here who are not only dedicated to their work, but also truly care for the people we’re trying to help. In late 2020, I had the privilege to transfer to my current role supporting the global COVID-19 team working to respond to the pandemic.
Q: How would you describe the company’s culture?
Gilead values the voice of employees and provides a transparent and inclusive environment. Work-life balance is also essential at Gilead. I particularly appreciate the company’s Global Wellbeing Reimbursement, which allows employees to pursue activities that best support their wellbeing, from gym exercise and sports to mental health coaching. It’s important to always find a balance between work and personal life, and I’m glad I can achieve this at Gilead.
Q: What do the company’s efforts to prioritize equity, inclusion and diversity mean to you?
I experienced Gilead’s commitment to inclusion and diversity firsthand when I helped launch the Taiwan chapter of our Pride Alliance employee resource group. The support we received from leadership as well as regional and cross-functional partners was amazing. It’s comforting and encouraging to see how Gilead embraces these initiatives that help cultivate an environment where everyone can be their authentic selves and have the same opportunities to succeed.
Q: What have you gained personally from your experience here?
Working at Gilead allows me to develop professionally by learning from so many talented people here in Taiwan, across Asia and around the world. The relatively smaller size of the Taiwan affiliate enables more in-depth collaboration opportunities with cross-functional colleagues. At the same time, being part of a global team gives me the opportunity to gain valuable experience and play a lead role in strategic planning and decision-making.
Q: Tell us about a time you really felt the impact of your work.
There are two stories that really stand out for me. The first was when I successfully submitted a compassionate use request to help enable access to one of our HCV medicines for a child in an age group for which this treatment had not yet been approved. The other time was when a very close friend of mine was diagnosed with COVID-19 and received Gilead’s antiviral for the treatment of COVID-19. Both of these occasions really reinforced the potential of my work to directly impact people’s lives, which is incredibly motivating.
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