Alan Gilstrap

Executive Director, Advocacy and Policy

On his role…

“Patient advocacy is the best job in this industry. It’s incredibly rewarding and humbling to get to know people who, although they face incredible challenges, find a way to live such positive lives. And, I get to help each of my colleagues develop their own personal mission by introducing them to patients and exposing them to patients’ stories. If you can create a connection, it makes a big difference.”

On Akcea…

“Akcea is the most patient-centered, employee-centered environment, and that’s driven from the highest levels of the organization. We all feel a sense of significance in this work, and when you can experience a job in this way, you don’t approach it the same way. It becomes part of who you are.”

On what it means to be an innovator and an advocate…

“Drug development is not just about bringing a drug to market. It’s equally about partnering with patient communities in ways that address a broad spectrum of needs. When all the pieces work together, that’s how you transform lives.”

On his message for patients…

“We strive to partner with patients around common goals and objectives, in a transparent way, and with mutual respect. When we do that, we can all accomplish great things.”