march, 2015

10mar5:00 pm8:15 pmUsing Mindfulness to Stay Sane in a Stressful World


Event Details

In a hectic, volatile, complex, and uncertain world, being mindful is a challenge. Rather than experiencing the present, we tend either to dwell in the past, ruminating about the things we should have done, or in the future, worrying whether we will achieve the goals we think are necessary for our success and happiness. Meanwhile, in the present, we are endlessly stimulated by electronic devices, always-on social media, and a limitless supply of distractions that keep us from our priorities. Mindfulness may be just the remedy you\’ve been looking for. Come and take a pause from the busyness and stress of your everyday lives; learn about the benefits of finding some calm within; and practice some mindfulness techniques that you can take home with you as your own personal antidote to stress.

Panelists will share examples and discuss:

  • How they balance work and personal life in ways that work for them.
  • How taking an intentional approach and paying attention to their values has improved their careers, relationships, and personal wellness.
  • How they deal with stress and remain resilient in difficult times.
  • How they manage to find a sense of calm and stay focused despite demanding roles and many potential distractions.
  • How they don’t allow work to completely crowd out pursuits that bring them pleasure and happiness.


Workshop Leader and Panelists:
Alison (Ali) Farquhar will lead the workshop and participate in the panel discussion. Ali is Principal of GTL, a leadership development consultancy that partners with senior executives and their teams to build insight into what has made them successful and what keeps them from their full potential. Ali works as a peer-to-peer thinking partner, supporting and challenging leaders to reflect on their impact, clarify their vision, and develop a roadmap for growth. She provides an active sounding board as they challenge old assumptions, deepen their self-awareness, and develop into more fully rounded leaders. Ali holds an MBA from INSEAD, France, and is a Certified Executive Coach trained at the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology. She has partnered with large and small companies across a broad range of industries in Europe and North America. Today, she works primarily in healthcare and the life sciences, helping clients lead effectively in complex, fast-moving environments.
Alexandra (Sandra) Glucksmann, Ph.D., is Chief Operating Officer at Editas Medicine Inc., a gene editing company whose mission is to translate its genome editing technology into a novel class of human therapeutics that enable precise and corrective molecular modification to treat the underlying cause of a broad range of genetic diseases. Alexandra was most recently Senior Vice President of Research and Development at Cerulean Pharma, which she joined at its founding. Prior to joining Cerulean in 2006, she spent 13 years at Millennium Pharmaceuticals, which she joined in 1993 as one of its first scientists. At Millennium, she held a series of positions with increasing responsibility, ultimately becoming Vice President of all platform technology groups before moving into a senior role in strategic program management and operations. During her tenure at Millennium, Alexandra was critical in helping Millennium evolve from a genomics research-focused organization to a fully integrated and commercial pharmaceuticals company. She serves on the Board of Directors of Taconic Farms and is the Chair of the Board of Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology (WEST). Alexandra was a post-doctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and holds a Ph.D. with honors from the University of Chicago.

Rebecca Sendak, Ph.D., is Vice President within R&D in the area of biologics drug development at Sanofi in Framingham, MA. Rebecca received her doctorate in biophysical chemistry from Cornell University. Prior to her 15 year tenure at Sanofi/Genzyme, she worked at Creative Biomolecules in Hopkinton, MA, in the area of drug discovery. Presently, within Sanofi Rebecca leads a group responsible for developing formulations for drug candidates in Phase 1 and 2 clinical studies, and for the development of the analytical methods used to support release and stability testing of these therapeutic candidates. She has also held multiple roles within product development teams, including Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls (CMC) team leader, Science Project Leader and currently, Global Project Leader.  In addition to her day job, she collaborates with MassBay community college on a mentoring program, pairing Sanofi/Genzyme employees with students in STEM areas. Personally, her children, Laura (7) and Stephen (8), provide a wonderful balance and perspective, as well as serve as excellent role models for living in the present.

Laura Sepp-Lorenzino, Ph.D., joined Alnylam Pharmaceuticals in 2014 as VP, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, and responsible for the Hepatic Infectious Disease Strategic Therapeutic Area. Before joining Alnylam, Dr. Sepp-Lorenzino spent 14 years at Merck & Co., having most recently served as Executive Director and Department Head, RNA Therapeutics Discovery Biology. In this role, she was responsible for identification and optimization of siRNAs and delivery vehicles, advancement of pre-clinical candidates, and development of an siRNA-conjugate platform to expand the repertoire of tissues accessible to in vivo siRNA delivery. Prior to RNAi, Laura worked in oncology drug discovery and development, having led the Cancer Research Department at Merck West Point, and having been an Assistant Lab Member and Assistant Attending Molecular Biologist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Laura received her Professional Degree in Biochemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry from New York University.

Michelle Quinn Smith will moderate the panel discussion. Michelle is the Senior Director – Human Resources, Global Medical Affairs, Research & Development at Genzyme, a Sanofi Company. She graduated from Chestnut Hill College in Philadelphia with a Bachelor’s Degree in History. She has held various positions of increasing responsibility with Goldman Sachs, Young & Rubicam Advertising and PerSeptive Biosystems prior to joining Genzyme in 2001. During the past 14 years, she has supported various groups within the organization including Preclinical Development, Finance & Accounting, Information Technology, Business Development and Global Product Quality. She returned to support R&D in 2013 following a leadership rotation with the Sanofi GSD HR group. She is a member of Genzyme’s HR Leadership Team and the Global R&D HR team. She is the mother of three children – Cullen (18), Nolan (16) and Kailey (10) and she spends her “free time” either in a hockey rink, or as an elected member of Framingham’s Town Meeting and is an avid knitter (usually at both venues).


Date and Time:
March 10, 2015
5:15 – 8:00 PM


5:15-5:35pm: Registration and light dinner
5:35-6:00pm: Facilitated networking
6:00-7:00pm: Training/workshop
7:00-7:10pm: Break
7:10-8:00pm: Senior panelist discussion
8:00-8:15pm: Optional networking

Sanofi-Genzyme Framingham Campus, 5 Mountain Road, 1st Floor Lecture Hall, Framingham, MA


Directions and Map


We appreciate Sanofi & Genzyme, a Sanofi Company, for sponsoring this event.





Members: $30; Non-Members: $50, Workshop and Annual Membership: $115

A light dinner will be served.

To Register


(Tuesday) 5:00 pm - 8:15 pm


Faculty House Columbia University

64 Morningside Drive, New York, NY