Science is at the heart of Vertex and Vertex scientists love the opportunity to welcome visitors to our state-of-the art research labs in Boston, San Diego and Oxford, UK. Like members of a family, each site is unique, with its own history, personality and focus. As the Site Head of the San Diego research facility, I’m privileged to be part of a team that discovered medicines to treat the cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) and the steps of that journey are literally embedded in the walls and design of our labs. Over the years we’ve welcomed many members of the CF community, including patients and their families, and we’ve made many meaningful connections between our staff and members of the CF community during these visits. I truly believe that many patients left the building feeling better because they had a chance to see how hard people were working on medicines just for them. These interactions are also good for us and teach us about how this disease affects patients and families — aspects you can’t read about in medical journals. These interactions inspire us and help us deepen our knowledge about and commitment to the patients we work for.
But, as great as these in person visits are, we realize there are many people who want to visit but can’t for various reasons. This motivated the concept of a developing a virtual lab tour, to provide the opportunity for anyone to meet our scientists and see what our work is like. That’s why I’m excited to invite you to take a virtual tour of our labs — an interactive tour that gives you an inside look at what goes on during the drug discovery process in our 170,000-square-foot San Diego research facility. Be sure to also check out the virtual experience webpage that gives you a 360-degree view and provides interesting facts about what Vertexians are up to in the labs each day. Once you’ve “entered” the lab, you can hover your mouse over the part of the lab you’d like to learn more about. Clicking the “+” symbol or “video play” symbol over various areas of the lab prompts a pop-up with information about lab equipment, the facilities and the work our scientists do. Eventually, we hope to have tours for all our facilities, including an exciting new one being built in Boston for cell and genetic therapies.
Most of the 250+ employees in San Diego work in research and development, so there is never a boring day. The tour will take you into the chemistry lab, archive management (“like a library, but with way cooler tech”), the human cell lab, the instrument research & development lab and the kilo lab. Meet your tour guides:
Ginger Birnbaum, CF patient advocate and CF mom
Yoshi Ishihara, Ph.D., Research Scientist II
Ben Self, Research Scientist
Joe Cohen, Director, Global Compound Management
Taylor Goldbeck, Senior Research Associate
Javier Flores, Senior Staff Engineer
Armando Urbina, Scientist II and Kilo Lab Manager
On behalf of everyone at Vertex, we welcome you into our labs. Check out the virtual lab tour by visiting our website.
If you’d like to schedule an in-person visit, please reach out to us at Patient_Advocacy@vrtx.com and we will be in touch when we’re able to host visitors again.