Hi, my name is Bruce Rogers, and I am the Chief Scientific Officer of Morphic Therapeutic. I left a job I loved at Pfizer after nearly 20 years in big pharma to join Morphic. What sealed the deal for me was a napkin sketch that our founder, Tim Springer, drew for me over coffee. What keeps me excited at Morphic every day is the how deep we dive into the science, and ability to impact patients and the culture we have established. Read More
Depth in science has always been an important gauge for me in a company’s ability to succeed. Since his initial discovery of the first members of the integrin family in the 1980s Tim has spent over 30 years working on integrins to develop that depth.
Another factor for me is the opportunity to positively impact patients’ lives. Integrins have become important drug targets, resulting in a number of critical drugs that help patients live better lives. Despite blockbuster success, broadly developing small molecule drugs against integrins was much more challenging than expected.
It turns out that the opportunity is now as Tim’s lab, with Albert Lin, cracked the puzzle by identifying the molecular mode of action that leads to partial agonist responses that resulted in the negative clinical outcomes. Once they figured out the initial chemistry required to control the conformations of the receptor – the napkin sketch – Tim, along with Polaris Partners, launched Morphic Therapeutic.
It has now been a couple years since we launched Morphic and I personally believe we are well poised to create a new generation of oral integrin small molecule drugs. Along with scientific depth and an opportunity to impact patients, we have established a leading platform in drug discovery, build a pipeline of opportunities in diseases with significant unmet medical need and are all working together to deliver.
The people we hire, the culture we have created, and the resulting portfolio are our commitment to this space and tapping into the vast opportunities to impact patients’ lives.
We respect patients, employees & their families. We do this for them.
We tackle challenging & meaningful problems with our absolute best effort every day.
We do what we say.
We build strong, diverse, trusting teams to deliver meaningful medicines.
We will not stop until we deliver meaningful medicines to patients.
Take Ownership of Your Career at Morphic
At Morphic, you will have an extraordinary opportunity to show who you are – your authentic best is what we want you to bring every day. We want to find out who you are – your unique self. Join us in shaping the culture together while positively impacting patients’ lives.
Still unsure if Morphic is the right company for your career? Get Inspired by our CEO, Praveen Tipirneni (click ‘read more’ below).
Why We Hand A Waiter’s Pad To Every Employee At Morphic
At Morphic, every one of our employees is given a waiter’s pad. It’s nothing special. In another setting, you might see someone scribbling “burger and fries, no pickles” on it.
Just pieces of paper
Now, for a pharmaceutical company that deals with some incredibly complex problems, that may seem like a strange tool to present to every employee.
But it’s not just about giving them something to write on. The waiter’s pad is about helping them to stop worrying about the impression that they make. It’s about helping each employee to be confident and feel secure in the things that make them unique. Let me explain.
Why a Waiter’s Pad
When I was interviewing for CEO positions, I didn’t have a briefcase, or a moleskine notebook, or anything that would give off the “CEO” vibe. I had my waiter’s pad. It was what I liked to take notes with during meetings or throughout the day. I felt comfortable with it.
But it was really shocking to me how much trouble I had bringing it out of my pocket and writing on it during the interviews. I was always concerned with what everyone else was going to think about it, with the impression I was giving.
But it’s just a piece of paper
I had to ask myself, “Am I really afraid of what this person is going to think of me? Why?” I was in my mid-40s at the time, and I realized if I wasn’t my own person at that point, how would I ever be? So even though I was reluctant to do it, I forced myself to bring the pad out of my pocket and use it to take notes. Every time I did it, I felt that I was getting stronger. I could say, “This is who I am. Other people might judge me, but it doesn’t matter.” Whenever I would use that waiter’s pad, I felt alive. After a while, that feeling became addictive.
If you’re so worried about your impression that you can’t be seen with a waiter’s pad, what chance do you have of being able to resist social signals and think for yourself?
There is no work self
And I think that’s an important attitude for all our employees to have. There’s this notion that you have a “work self” and a “home self,” and never the twain shall meet. I want our employees to bring their unique self to work. I want them to bring whoever they are. There’s no need for them to inhibit themselves or put on some sort of corporate persona when they walk through the door in the morning. They should openly bring their unique values, personas and strengths — their identity — to Morphic Therapeutic.
I know that our VP of Finance is always a little mortified when he sees me bringing out the waiter’s pad in front of the bankers and accountants he works with. Here’s his CEO taking notes on the same pad that their waiter used at lunch an hour ago. But to me, it’s just paper. And because of that, I decided to order them for the whole company. I wanted to see if people would decide to use them.
I do think that the concept has made an impact. I heard something that really resonated with me in one of our employee meetings. I had a young woman in her early 20s tell me about all the things she was told to do when she left school. She had to change the ringtone on her phone. She had to dampen her personality. She had to create this sterile persona that wasn’t at all who she truly was. But that was what she had been advised to do in order to get a job and further her career.
The waiter’s pad is my way of telling my employees that it doesn’t have to be like that. Use the ringtone you want. Be whoever you want to be. Don’t constantly worry about the impression that you’re making with your colleagues.
We are tribal creatures. Our brains turn off a bit in the presence of authority. Social pressure is hard to resist. Each of us has to find our way — experimenting, reflecting and discarding.
Try using the notepad in a meeting or an interview that’s really important to you. Keep it in your pocket at first, and just see how difficult it is to take it out during that meeting. It’s probably going to make you feel uncomfortable the first few times you do it. But I want you to get comfortable feeling uncomfortable, because that takes strength. And over time your strength will grow and so will your confidence.
Don’t overly worry about the impression you’re making