'When I was a young man growing up, my father always pointed out that you only had one lifetime to do something that's meaningful so you may as well go ahead and do it. He also reminded me that if you set your sights low enough you're almost sure to achieve them, so if you want to be challenged you may as well try and do something big. So that's what we've been doing [at ACRES].' - Dr Greg Koski
At Partnerships in Clinical Trials Europe in November, Dr Greg Koski was awarded the PCT Lifetime Achievement Award 2017 in association with mdgroup.
Dr Koski is Chairman, Co-Founder and President/CEO of ACRES, the Alliance for Clinical Research Excellence and Safety, and Associate Professor of Anesthesia at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School.
Presented by Andy Thurstan, Senior Director of Business Development at mdgroup, the prize rewards those who have made a major impact on the world of clinical trials over their career; those who have changed the direction the industry is moving in and left a legacy.
In his heartfelt acceptance speech, Dr Koski expressed a sense of prematurity about the award: 'What is yet to be achieved is enormous and can't be achieved alone, for there is much to be done. That leaves me with a sense of great sadness, for whilst we have our lives and the opportunity to do much more, that's not true for everyone.'
Sadly, the day before the presentation, the co-chair of the ACRES patient engagement initiative Jack Whelan died. Dr Koski continued:
'Jack was one of those people whose clock has run out before the medicines that we all strive to bring forward to help people like him ever get out of clinical trials to market; ever get to the people who need them.'
'And so while I'm honoured by this award, I don't really deserve it. It's people like Jack, it's people like those working in the 130 strategic allies that ACRES has brought together; that's where the real deservedness is. So I'd like to dedicate this to Jack Whelan and all the patients who are waiting for us to do our jobs better, faster, less expensive, safer. Because it's for them that we do it.'
Watch the full speech above or on YouTube here.