Podcast, News & Publications

Oak Tree with Twisted Branches

Peace in strength.  Like the mighty oak that has survived some 600 years in what is now my back yard, we engage with experience and resilience.  Whether the winds blow hard or the sun shines bright, we go on, deeply rooted and stretching for the heavens.

Strength in peace.  Many challenges of the world, and Pharmaceutical R&D, grow out of mere misunderstandings.  We seek to enhance mutual understanding and peaceful cooperation toward shared objectives.

- Peace and Strength by Kevin Freiert

Salem Oaks Presents: a podcast sharing the human stories behind the medicines

Episode 6: Robert Weker Against All Odds

Feb 11, 2020

Rob Weker’s story is remarkable for many reasons. First and foremost, he has beaten cancer.  Not once. Not twice. But three times.  Getting the third diagnosis, this time it was pancreatic cancer, really got his attention. Only 7% of pancreatic patients live beyond 5-years. I met Rob at last year’s Patients…

Read More

Carol Marzetta: Living to Help Other People

Jan 14, 2020

This month listen to Dr. Carol Marzetta talk about how the urge to help other people has shaped her career and her life. From her earliest days as a Discovery Biologist, she has found her passion in work that tries to help people in need. She shares with us some stories about…

Read More

Donald Kirsch: Getting to Know a Drug Hunter

Dec 10, 2019

We’ve all been there. You are at a party and someone asks, “So, what do you do?” Dr. Kirsch always found it hard to explain his career as a discovery scientist. He decided to write a book about it.  The Drug Hunters: An Improbable Quest to Discover New Medicines is a colorful, fact-filled narrative history of…

Read More

Episode 3: Hope Can Be Curative.

Nov 18, 2019

David Pearce Ph.D., Sanford Research Leader Today we hear from David Pearce, PhD, President of Innovation and Research, Sanford Health and Vice Chair, Consortium Assembly, International Rare Disease Research Consortium (IRDiRC) Dr. Pearce’s rare disease background emanates from publishing over 100 research papers on Batten Disease. David talks to us about…

Read More

Episode 2: Kyle Bryant: Remember Why We Are Doing All This

Oct 9, 2019

We welcome Kyle Bryant of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) to discuss his journey as a patient with Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), as an active patient leader, and in his job as a liaison between the FA community and researchers. After being diagnosed with FA when only 17 years old,…

Read More

Episode 1: David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSC, FCPP

Sep 25, 2019

Chasing My Cure: A Doctor’s Race to Turn Hope Into Action We are honored to have Dr. David Fajgenbaum as our first guest on Improbable Developments. His story is intense. Before he even earned is medical degree, he was faced by a rare life-threatening illness for which there was no…

Read More
Improbable Developments: The human stories behind the medicines

Welcome to Improbable Developments!

Sep 1, 2019

In this, our first episode, Kevin lays out the objectives and plan for the Improbable Developments podcast. He also shares a personal story about a medicine he worked on earlier in his career.

Read More

News & Publications

Why: Learning to be comfortable in the deep end

By Jamie Roger | Feb 10, 2020

But Why? When Kevin Freiert started Salem Oaks in the early days of his retirement, he could have focused on any number of topics that he became an expert in during his 30 years at Pfizer. But instead his interest was drawn to a topic that was just starting to…

Read More

How: A Better Way to Learn for Patients and Caregivers

By Kevin Freiert | Feb 10, 2020

At Salem Oaks, we believe that people learn better by doing than by being fed information.   Think about it.  How many lectures from school do you remember?  I mean really remember.  Now, can you think of an experience you had that taught you something important, that you still remember even…

Read More

What: Problem Based Learning in Action

By Heather McCullen | Feb 10, 2020

If you’ve read our previous two articles you know why Salem Oaks focuses on patient education, you know a bit about what problem based learning is and why it’s our preferred method, but can you see how you or your organization can use what we offer?   The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) is “dedicated to…

Read More

Salem Oaks and The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance Are Partnering on Course on Clinical Trial Protocols

By Heather McCullen | Jan 8, 2020

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Heather McCullen, Salem Oaks LLC Phone: 518.791.8812 Email: heathermccullen@salemoaks.com Salem Oaks and The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance Are Partnering on Course on Clinical Trial Protocols January 3, 2020—Salem Oaks, LLC and The Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) are excited to announce a partnership to offer a new learning opportunity…

Read More

Looking Back at Our Growth in 2019

By Kevin Freiert | Dec 10, 2019

Writing goals and expectations at the beginning of each year is a double-edged sword.  On one hand, it is critical to provide some semblance of focus in the midst of all the activity around us.  On the other, when looking back we see just how uninformed we were.  Like trees,…

Read More

Finding Our Crack in the Ice

By Kevin Freiert | Oct 8, 2019

She encouraged each of us to find our crack in the expansive ice of rare disease and drive a wedge into it. The effort of everyone continually working their own little crack (science, policy, direct experience, economics, medicine, fundraising, advocacy, or whatever) will eventually weaken the ice enough to shatter it. Together we can beat these diseases. This got me thinking about the contribution of Salem Oaks.

Read More

Remember Why We Are Doing All This

By Kevin Freiert | Oct 7, 2019

Meet Kyle Bryant On our next episode of Improbable Developments we welcome Kyle Bryant of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA) to discuss his journey as a patient with Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), as an active patient leader, and in his job as a liaison between the FA community and researchers.…

Read More

Anything but Ordinary

By Jamie Roger | Oct 3, 2019

Our experience at Global Genes Rare Patient Summit I think what needs to be pointed out in that title, is the word RARE.  This conference is anything but ordinary.  The attendees are amazing and consist of a diverse population of patients, experts, consultants, and advocates who are all teaming together…

Read More