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Life is a Team Sport

By Nancy Mansfield


alice tillALICE TILL P’66, MS’69, PhD, MBA, participated in her first marathonat age 57 as a race walker. Fourteenyears later, after learning to swim, shecompleted a triathlon in Philadelphia—her hometown—at age 69. This washer eighteeth event with Team-in-Training (a fundraising arm of theLeukemia & Lymphoma Society—LLS).

“Crossing the finish line is more thanjust a personal accomplishment,”Dr. Till said. “I push myself for my honored teammates.” 

Her friend Debby, a leukemia survivor, is her primary inspiration. To date Dr. Till has raised close to $275,000 for research and patient services supported by LLS. “Scientists, like me, and others work hard to develop effective drugs for cancer. As long I’m healthy, I can also raise money for research through endurance events, while honoring blood-cancer patients,” she said.

A highly accomplished and recognized pharmaceutical scientist, Dr. Till’s determination on the racecourse is the same that she has demonstrated throughout her career. She recently retired as vice president for science policy and technical affairs for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Prior to joining PhRMA, Dr. Till served as president for the Generic Pharmaceutical Industry Association (GPIA, now part of the Genetic Pharmaceutical Association) and before that had worked for Merck for 21 years, holding various positions in pharmaceutical R&D, drug metabolism, clinical research, and clinical development for international marketing departments.

quoteDr. Till credits much of her personal and professional success to the strong scholastic and highly structured start she got at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, in a very nurturing “team” (students and faculty) environment where no student could inadvertently slip through the cracks. The teamwork learned at PCP continues to underlie her approach to life as she moves from one opportunity to the next.

This past May she reminisced over lunch with several classmates from her PCP graduating class of 1966. The gathering stimulated lots of great memories—the challenging course in pharmacology from G. VICTOR ROSSI P’51, MS’52, PhD; how even dean LINWOOD TICE PhG’29, P’33, MS’35, DSC, knew every student by name; how ARCHIE MOORE AM PhG’43, MS’48, HonDSc’82 showed strong faith and love for his profession and the students he taught and some of the courses that nearly did them in, like physics, quantitative analysis, and organic chemistry. In addition to her amazing foundation from PCP, Dr. Till also credits her many mentors during her career, two of whom are USciences benefactors—USciences board chairman MARVIN SAMSON HonAlm’96 and the late Agnes Varis.

With no finish line in sight, Dr. Till is currently prepping for her next “run” as president of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) beginning November 2014. After spending 21 years in industry and another 18 with associations, Dr. Till is still going strong. “I have a lot to be thankful for. I’ve been blessed. Now is the time to ’pay it forward’ until I do reach the final finish line,” she concluded. “Life is a team sport.”

Categories: The Bulletin, Alumni, Giving, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, USciences