As CEO of pharmaceutical company SIGA Technologies, chemical engineering alum Phillip Gomez ’91G ’93 PhD is at the forefront of health security, an industry concerned with preventing major outbreaks of diseases like COVID or SARS. 

In August, Gomez was interviewed by Australia’s Health Professional Radio, as an authority in health security, regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, steps to mitigate current COVID-related issues, and our preparedness for any future pandemics.

In the interview, Gomez compares the progress in fighting the current pandemic with his previous involvement in combating SARS: 

“I think there have been great technological strides to get us ready for this pandemic. So I was part of the team that developed the SARS vaccine and I was at NIH at the time, and that was developed from identifying the virus to getting in the first clinical study in 18 months. This time around we’ve done it in three months. The challenge is quite frankly we haven’t focused enough time and money on getting prepared. We have a toolbox that is much better; technology is helping us but we do need to spend more and make sure there is enough in the stockpiles.” 

Gomez also talks about smallpox and other orthopoxviruses in the context of potential bioterror attacks. 

Gomez’s authority in health security stems from his 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry and infectious diseases. Prior to joining SIGA Technologies in 2016, he was a principal in the Pharma & Life Sciences Management Consulting Practice at PwC and at PRTM Management Consultants. He joined PRTM from the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the NIH, where he established the Vaccine Production Program against HIV, SARS, Ebola, West Nile virus, and influenza. Prior to that, he spent more than nine years in the pharmaceutical industry.