Speaking & Consulting
As one of the first human subjects in the world for the combination treatment that became Yervoy + Opdivo — and among the very first to have a complete response — I’ve learned a few things.
I know firsthand the risks, concerns, and hopes of patients and doctors in the world of clinical trials. I know that fewer than 5% of individuals eligible for trials enroll in them, and that many of those then drop out. And I know the new ethical challenges that are emerging every day.
I know what both the hype and the reality of immunotherapy look like to individuals facing a serious cancer diagnosis, and how this scientific breakthrough is different from previous forms of treatment.
I also know the emotional and psychological effects that illness and grief can have on individuals and families — the long term effects of the cancer experience that are less discussed. I love being part of the conversation around all of these issues, and exploring together how to improve the patient experience as science advances. Let’s talk.
Organizations I’ve spoken for & worked with include:
Memorial Sloan Kettering
Bristol Meyers Squibb
THe Parker Foundation
Association of Community Cancer Centers
Cancer Research Institute
Weill Cornell Medicine
Columbia University School of Journalism
and multiple others.
I've also been a member of Stand Up to Cancer's immunotherapy dream team, and am a Gilda's Club ambassador.
“The Parker Foundation is honored to have worked with Mary Elizabeth Williams since the inception of our organization. She is an example of someone who is an incredibly selfless force, willing to be of service anytime and in any way. We are very lucky to call her a collaborator and friend of the foundation.” — Nick Dane, Head of Partnerships and Strategy, The Parker Foundation
“Mary Elizabeth is a passionate, articulate, and highly intelligent advocate for the journey of cancer patients and for the role of scientific understanding in their treatment paths. She's a powerful force for good for patients.” — Steve Doberstein, SVP, Research and Development, Chief R&D Officer, Nektar Therapeutics
“Mary Elizabeth came to speak to our staff and IRB members, and we’ve never had such a powerful response to a guest speaker. Her openness, honesty, and gift for telling a serious story while adding some laughs along the way are remarkable. We’ve had audience members ask if they can send her notes to tell her how much her talk to meant to them. We look forward to continuing a relationship with her and hearing her important patient perspective.” — Lindsay McNair, Chief Medical Officer at WIRB-Copernicus Group
Here’s a sample from a recent conversation I had with WCG about clinical trial access.