Steven Merlin Portrait
1st Year on Panel - 2nd Term Steven Merlin

I reside in Interlaken, NJ - a small community along the Northern New Jersey Coast. I currently split my time between the New Jersey Shore and Zürich, Switzerland

My professional career spans 35 years in academic and government research labs and the life sciences industry. Initially trained as a Medical Technologist working in hospital clinical laboratories, I transitioned to basic and clinical research with positions at the NIH divisions of NIAID and NHLBI. In the Pharma and Life Sciences industries I served as a field service engineer, applications and instrumentation specialist supporting company products on a world-wide basis. This led to a transfer to Basel, Switzerland and an eventual transition back to basic and clinical research.

I managed the flow cytometry and cell sorting facilities at the University of Bern and later at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Lausanne. Upon returning to the USA in 2007, I managed flow cytometry core facilities at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College. Living in the Swiss cities of Basel, Bern and Zürich for ten years gave me the opportunities to do extensive hiking and leisure travel and develop my hobby of landscape photography. I also acquired an appreciation for fine Swiss chocolates.

I am a nine year survivor of metastatic pancreatic cancer. Multiple treatment regimens followed by targeted therapy in a clinical trial resulted in reaching NED status in April 2016. I am very active in patient advocacy and serve as the Outreach Chair for the NJ affiliate of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. I’ve dedicated myself to mentoring pancreatic cancer patients and caregivers with the goal of achieving the best patient outcome possible.

As a HOPA committee member, my focus will be to provide a patient perspective from those dealing with recalcitrant cancers; their concerns with medication side effects, costs, development and availability time. Additionally I envision my role to serve as a liaison between HOPA and patients to translate and disseminate information. Help patients understand the role pharmacologists and pharmacists play in patient healthcare. Keep patients informed of advances in oncology medications and promote the importance of patients participating in clinical trials.