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Accelerating the Science Through IT — Jim Hanly and Beth Basham

March 13, 2023
Information TechnologyInnovationVeterans / Military
Careers Home  /  Career Stories  /  Accelerating the Science Through IT — Jim Hanly and Beth Basham

Across the board, it seems everything is tech, and tech is in everything. That is certainly the case in biopharma, where the rapid pace of technological change is often in lockstep with scientific breakthroughs. It’s one of the few industries where one field so strongly complements and impacts the other. Biopharma and technology are at a pivotal moment and poised to become even more integrated in years to come, requiring uniquely dedicated IT professionals like Jim Hanly and Beth Basham. These BMS colleagues, both experts in their respective IT roles, understand — and are excited by — how technology can best serve the science that provides life-changing medicines to patients.

BMS’s Digital & IT Organization is key to accelerating the company’s overall goals. It provides a secure and reliable global IT infrastructure that enhances the research and development of patient therapies, unleashes the potential of technology to accelerate innovation, and creates an environment that empowers colleagues to do their best.

IT is also an industry that’s evolving quickly and showing no signs of slowing. From information management to strategy and operations, Digital & IT at BMS provides an exciting, growth-fueled career across just about every area of the company.

That is why strengthening the Digital & IT organization at BMS continues to be a high priority, with tremendous opportunities for professionals at all levels, including those early in their careers.

Expanding One’s Horizons

Jim Hanly, Vice President of Enabling Functions IT at BMS
Jim Hanly, Vice President of Enabling Functions IT at BMS

Jim Hanly is Vice President of Enabling Functions IT at BMS, providing IT leadership in a cross-disciplinary approach. Enabling Functions IT is the technological backbone of the company, supporting and enhancing the capabilities of areas such as corporate functions, finance, human resources, and legal.

An engineer by training, Jim came to BMS from the US Navy where he served as an intelligence officer. For him, it was a logical transition from the military to information technology.

“There are a lot of parallels between naval intelligence and how we deploy technology or information to get a job done. It is about getting the right information to the right person at the right time. Enabling Functions works to solve for the efficiency and the effectiveness of our workforce. How do we simplify the tasks that employees need to do in order to succeed?”

Jim has grown his IT career here across horizontal roles, devoting his time and talents to such BMS organizations as Research & Development, mergers and acquisitions, and manufacturing before coming to Enabling Functions. This approach gave him a broad perspective of how the company operates, which for him was essential in developing his expertise because he sees biopharma at a pivotal moment.

“There is so much to learn. We're at a crux of technology where it can have an outsized impact on how we deliver to our patients. It is a big transformative arc and to be at the intersection of biopharma and tech, I cannot think of a more exciting time to be in IT and working in the life sciences industry.”

A Scientific Approach to IT

Beth Basham, Senior Director, IT Business Partnering, Research & Early Development
Beth Basham, Senior Director, IT Business Partnering, Research & Early Development

Beth Basham, Senior Director, IT Business Partnering, Research & Early Development, is on the other side of that intersection, bridging technology and business strategies in her organization. With a background in biophysics and biochemistry, she was drawn to IT because of a deep interest in bioinformatics – specifically, how data can be interpreted and utilized to affect therapeutic outcomes and ultimately transform patients’ lives.

“I live in two worlds — the biophysical world where I’m thinking about electrons and how atoms are relative to each other, but also at the macro level, seeing how this can help explain the mechanisms of disease.”

Beth thrives in the incredibly data-intensive environment that is intrinsic to R&ED, with a greater focus on making the research more predictive. It requires new thinking about how to use data — a huge development in problem solving beyond just decision support. It's having this ability to realize the full potential of research in the context of IT that drives her.

“We’ve just had the explosion of systems biology and the ability to generate more and more data. I’m fascinated how we use all of it and extract value from it in order to help make life better for patients.”

That’s why professionals like her are essentially embedded within research teams. She welcomes the opportunity to be “close to the medicine” while helping scientists get their predictive models running properly or helping analyze their data from clinical trials. It means being able to manage both the technology aspect and the people aspect. For Beth and other IT Business Partners, that’s the big challenge.

“Our scientists are changing the way they think about data and how data informs their work. On the IT side, we need to think differently around what we do with that data and the kinds of technologies and approaches that we use. I can really engage at any point in that continuum and contribute to something real and tangible, not something abstract.”

Upgrade Your Career

It is no surprise that technology is defining the future of biopharma and healthcare. Whether you are early in your career or an experienced Digital and IT professional, BMS offers numerous opportunities to grow your career while doing important work that ultimately comes down to helping patients and getting them the medicines they need more quickly.

From internships and rotation programs for up-and-coming talent, to hands-on leadership and technical training for managers, BMS is committed to ensuring that our IT operations attract, retain and support the best and brightest in the technology space — dedicated professionals at all levels, and united by a common purpose.

If you want to be at the forefront of technology and science, we invite you to explore the latest open IT roles at BMS.