Gretchen founded Trophic Communications in December 2017 bringing with her 20+ years as a strategic communicator and investor relations specialist in the global biopharmaceutical industry. With the company name inspired by ‘trophic factors,’ or molecules that are critical in the growth, survival and differentiation of neurons, Gretchen built the organization with the vision of cultivating, supporting and distinguishing life science companies at all stages of development. As Managing Director of Trophic, Gretchen has created a highly creative and lively work environment and has established a company culture in which bringing clients high-quality service and tangible results remains paramount.
Throughout her career, Gretchen has worked with and counseled a range of companies, from early-stage innovators to pharmaceutical leaders. A true entrepreneur, she also built the European office of MacDougall Biomedical Communications as Managing Director. In addition to 4 years on the management team of Ingenium Pharmaceuticals, her expertise is grounded in her career at Feinstein Kean Healthcare (Boston) where she oversaw the entire Corporate Practice, advising over 50 biotechnology and pharmaceutical clients.
Outside of her professional life, Gretchen is known for her ability to make salads (with homemade salad dressing!) that even the most vegetable-averse individuals will enthusiastically eat. Apart from that, Gretchen can also be found speedily biking through Munich, poring through New Yorker cartoons and bravely boating in the wilderness of Canada.
Stephanie May, PhD
Stephanie joined Trophic as Account Director and is a driving force in creating value-building communications strategies for both European and US companies. Before joining the team, Stephanie lead a number of successful industry debuts, investor relations projects and supported the development of countless corporate materials ranging from websites to corporate presentations. Having transitioned from neuroscientist to life science communications specialist some years ago, Stephanie brings a steadfast scientific and analytical perspective to the table and is committed to developing a deep understanding of the technology behind each company.
Stephanie holds a PhD in Neuroscience and Master in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich and presently serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Alzheimer Society, Munich. In her free time, she is a stage diva, avid reader and fearless rock climber.
Joanne joined Trophic Communications as Senior Account Executive and is responsible for managing client accounts and providing support on a range of projects including developing key messaging materials and building media, investor relations and social media strategies for both private and public biotechnology companies. Coming from a background in language and business, Joanne is focused on crafting strategic content about scientific topics that can be understood by broad external audiences.
Joanne graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington with a degree in Germanic Studies and Italian with a minor in marketing and was a part of the Liberal Arts and Management Program, an interdisciplinary program combining liberal arts analytical perspectives and management coursework. When Joanne is not at work, she attempts to develop her rudimentary drawing skills, obsessively scours vegetarian food blogs and continues to add to her growing collection of photos taken with a polaroid and/or disposable camera (yes, they both still exist).
Jacob Verghese, PhD
Senior Account Executive
Jacob joined Trophic as Account Executive and is skilled in applying his extensive scientific background to the field of life science communications. As a trained Microbiologist, Jacob can dive deep into diverse topics, identifying and analyzing intricate details that form the building blocks used to develop highly-individualized content and strategies for clients. During his years as a scientist, Jacob was consistently drawn to science communications and in his spare time was involved in generating creative solutions for marketing the university science department and spearheading successful events for faculty and students. At Trophic, Jacob remains passionate about enabling truly innovative technology to be shared and does so through day-to-day client support including corporate positioning and messaging development, media outreach, drafting social media content and facilitating non-deal roadshows.
Jacob’s background includes a postdoc at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Munich and a PhD from The University of Texas-MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He currently serves as the presentation coach of the Amgen Scholars Program at Ludwig-Maximillians University in Munich.
On almost any day of the week, Jacob can be spotted zooming through Munich on a bright red Vespa. Having lived in Houston, Texas for a number of years, he is also the proud owner of an authentic cowboy hat and is sure that the world would be a better place if everyone was fluent in sarcasm.
Marie joined Trophic Communications as Account Executive and provides the organization with another layer of strong, scientific support. Having joined the team while completing her PhD in Experimental Medicine from the Technical University Munich, she is enthusiastic to apply her scientific background, which also includes a Master’s in Biology from the University of Regensburg, to the expansive ecosystem of strategic life science communications and investor relations. As a part of the Trophic team, she is responsible for leading research for a variety of projects, supporting the development of content in both English and German and executing a number of individualized strategies for a wide range of clients. Her approach to the business, which includes gaining a comprehensive overview of what makes each client unique, germinates from a strong passion for effectively communicating about science.
When Marie isn’t at her desk, she can frequently be found in deep conversation with Willow “Bean” Roters and is known to have a drawer of tasty treats waiting to be consumed by Trophic’s most esteemed canine colleague. Apart from being an ardent office dog supporter, Marie is an active member of a nature conservation association and enjoys going hiking in the stunning mountainside of the Alps. She is also determined to deepen her knowledge of Italian cuisine but in the meantime makes outstanding “Schweinsbraten” and homemade “Knödel”, two classic and delightful staples of Bavarian cuisine.
Florence joined Trophic Communications as Business Manager and oversees all administrative aspects of the organization, ranging from contractual issues to financials and Human Resources. Having graduated with a degree in Law from the Universidad de Navarra, Spain, Florence previously headed the Project and Contract Department for Siemens in Tunisia before delving into business administration at MacDougall Biomedical Communications in early 2016. Florence is also the in-house language expert, speaking a number of foreign languages including English, Spanish, Catalan and French, among others. Despite her linguistic achievements, she has yet to master the art of effectively communicating with her dog, Willow “Bean”.
Luis joined Trophic Communications in late 2018 as an Intern and is an integral part of the team responsible for providing assistance on both short- and long-term projects including client-specific media monitoring, social media plan development, media outreach, English-to-German translations and a variety of content creation. Currently, a master’s student at the LMU University in Munich, Luis frequently applies his Molecular and Cellular Biology education to scan scientific texts and succinctly identify key information that can be used to support and enhance overall client service.
When he is not hard at work navigating the ins and outs of everything public and investor relations, Luis is tending to his beloved sourdough culture which has rendered dozens of mouth-watering bread loaves. In addition to his rigorous role as a sourdough-culture caretaker, Luis tutors university courses, frequents thrift shops to solidify his image as a “non”-hipster, ruins 2-3 industries a day as a result of being a millennial and has developed a problematic relationship with Sriracha, a heavenly red chili sauce that has recently launched a new flavor featuring MORE garlic.
Willow “Bean” Roters
Vice President, Stress Management and Nutrition
Born 7 years ago in the heart of Bavaria, Willow “Bean” has a strong nose for business and biotech and an even stronger commitment to locating food and food-like substances. After working for years in a variety of office settings, Willow joined Trophic with substantial expertise in barking when the doorbell rings, demanding head pats during stressful situations and offering strategic counsel through tail wagging. Fluent in English, German, Bavarian and Labrador, Willow can often be heard contributing on conference calls with emphatic snores, sighs and sporadic toy squeaks. On the whole, Willow is delighted to be a part of the Trophic team, apart from having her photo taken every morning, and looks forward to the next apple core she’ll receive.
The team at Trophic has extensive experience in all facets of delivering value-building messages to external audiences through public and investor relations, scientific communications, corporate positioning, strategic counsel, crisis communications and patient advocacy.
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