Episode 242: Alan D. Widgerow, Chief Scientific Officer at Galderma and Head of Innovation at Alastin Skincare

We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off our Health Innovation Series than with Alan D. Widgerow, Chief Scientific Officer at Galderma and Head of Innovation at Alastin Skincare. Alan began his career in South Africa, where he was in private practice for over 20 years. He is currently Division Chief of Research at UC Irvine Medical Center and it’s evident from speaking with him that his passion lies in the laboratory. But interestingly enough, he might have never ended up there if not for a fateful phone call…

Alan was all set to go into a career in dentistry when a phone call quite literally changed the trajectory of his life. A voice at the other end of the line encouraged him to follow his passions towards medical school and plastic surgery and Alan never looked back. Alan describes plastic surgery as an “amalgamation of creativity and science” and that no two cases are the same. It’s easy to see what drew him to such an ever-evolving field and how he’s still fascinated over 20 years later.

To hear more about Alan D. Widgerow’s career journey and to hear what book he’s currently reading, tune in to this episode wherever you get your podcasts!

Dan Hodgdon
I'm constantly looking for something that's going to challenge and excite me. And that becomes a sort of overriding theme in my life...
Alan D. Widgerow
What's the next challenge? Where are we going?
Alan D. Widgerow
AnnouncerWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™ hosted by Jodi Katz, Founder and Creative Director of Base Beauty Creative Agency.
Aleni MackareyHi, Jodi, how are you?
Jodi KatzHello, Aleni. Welcome to our new quarterly theme quarter for health innovations.
Aleni MackareySo exciting to be in this quarter. And I can't believe we're already at this point in the year.
Jodi KatzYeah. This is when Natasha, our Producer, and I look at the calendar. We're like, we need to launch all these episodes before the end of December. So we're really excited to have a really great quarter for our listeners.
Aleni MackareyThat's amazing. So who do we have on the show today?
Jodi KatzSo this is a good one. This is the Chief Scientific Officer of Galderma and Head of Innovation at Alastin, Alan Widgerow. And we actually get to work with Alan through our BBCA work with Alastin.
Aleni MackareyYeah, that's amazing. And the professional skincare space. And the aesthetic space is such an interesting place to create content and storytelling and messaging for every day. And I get to work closely with Alan's team actually creating brand campaigns and working on different marketing efforts for them.
Jodi KatzWell, this is a really fun one because Alan has really great stories. And I love how our team behind the scenes utilizes him as an expert as we develop this program. So some of my favorite projects we work on with them as a launch of their hyaluronic acid serum and their brightening serum and their brand campaign. And I'm just so proud of that work. Yeah, amazing, amazing work.
Aleni MackareyWe've gotten to work with Lindsey and shout out to Lindsay for all her great work and also to Amelia who I'm sure was listening to this episode, and she was a great help to our producer Natasha and getting all the technical recording parts of this episode set up.
Jodi KatzWell, um, you'll notice Alan, he has a South African accent and we talk a lot about his journey, what brought him to the US and to California. So it's a very, very interesting episode.
Aleni MackareyOh, I'm excited to hear that personal journey you gets into let's jump into Episode 242 with Alan Widgerow.
Jodi KatzWelcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™. We are a career journey podcast talking about what it's like to define success and reach for it in the beauty and wellness industries. Today we are starting our Health Innovations theme with Alan Widgerow, Chief Scientific Officer at Galderma and Head of Innovation at Alastin. After 20 years in private plastic surgical practice in South Africa. Alan relocated to Irvine, California to pursue his interest in research, medical device innovations and wound care. And he still plays an active role in academic medicine worldwide. He has redesigned to introduce Major research projects with a team of 20 researchers and runs a dynamic research facility at UC Irvine Medical Center, where he is currently division chief of research. I'm excited to dive into this conversation about his career journey from South Africa to the United States on Episode 242. Hi Alan, welcome to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™.
Alan D. WidgerowNice to be with you, God. Thank you, 242. Well, that's a, that's a long record. You got it?
Jodi KatzYes, we've been doing this for six years. Wonderful. And it started as a way for me to, you know, almost get like free business coaching, free therapy. It's amazing to hear people's stories, they are never straight lines. They're always exotics.
Alan D. WidgerowSo in fact, you got in before COVID, which is interesting, I would have thought this would be a COVID ideal opportunity.
Jodi KatzYes, this was a situation and an opportunity that arose out of the fact that I run my own business and you know, it can be very lonely in my head. So I really needed to hear from other people how they navigate their careers. So I'm Alan here, this is a career journey show. And I like to go way, way, way back, we start this conversation because we are so influenced by how we grew up and what we were exposed to. So let's think back to your childhood to the 10 year old self. What was the first career that you started to dream about?
Alan D. WidgerowYou're not joking, that really is way back. Okay. So 10 years old, you know, I've been exposed to the medical field, my father was an anesthesiologist. And he used to bring home all sorts of IV lines and fun toys for us to play with. In fact, it's funny because it was a neighbor down the road that used to play with me, we used to stick these RV lions up in a tree and do all sorts of things with them. And to this day, they call him doc and he's an investment banker in New York somewhere in nothing to do with medicine. So he's the guy that really got the nickname doc but I went on to becoming a doctor myself being exposed to all of those for all the years and funnily enough, you know, when I when I started looking and exploring doing medicine, I've always had this sort of, look, look out for reconstructive areas and somebody passed me showed me some articles and a book on cranial facial surgery which is really surgery involving the cranium, which is the skull and the face and doing reconstructions there and I was really taken with the whole story. So much so that I applied for dentistry. And I actually got into this, we're both really difficult at the time dentistry and medicine the run apart to get in, but I got into dentistry and round about my not roundabout exactly my third year when I was starting to do prosthetics, which is the artificial teeth setup. I quite honestly was not enjoying it too much. And I had a phone call in the middle of prosthetics, the electorate came in and said, whichever Oh, somebody's looking for you, there's a phone call for you, which completely took me by surprise. I went out there and they said, Hi, listen, we've heard through the grapevine that you're not very happy this is medical school here. Do you want to come over to medical school and join us medical school? And I said, you know, let me think about, I'll get back to you in 24 hours. And they said, Listen, buddy, this does not happen every day, you want to come, you come over right now and you make up your mind. And in fact, I walked out of my prosthetics class, I picked up my set of false teeth that I was making. And that was the last time I actually into dental, dental school. And it from then really approved plastic surgery was something that I that I really wanted to do the reconstructive element of somebody that truly, incredibly to the field, and just this amalgamation of creativity and science was was terrific at the time. So right from the early age, and in fact, I used to get dressed up in in clothes in the O R, and turn my dad in there from when I was tiny, he used to bring me in and watch at least be involved watching different surgery. And he was a neurologist. So these were brain surgeries were going on for hours and hours and hours, suffices to say that I was pretty exposed to the lifestyle and to what we did, and to what made some really important surgery involved. And I became sort of attracted to it in that way.
Jodi KatzSo we started with IV lines in the, in the, in the woods in the playground, then to dental molds, and then there's really incredible phone call. I mean, you could have just been like not in the room and the phone rang, right? Like, imagine what would have happened if you had just gone out for a walk and the phone was ringing at that moment. It's really incredible.
Alan D. WidgerowYou know, God, so many things in life, almost almost everything revolves around serendipity and luck. Basically, you've thought about something you've said something somebody heard that they call you the next. So this sort of planning. I mean, I never I never thought I'd quote Mike Tyson. But basically, Mike Tyson said, you can make as many plans as you want until you hit in the face. And essentially, in so many situations, that's true, because what happens is you can plan and plan and plan and suddenly out of left field comes an opportunity or something or something. So it's it's the same reason I suddenly landed up doing dentistry is it just happened to see this article. I mean, it you know, I had no sort of attraction affiliation to normal dentistry, but this reconstruction look look really great to me. So yes, you're absolutely right, a phone call and change changed my complete direction. And and that happens so often in life.
Jodi KatzAnd I want to share a full disclosure that my team of ESPD works with the elastin team we have for about two years. And I love hearing about the magic behind the scenes. And that actually makes me wonder, Alan, what is that painting behind you? Is that like a skin cell or something?
Alan D. WidgerowYeah, I'm not gonna I'm not gonna claim ownership of that one. But it was a workshop that was done here with some of the sales people. And they had, they had a challenge to draw the extracellular matrix, which is the actual depth of the skin. So on the top, you had the epidermis, you have the dermis, below the and that's the factory where fibroblast cells produce collagen and elastin and all sorts of things. And they were tasked with the duty of actually painting this. And the winner was presented to Wideroe that when his painting and that's now sits in my office here in Carlsbad, so that's what you see a really nice effort at painting the extracellular matrix of the skin, why not find it and valuable project to work on?
Jodi KatzThat's awesome. Thank you for sharing that. Okay, so let's talk a little bit about you know, pursuing plastic surgery, you got this call to medical school, it sounds like a really far distance between going to medical school to be a physician and then someday working at this incredibly innovative lab developing skin care solutions. So there's a lot in between there. And you know, once again, we this started off not in this country, so take us along little journey through medical school and where you headed after that.
Alan D. WidgerowCertainly, and, and you're absolutely right, it's a long and winding road, but the Nadina tedious special in a really nice challenging version. And as was saying before, you know, planning is one thing but really being on the spot. I've been changing and how they, your lifestyle in a dynamics change related to the events going on around you, we're all really related to the fact of where I am now. So it First it started with plastic surgery, I love doing plastic surgery, I sort of I practiced in South Africa for 20 years in plastic surgery. But I was very dedicated to academics. In the beginning, I sort of involved myself in a lot of publishing of peer reviewed publications and scientific publications. I became a professor in South Africa, plastic surgery, they're always involved in research in those days. So very much part of my life is this questioning and this research component of plastic surgery. But plastic surgery is also a beautiful field in in that as I mentioned earlier, it's a sort of meld emotion of creativity and science. And there's almost no two cases that are the same and you look at things and you question and part of that whole creativity, and I did sculpting on the side as well. So it all fitted into my sort of mindset in terms of what I would do and, you know, often get asked if if you had the choice again, would you you know, what would you do differently, and there's not a lot that I would do differently, quite honestly, because of all these passages of different things that I've done, have been rewarding in their own way and have sort of built up my expertise in different areas. So to get back to that I practice plastic surgery for 20 years with the academic I was prison, the Association of Plastic Surgeons of southern Africa with all those kinds of areas. And two things happened Number one is I after 20 years, I was going through a little bit of a philosophical questioning, which I will get to, but it became very, very hastened in terms of a decision to leave the country related to security issues in the in the country at the time, I have my wife and three children. And there were incidents involving security and really harrowing incidents involving you know, life, life threatening episodes, and, and that sort of swung me to say, okay, you know what, irrespective I'm not going to risk the safety of my family, for my actualization process. And in fact, getting back to the philosophy, maybe my actualization process will coincide with leaving here and picking up but new areas that I wanted to look at. And really that thinking was that there were a lot of people in the world and plastic surgeons doing facelift subdominant placed his breast augmentations that I was doing at the time, but they're not a lot of surgeons that are actually having been there, understand that area, and then go to the basic sciences and try and develop new things that are going to make a difference in terms of new developments, validation. It was the perfect storm at the time of molecular biology and genetics and bioengineering and everything coming together. So for me, I looked at this an opportunity, this is a really great time to get involved in something that is affiliated to it, but on a research on a real search for for new innovations and devices of the time. So that was my thinking when we were when we left the country at the time.
Jodi KatzHow much time between this first idea of I'm going to leave and move my family out of South Africa to actually doing it. How much time passed?
Alan D. WidgerowYeah, that's a great question. Look, it started, the seed was there round about eight or nine years before we left, but it really became it hastened to the incidents that happened. And part of that was really reestablishing I was fortunate from an academic side, I had green cards for the entire family based on unexceptional academic merit things, I've done various things that immigration were excited about. And they granted us a green card slot or family. So that was a huge bonus for us. But at the same time, I went to to establish myself in the United States with thinking accounts insurance, just the basic things that when I left, I didn't have to start this all over again. So to be honest, by the time we left, you know, I took my wallet, my American what I put in my back pocket and there was my Wells Fargo card and my driver's license from the States and, and all the things that are needed and I and we booked a one way ticket for the first time we'd be coming backwards and forwards for 20 years because my wife's family we have so so it was it was a reasonably easy transition. Other than I did not know what I was going to do with my life. I had no plans because you cannot make plans long distance you have to be there to make things happen. So, so that was a little bit of a challenge.
Jodi KatzSo who is your first cough career rise when you got here?
Alan D. WidgerowYou know, it is interesting, it took me a while, what I wanted to do was just get the lay of the land. And there were two sort of areas that I looked at number one is, I had already developed products, in particular, a Scott reduction product. So I went to, to get out there and get to know the people in the in the industry, and see if I wanted to license this technology to anyone. And at the same time, the academics was really important for me. And so I sort of slipped into the UCI plastic surgery. Very early on, I sort of went in there introduced myself to Greg Evans, who was the study's the chairman, and that was really just a matter of, okay, when it comes to the meetings, you know, I'd love to use your research, let me see. But I had to establish my credentials, and my, you know, my worth to be there. And after doing that, for two years later into the residence doing various things, Greg Evans approached me and said, Look, I know you've been wanting to use the lab, one better, don't you want to take over the lab for us and, you know, see what you can do with it in terms of running research. And that was in 2012. We arrived here in beginning of 2010, the end of 29 2009. And 2012. I really joined UCI on condition, really, I mean, I wasn't sort of pushing them, but I didn't want I went to my academic credentials, recognize that went through the Senate, and I was appointed Professor Lee, so that my credentials could be recognized, especially for United States, you know, people don't know the University of Botswana in South Africa, that's an excellent university, people don't recognize it, they certainly recognize University of California. So that became an important first step in terms of, of getting there getting credentials, and then starting to work on the lab. And that was a real challenge. I created the Center for tissue engineering, they're really working with it. And still, to this day, many most of the personnel work, they're non salaried, because they want to improve their knowledge of research. And because it looks excellent on the CV and because it's very life, for positions in particular, it gives you a different approach to looking at medicine, if you keep questioning and you keep thinking about it and keep looking at things in a different way. And that's been the you know, the Great, the great joy of being involved with a lab is seeing seeing students from bio one one mind biology students really make making their way into medical school. I have PhDs I have plastic surgeons, I have a whole range. So we built up a really nice lab. And most of the volunteers I have my my fixed with PhDs that are chief scientists that are there permanently, but the others, they come for fellowships for a year, anywhere between one I've had some for five years, just to develop the skills in terms of research. And and I find it very useful, because basically having your ear on the ground and knowing what's happening around you makes makes one very aware of the latest movements and techniques and where we need to go. And that's a very nice balance for me in the academics. And then I have this huge inner product rule and the two feet each other very nice.
Jodi KatzIt sounds like your happy place is in the research lab. How different is it, like spending your work days with the research team versus a work day with like, the marketing team or the sales team?
Alan D. WidgerowTo my Happy Places in research, irrespective of where we are in terms of that. The great thing about private is you can get things done a lot faster. So most of the projects we do at the University are these moonshot long sort of projects ahead of they're very exciting and they great things we work with stem cells, we work with all sorts of things that are that are current and happening. But it takes a long time number one to get there. And number two, funding is such a challenge in terms of today's sort of field, you know, NIH funding is something like 3% acceptance rate with between three and 10% acceptance rate. So it's really low and really challenging. And we look for funding all the time. And on the private side, I can develop things relatively quickly, get them validated, get into the market move things so it's beautiful to see both sides at work and marketing. When I'm involved in it, it's usually on okay, what are we doing that's different? How do we excite our customers and our customers? are professionals, dermatologists, plastic surgeons across the board? estheticians really, how do we excite them with new signs and new things that can talk about and new results that you're getting them out there. And each one of our products has that in mind, how's this going to be different, we don't want to do meters, we don't want to do what's been done around the corner. So research is the focus of all of that. And when I'm involved with marketing, it's really involved with, what's the messaging here, that is really cool and different.
Jodi KatzI had a friend once who worked at a very large beauty company with a very, very, very significant investment in research and many research facilities all over the world. And she said to me, the research team can't communicate with words clear enough to the rest of the organization, why their research matters. So I would imagine this is probably a pretty typical challenge, right? The researchers learn their way. And then they have some big discovery, but they might not have the language to apply it to make it applicable to trends or what's coming next. I think you're really good at this. I'm curious, like what advice you would give researchers working in this space on how to actually like sell in their work?
Alan D. WidgerowAnd that's, you know, that's a challenge. You're absolutely right, God, that's a challenge the expression with an insulting anybody that I get so often is dumb it down, dumb it down, you know, and that's no influence on the people I'm talking to. It's just that you get esoterically involved in language and things. I mean, you talk about that, when I joined UCI, I literally took me three months to understand what they were talking about, because they were just acronyms for everything. So everything that you had to do with it was she scroll i a cook or Arby's all the sorts of things are esoteric United States, American, very often, acronyms. And people can say three sentences. And you can look at them and not understand a word of what they've said, just because everything's Incorporated. You know, we see this on a daily on the TV, when they're talking about a disease process, everything gets shortened to these ITB. And if you see, and if you've got this, and all these kinds of things they're talking about, that become a completely different language. So that becomes a challenge. Now when explaining the things, why you have the challenge the is to be able to explain it, but not to dilute it down so much that it sounds exactly like what's been explained for the last 20 years. How is this different? What is it doing that is different to what has been done before. And that picture of the extracellular matrix that you see behind me, you know, that's our sandpit, that's our playground, right in that area, because that's where everything's happening with the skin. And to be able to explain it and to use different examples, like, we changed the nature of that extracellular matrix that has been damaged by the sun. And if you take an analogy, like planting, when you're, when you're looking at a new Grove, if you will, or something like that, the first thing you've got to do, get rid of all the weeds, take all the age old things that have accumulated there, clean it up, put some moss soil down, and now you can start planting. Well, that planting we decided is a procedure, it's pretty similar to a procedure. And before you start doing a procedure, our whole message we were alone, right in the beginning, was prep that skin beforehand, you know, get things done, so that you can get that soil turned, and you can get all the natural elements in there. And then you can start planting during your procedure. And you'll see that the outcomes are much improved. So that's just giving you an example of sort of changing the dynamic a little bit so that people understand that. But it is a challenge. No question.
Jodi KatzSo I think what I'm hearing is that the researcher needs to understand their audiences and under doesn't know that acronyms, they don't know that language, right, they have to really step outside of their worlds and repackage their message.
Alan D. WidgerowYes, so the message is really important and where I have the advantage, and what's really nice about a physician, scientist, and entrepreneur, whatever the story is, is recognizing the niche in there and knowing what my colleagues are sort of lacking in the field. And I've conservative, you know, there's nothing for this. I know that when I was in practice, this was a particular problem. This is this is what we're actually the niche that we're pulling for you now is that we're giving you an answer to this particular problem. So having been on both sides of it is a distinct advantage for me from that side. And professional skincare is very different in terms of mass more or different from mass market because the messaging there is to a sort of educated audience, if you will, but esoterically educated in other words, these are dermatologists and plastic surgeons. So the level that I can start at is really different. But I'm talking about all sorts of level so I need to know, okay, who's the audience? What's the audience there? And then we can, you know, we can adapt it accordingly there. And and again, comes into your question and the challenge is alright, how do you change the terminologies They understand what you're saying. Because you know, gene expressions and all these sort of things get very complex in terms of explaining.
Jodi KatzYou spoke about this journey from, you know, having a really established career as a plastic surgeon in South Africa, then picking up the family, there's a topic that I really love to think about with my guests is what I call the seduction of success. Right? So you were successful. Sounds like you were, you know, really racking up the accolades in South Africa. And I found that once I reached like one of my goals, and I get a taste of reaching the goal, I want more, and I want more. So I find that it's really seducing me, it's like trying to seduce me away from maybe my family or my fitness or my friends, right? So I'm curious, you know, after you've established yourself, and then reestablish yourself and then reestablish yourself again, do you find that your career seduces you? And like, calls you? And if you do that, how do you actually say like, Let me press pause on that, to pay attention to the other things that are important to me in my life?
Alan D. WidgerowYeah, I think the two important things, you know, related to that, I think, number one, is on I'm not very, when I get into a comfort zone, I'm not sort of comfortable in that. So in other words, I'm constantly looking at something that's going to challenge and excite me. And that becomes a sort of overriding theme in my life, in that if I look at it, I've changed a lot of things and a lot of really impactful things in my life purely because I think, Okay, what's, what's the next challenge where we go, but that will only be done if I've done the last one successfully. It's not that I'm going to start things and leave them, you know where they are. But we've done it successfully. And I feel like okay, we here, then I sit down. And I think, all right, now what, I'm not going to just do this. So essentially, I'm not a golfer, and I'm not very good playing golf. So spending all those hours there is not within my budget, you know, my personality, it's always Okay, let's see what a challenge. And I actually feel the most satisfied when I think of a new sort of area of research or a new breakthrough or a new area that I can get at that, that that sort of gets my juices going. So from that perspective, absolutely. And I think that also, you're absolutely right, what happens is, when you get one area that has worked successfully, you just want to move that same sort of direction along the way. And this has been great. Can I use the same kinds of principles to this new direction, and see if it works for me. And so far, I've been lucky, you know, either. I mean, it's the same saying that it's better to be lucky than to be skillful. So you know, I don't know. But it seems to have worked. We've pulled me in that direction that, that it's one way to do.
Jodi KatzIt sounds like you're lucky and skillful, which is quite lovely. So Alan, before we close out this part of the show, what do you like to do when you're not working?
Alan D. WidgerowAnd so I mentioned that I do, I used to sculpt a lot. But then I used to have a whole setup in southern Africa, where I had the, you know, the area that one could get the bras made and all sorts of things. I don't have any infrastructure. So that's something I don't do too much anymore. But I have done in the past. I like getting out there like being out in nature. And I like reading. And, you know, as I said, previously, I mean, it sounds very dirty and terrible, but it goes with what I do is that I like to see, okay, what's new out there, let me read and we get excited about something else. There's so reading a little bit of hiking getting out there that you know that that's great. I mean, I'm knowing the League of my son who hikes almost every week every weekend and does his thing. He's in a whole different league. But I love being out there with nature. So if I'm out there in the green, and the trees and the whole business, it's beautiful for me.
Jodi KatzWell, Alan, thank you so much for sharing your wisdom with us today. So now we're gonna move on to our last segment of the show, which is fan questions. I have a lot of them here. Oh, okay, here's, here's a really good one. What are you reading right now?
Alan D. WidgerowThat's a great question. It's very unusual what I'm reading right now because my son brought it back from his last hike and it was all about the wonder of birds and the mystery of birds and you know, we often see them sort of flying all together and suddenly changing direction and doing things and there's a whole lot of sort of interesting magnetism related to that and how do birds evolved from dinosaurs? You know, was it were they on the top of the tree or the bottom of the tree and how do they work all these miles when they go I know we have creatures in our area that that disappear for months and they go over to Canada do a quick flight over to Canada. It's quite amazing in terms of the navigation terms of eyesight in terms of the mean even look at penguins are able to slow their heart rates down to such an IQ said that they can spend 30 minutes underwater, you know, really deep. So there's so much to be learned from that. So that was the latest book was completely out of the ordinary that I do that my son brought me back from his last hike that was really interesting. But otherwise, I very, very rarely read any fictional novels, it's all about different things, some of the greatest ones that I've sort of read or are related to genes and genomes and different things there. So I'm exploring those kinds of things all the time.
Jodi KatzSo when you read about things like that, is it almost like reading the textbook? Like, what is it that you're reading?
Alan D. WidgerowTo an extent because most of them are written nowadays, in a in a lot more interesting way than just dropping, you know, facts? They're usually written is harder, we come across this, what happened? What brought us into that? What sent us into the strike? And what did we discover from the and there are a huge amount of, of reasonably good anti aging sort of books that are there without the hyphen without the fair, but looking at new things like chromosomes, telomeres, mitochondria, senescence cells, all these sort of things that are talked about, and then some people each one of those years people have gone into, and I find it very interesting to sort of dig deeply into those areas as well.
Jodi KatzLet's take another question. This is a good one, it's what advice would you give someone who's just getting into the skincare world? The reason why I want to ask you that one is, you guys at Atlassian operate at a very high level, right? So what would it take for someone to compete and play along at that level?
Alan D. WidgerowI would say you, the most important thing for me with a story is and I talked about the hype a little earlier on is, is to take your way out, take yourself away from that, make sure that what you are actually producing or inventing or discovering is something that you can really validate pretty well, you know, my main focus and motivation is okay, let's discover something new. But let's validate and make sure that this is true in a truly happens, we're at the stage now for somebody going into that don't do it alone, you've got to have a laboratory you can work with have experts in the field have formulators that really know what they're doing. Because not only is the competition, huge out there, but there is so much new science and new availability of techniques, diagnostics, different things that if you're going to go into professional skincare, and your customer is a dermatologist, plastic surgeon esthetician, you really got to know what you're doing and validate what you're doing and and be responsible. And I would say even in the mass market, because with Galderma are pretty involved in some of the mass market productions. Now, we're also really trying our utmost to sort of tackle things almost from a pharma kind of perspective, where we don't have to do that. But the validation is so important to know that what we're selling out there makes sense and is true. And we owe that to our customers and patients.
Jodi KatzI love that I would imagine that through your work and their research facility and all through the world. A lot of budding scientists want to reach out to you or are you the type of person that responds to LinkedIn requests, when people I'm younger in your space are looking for some advice?
Alan D. WidgerowTo an extent, the bane of my life. And the biggest challenge of my life is enough hours in the day, because now with meetings and all the rest of it, and I'm not a person coordinator, I get done and I do the science, I like to get my hands dirty with it. So I need a lot of time in the sandpit to be able to do my own thing and discover mines. So I don't want to be held up on meetings. And I don't want to be held up by a lot of requests and mundane sort of conversation. I'm always happy to sort of get into discussion about some some good new signs and stuff. But time is a major sort of focus.
Jodi KatzI hear you there and we can have a whole nother episode about time management. Yeah, Alan, this is so amazing. Thank you so much to Alan for joining us for our 242nd episode, and to our fans and listeners. Thank you for joining us. If you'd like this episode, please rate and review. And as always, make sure you're following us on your favorite podcast platform and Instagram to stay up to date on upcoming episodes and all the fun we have along the way. Thank you for joining us. Thank you Alan.
Alan D. WidgerowThank you, Jodi. Bye.
AnnouncerThanks for listening to WHERE BRAINS MEET BEAUTY™ with Jodi Katz. Tune in again for more authentic conversations with beauty leaders.

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