Today’s radiation research is full of complexity and investigators have very diverse interests. Figuring out how to support novel research approaches is not a trivial task, especially when considering the full range of therapy techniques — from basic irradiation studies to rotational arc therapy, gated treatments, and stereotactic radiosurgery. It can take years of work to justify new radiation research systems and having a partner to help this effort is mission critical.
That’s where Xstrahl’s Andrew Lessey, PhD, makes his mark and helps to differentiate us in our unwavering commitment to support high quality radiation research – from the very first point of contact with the company. Here’s a little more background on Dr. Lessey and what makes him so proud to help advance radiation therapy and its treatment applications.
What do you do at Xstrahl?
As a divisional sales director for our Life Sciences portfolio, I work with prospective clients right from the beginning to help understand their research needs and match those needs with the right equipment and software. I spend most of my time developing new opportunities and supporting current customers in new areas of interest. I’m a conduit between what the research community wants and what Xstrahl can provide. Because of the complex nature of radiation research, this work can often take months or years, and I’m the one who helps guide the Xstrahl partnership, working in collaboration with my other team members worldwide.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Helping people deliver world-class research is definitely the best thing about my work with Xstrahl. Cancer is a disease that affects so many of us — nearly 40% of people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer during their lives (some newer sources say up to 1 in 2 people) — so the role that radiotherapy and specialized research play in combatting the disease is so important today and in the future. It’s rewarding to be able to help researchers tackle the major questions around cancer and to see this research turn into clinical trials in many cases.
What’s the weirdest job you ever had before working here?
I was an engineer on the London Underground, refurbishing stations for the 2012 Olympics — not exactly what I was pursuing as I eventually got my PhD in Molecular Biology and Genetics! This was a big puzzle with lots of moving parts though and that certainly equipped me to excel in the work I do now for Xstrahl.
What can you be found doing outside of work?
Most of the time, I’m getting out and keeping active. I love playing sports, especially cricket. I love spending time outdoors. I also enjoy going horse racing and keeping fit at the gym — although it’s been a rough year for steady in-gym workouts. I’ve really had to get creative with my effort to stay in shape.
Speaking of rough year… as we wrap up 2020, is there anything else you would like to add?
Well, I was one of the unlucky people to get COVID-19 in what’s now considered the “early” days of the pandemic — March 2020. I was the first person in Xstrahl to be affected. Fortunately, I didn’t have to be hospitalized but it honestly took quite a lot out of me. Although I didn’t have an extremely severe case, I understand firsthand what people are going through, and I’m very empathetic. It’s also interesting to see how COVID-19 has also changed how people think about radiation therapy. Many patients and providers are now looking toward radiation therapy for treatment for even some benign diseases because it can offer quicker office visits in some instances. Some clinicians are also looking at hypofractionation regimens for specific NMSC patients because it could potentially reduce lengthy wait times for radiation therapy. All that said, I’m definitely ready to turn the page to 2021, like most everyone in the world!