There’s an energy about Stephen Esker ’08 that is hard to describe, but which can be clearly seen in his lifelong fascination with, and dedication to fighting, HIV/AIDS. In a word, the man is engaged, and it all began during his time at ACPHS.
“A summer with Albany Medical Center opened my eyes to the world of infectious disease,” Esker recalled. “Then I signed up for an HIV clinical rotation, and I was fascinated by the puzzle it presented. I wanted to see how I could use that fascination to make a difference.”
As an associate director of U.S. Medical HIV, a division of Bristol-Myers Squibb, Esker particularly enjoys working on registrational and post-launch clinical trials of FDA-approved drugs.
“You may get the drug to market, but the research is not done then,” Esker explained. “We have to research the drug’s long-term uses, its applications for different populations.”
Esker’s work recently led him to spend two months in South Africa and Zimbabwe, part of the Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation’s Secure the Future initiative. While there, he helped to launch pediatric hospitals, worked with physicians, and trained adolescents to engage in peer counseling about HIV.
He also plies his mentoring skills with ACPHS students, part of his role as a member of the ACPHS Alumni Council Volunteer Board.
Perhaps it’s no surprise that, when asked about lessons learned at ACPHS, he talks about involvement. “You have these tremendous resources at the college: caring professors, advisors, and organizations like student government, Phi Delta Chi and APhA,” he said. “Getting involved while being a student prepared me for life.”