Spotlight on Philanthropy

Spotlight on UMB Foundation Board Trustee Megan Bailey

Megan Bailey says she is impressed by the “comprehensive nature” of UMB’s CURE Scholars Program.

Megan Bailey, MPH, is the former chief executive officer (CEO) of Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx), a biotech company providing revolutionary comprehensive genomic profiling solutions and services for oncology patients to improve the standard of cancer care for all. She recently led the acquisition of PGDx by Labcorp and now serves as chief of staff to the Labcorp CEO. Bailey has more than two decades of experience in the health care industry and leads with a deep understanding of the impact personalized testing and treatment has on outcomes for patients and their families.

Bailey is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

SPOTLIGHT: How did you first get involved with UMB?

BAILEY: Baltimore entrepreneur Luke Cooper introduced me to the work of the UMB Foundation [UMBF] Board of Trustees and recommended my appointment as a board member. I was looking for a way to become more knowledgeable about and actively engaged in work directly affecting the Baltimore community and saw this as a great opportunity to do that.

Can you tell us about your involvement with the UMB CURE Scholars? Why did their mission speak to you?

I strongly believe that talent and potential are everywhere, but opportunity often isn’t. When I learned about the UMB CURE Scholars Program, I was impressed by the comprehensive nature of the program, the students’ commitment to it, and the quantifiable metrics proving that investment like this in young talent works. The focus on STEM careers made it a great fit, intersecting my interest in making an impact personally with my professional work. I’ve worked in the health care field with technologies that impact cancer care and other diseases for nearly 20 years, and we need a pipeline of diverse talent to solve the many health care challenges we face.

What do you find special about Baltimore as a place to start or grow a business?

Baltimore’s proximity to great educational and research institutions, other major metropolitan areas, and agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services means the resources and talent are here to start and grow a business, particularly in my industry. We’re still working on different elements of infrastructure to compete with other cities that facilitate tremendous business growth and attract top talent to them, but all the right ingredients are here. One aspect I find particularly attractive in building a business in Baltimore is the spirit of the people in this community — there’s a lot of grit and persistence to make an impact that you don’t find everywhere.

With the acquisition of PGDx by Labcorp, what is your hope for the company and the future of genomic diagnostics and biotech more generally?

My hope is that this acquisition brings precision testing for oncology within reach for all patients. PGDx’s world-class technology assesses the DNA of a cancer patient’s tumor, from a tissue biopsy or a simple blood draw, to determine what biomarker is driving it, enabling a targeted therapy to be directed against it. Our tests, which have been designed to be run in local laboratories across the U.S. and globally, can look at hundreds of biomarkers out of a single sample, delivering a tremendous amount of data to drive the care pathway within a matter of days. Unfortunately, not enough patients benefit from this testing today. By combining our portfolio and technology with Labcorp’s market-leading commercial and operational infrastructure for diagnostic testing and drug development services, we aim to significantly accelerate our reach and impact on cancer care globally. Furthermore, we’ll get to do that while continuing to keep and grow our facilities, operations, and team right here in Baltimore.

How can UMB support student entrepreneurs in the biotech space?

I believe network, exposure, real-world experience, and deep support — through failures — are the best way to support entrepreneurs. Creating pathways to these things for students will get them started on the right path early.

Why do you give to UMB?

I give with the goal of impacting the next generation of world changers, who I know reside right here in Baltimore.

UMBF, Inc., is a tax-exempt corporation, exempt from federal income tax under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and recognized by UMB’s governing board as an affiliated foundation of UMB.

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Kate Ostrowski

Kate Ostrowski, MPP, is the associate director, foundation operations and compliance, and board relations, in the Office of Philanthropy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

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