macdougall musings

Musings About MacDougall: Celebrating 20 Years In Biotech Advising

Happy 20th Anniversary, MacDougall!

In January 2002, the world was in the wake of September 11. Daily headlines were filled with fear and uncertainty about global terrorism. The economy was falling into recession and the world as we knew it was changing with new Homeland Security regulations. While society in 2022 is drastically different 20 years later, daily headlines are still filled with fear and uncertainty. Just as COVID-19 has challenged us to make big changes about how we live and work today, the changes in the world in 2001 were a positive stimulus for Co-founders Kari Watson and Doug MacDougall to think about the work they were each doing at the time. This reflection ultimately led to the idea of founding a small business dedicated to telling the stories of life science companies: enter MacDougall Biomedical Communications. In San Francisco at the then-called JP Morgan H&Q Healthcare Conference, our company was born. And the entrepreneurial, innovative and mission-driven spirit that led to the birth of MacDougall in 2002 still fuels our company today.

Last month on a mildly warm and brilliantly sunny Thursday in Boston’s Seaport, our clients, family, friends and team were fortunate to gather together to commemorate our 20th Anniversary. With a backdrop of live music, lawn games and engaging conversation, we reunited with friends and colleagues to celebrate two decades of MacDougall. To all who joined us: thank you for being a part of our special evening. As we reflect on the successes that led to our 20th Anniversary celebration, we wanted to dedicate June’s MacDougall Musings to our team – the people who make MacDougall.

We’re passionate about helping our clients in their quest to improve lives. It’s what gets us out of bed every day. But above all, we’re about our people. So we interviewed our team to share reflections about MacDougall’s influence on their career growth in strategic communications, our broader role impacting the biopharma industry and simply, why they are inspired about being a member of our growing team. As we turn inward, we’re happy to share our team’s Musings highlighting the importance of MacDougall’s past, present and future in helping to shape the life science industry’s evolution.

“I want to thank each and every one of you for all of the hard work and contributions that have made MacDougall a successful agency and workplace today. I am excited after all of these years for being recognized by BBJ as a Best Place to Work. This is something that has been in my heart this whole time – and it’s really wonderful to see it recognized externally.”

Kari Watson
Co-founder and Managing Partner

“Our team is special because we have a great synergy of Ph.D.s, scientists, investor specialists and creative biotech and life sciences experts. When you get all those people together, working on the same project to solve the same problem, there’s energy there that’s really unmatched.”

Carl Cummings
Managing Partner

“I think one of the most exciting things about MacDougall, whether it be from a new business perspective or working with a client, is that at all times I am learning and growing and my own knowledge is expanding. And that motivates me and keeps me excited every day to come to work.”

Megan McGrath
Senior Vice President
“We have practices across media relations, corporate communications and investor relations, and this combination of experiences helps me understand the overarching role of communications better than only focusing on one area of expertise. The team here is amazing. Everyone is very friendly, supportive and empowers me each day to do my best work.”
Emily Wong
Account Manager
“Early in my career, I focused on building my network. A lot of MacDougall’s success can be attributed to the network we have created. It’s not only the network of people that work directly with you, but the network of people in the broader industry that matters.”
Doug MacDougall
Co-founder and Managing Partner

A Look Back

Walk back in time with us to visit some of our most notable accomplishments over the past 20 years.

MacDougall has come a long way from our small beginnings at the start of the century. Since our founding, we have advised more than 650 life science and healthcare organizations. We extend a heartfelt thank you to all who’ve been a part of MacDougall’s story. We cannot wait to discover what the next 20 years holds for MacDougall.

Cheers to 20 years, and many more!

Want to work with us? Our team is defined by a culture of creativity and curiosity, and we are always looking for science-minded professionals to join us. Visit our careers page to learn more about our open positions and why MacDougall is a Best Place to Work:

Creative Services

Digital Media
& Content

More than a Tweet
Building your brand and voice is a key function of digital media, but, with the right goals in mind, digital media can be much more. Meet your audiences where they are by building digital campaigns and content that help to connect and engage your stakeholders.
  • Social media strategy & content
  • Narrative building
  • Blog creation and execution
  • Metrics, monitoring and reporting
  • Social listening
  • Executive digital profile strategy and management
  • Influencer monitoring and engagement
  • Digital advertising
  • Content creation, design and marketing
  • Video creation and podcasting


Credibility is your most important asset
Investor relations is about building trust, transparency and liquidity. The MacDougall IR team has helped many clients bridge from private to public and showcase our public clients to new investors and analysts.
  • Audience targeting
  • Shareholder communication
  • IPO preparations and communications
  • Conference calls & webcasts
  • Conference outreach and support
  • Presentations
  • Special events
  • R&D days
  • Perception audits

& Creative

A picture is worth a thousand words
Visual first impressions are so important in this era of precipitous information. Our digital and creative services team are true life science artists devoted to visual storytelling and capturing eyeballs.
  • Branding & identity​
  • Visual storytelling​
  • Logo design​
  • Website design & development​
  • Scientific illustration & MOA graphics​
  • Infographics / data visualization​
  • Animation & video production​
  • Presentation design​
  • Scientific posters​
  • HTML emails & newsletters
  • Advertisements


Be known for making a difference
Thought leadership campaigns open many channels to promote both a personal brand as well as your organization. Let’s pick a subject and run with it together.
  • Executive profile building​
  • Strategic counsel
  • Presentation coaching​
  • Speech writing​
  • Media training​
  • Social media​

Scientific & Medical Communications

Show and tell

From preclinical to platform to Phase 3 results, strategic medical and scientific communications is the cornerstone to building visibility and credibility with your target audiences.

  • Medical and scientific meeting support
  • Patient recruitment for clinical trials
  • Disease awareness campaigns
  • Patient advocacy outreach
  • Data communications
  • KOL identification and development
  • Custom scientific symposia/events​


We love telling stories
Public relations is about building your network and getting other people talking about you. We want to help you build buzz and credibility at the same time.
  • Company debuts​
  • Media campaigns ​
  • Social media strategy & content​
  • Press releases writing, editing & pitching​
  • Ongoing trend story development & pitching​
  • Conference tracking & management​
  • Disease awareness campaigns
  • Clinical trial recruitment campaigns
  • Media monitoring & analytics
  • Events​


Think before you talk
We have seen it all. Helping our clients navigate the macro and micro ups and downs of the life science and healthcare industry is our passion.
  • Corporate branding, positioning and message development
  • Product and technology branding
  • Public policy advisory
  • Crisis communications
  • Strategic communications plans
  • Capital markets advisory
  • Scientific and medical publication and presentation strategies
  • Board presentations
  • Competitive intelligence
  • M&A advisory & rebranding
  • Corporate rebranding