A collaborative spirit is central to achieving our vision of building a company that brings together different scientific disciplines to advance the treatment of cancer. One of the core principles on which Agios was founded was the melding of two previously disparate areas of biology: metabolism and oncology. It has always been my belief that one of our key competitive advantages is the ability to work collaboratively and without any silos.

Continuing to live this value will require constant work and attention as we grow the organization, always making sure that we fight the natural tendency of working in silos. We all must continue to take the initiative to cross the aisle, involve others in the work we are doing and learn about what our colleagues are up to. We will continue to build a respectful environment in which ideas are readily exchanged and can be freely debated.

No team can succeed unless its members can collaborate effectively. I am a big fan of the New England Patriots and Coach Belichick (we both went to Wesleyan and overlapped for one year on the squash team) and I admire what he’s done with the team to foster a collaborative spirit—not a simple task when his superstar, future Hall of Fame quarterback commands so much attention. But under his guidance, the Patriots have become collaborators, not competitors; teammates, not prima donnas working to secure their own records. It’s that spirit that has won them games and Super Bowl trophies.

It’s that same spirit that we need to harness if we hope to achieve our quest to discover, develop and deliver groundbreaking new treatments with the potential to positively impact thousands of lives.