November 13, 2020

Meet Franklin Pennell

It’s an auspicious detail that the newest member of the Innovations in Healthcare team is a distant relative to the ultimate innovator-- Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin Pennell comes to us as a GSK PULSE Program volunteer, a skill-based volunteering initiative in which GSK employees volunteer with NGOs around the world for six months.  PULSE volunteers are expected to bring their talents and ideas into the organizations they serve and then return to GSK with fresh new thinking that improves their work, and ultimately, helps GSK become more innovative. We have great hopes that Franklin, inspired by his namesake and relative will achieve both objectives!

Franklin spent two weeks this summer in Durham, NC getting to know our team and our work and then made the 20+ hour flight to Singapore where he will be based for the remainder of his time with us as he leads a healthcare innovation ecosystem analysis of Southeast Asia.   He will be based within the Duke-NUS Medical School.

This work will look broadly across ASEAN countries to document factors affecting the healthcare innovation ecosystem and identify gaps and opportunities in healthcare systems in select countries of focus.  Our hope is that this research will help provide useful context for our supporters and innovators that are eyeing opportunities in Southeast Asia and ultimately help Innovations in Healthcare broaden its connections and expertise in the region.

We will be reporting our insights and findings on this work as we go over the next few months and expect to have initial findings at the end of the summer.

Franklin earned his undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Delaware and also holds an MBA from Villanova University. At GSK he is a Senior Study Manager focusing on oncology products.  Like his distant relative, he is a long-time resident of Philadelphia where the humidity isn’t quite at the same level as Singapore.  As an avid outdoorsman and athlete, he is learning to adjust.  You can follow his time in Singapore here.   You can contact Franklin at