The BSC is dedicated to understanding and improving the patient experience where they are including  individual, environmental and cultural factors and life experiences that impact patients along their entire journey. The team unites a multidisciplinary faculty of global experts (e.g., anthropologists, sociologists, behavioral economists) to uncover some of the most common patient and caregiver issues. As a source of continuous insight and guidance in handling ongoing queries in various disease areas, the BSC provides relevant and actionable insights to inform organizational decisions and identify new opportunities to address patient care needs.

Meet the Team

Lisa Mattle

A little bit about me

  • I was driven to pursue a career that would allow me to deliver more for patients and caregivers after I found myself acting as caregiver to my mother when she was ill. The challenges I experienced at that time set the foundation for the passion for patient focus that I have now and led me to my current role within Patient Centricity, and I am proud to say that I have been with Astellas for almost 10 years.
  • More personally, I live in San Diego, California, where the sun always shines! The other sources of light in my life are my three children, my husband, and our dogs.

What I love about my job

  • I’ve always found myself interested in understanding human behaviors, which led me to study psychology in college. The work that the BSC does, especially with our esteemed faculty of behavioral scientists and experts, lets me continue to learn about the factors that drive patients and caregivers, and everyone in the medical community, while also bettering the lives of patients and their families. My job delivers a strong sense of purpose that is both internally and externally rewarding.

What gets me up every day

  • The BSC is a relatively new function within Patient Centricity, but we have seen so much excitement about it and everything that it can offer from many different teams within Astellas. Momentum is picking up, which means that there are many opportunities for internal collaboration, thought partnership, and innovation, all of which will help Astellas deliver on its commitment to patient-centric care and improving the patient experience. I find this to be very exciting and meaningful time for me in my career and for the BSC as it continues to expand!


Laura de Ruiter, PhD

A little bit about me

  • Before I joined Astellas, I was an academic researcher for many years. I have always been fascinated by human behavior, especially communication, and my specialization is in psycholinguistics, the overlap of psychology and language. Not by accident, one of my hobbies is learning languages! I also consider myself a global citizen – I have lived in Germany, The Netherlands, the UK and Japan. These experiences made me realize that there are always multiple ways to approach a problem.
  • Currently I live in the Greater Boston area with my husband and three guinea pigs.

What I love about my job

  • I love that I can use my knowledge of human behavior to effect positive change in one of the most important aspects of life: health. I enjoy working with our BSC faculty, all of whom are experts in different areas of social science. Joining forces with them to apply different lenses to complex problems allows me to keep learning about new and better ways of improving patient care and supporting caregivers and medical professionals.

What gets me up every day

  • The world can sometimes be a depressing place – people are dealing with all kinds of challenges daily. Knowing that my work can make a difference is an enormous motivator for me. I am excited every day, because I know that I will find a solution to a problem, or that I will encounter a new challenge to tackle, and that I will get to work on it together with wonderful colleagues from across the globe.


Douglas E. Hough, Ph.D.

  • Behavioral economist
  • Senior Associate, Department of Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University
  • Publications include Irrationality in Health Care: What Behavioral Economics Reveals about What We Do and Why (Stanford University Press, 2013)
  • M.S. and Ph.D. in economics, University of Wisconsin; B.S. in economics, MIT


Edith Peterson Mitchell, M.D.

  • Physician – board certified in internal medicine and medical oncology
  • Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine and Medical Oncology, Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
  • Associate Director for Diversity Programs and Director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities, Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University
  • Publications include more than 150 articles and book chapters as well as abstracts on cancer treatment, prevention, and cancer control
  • M.D., Medical College of Virginia in Richmond; B.S. in biochemistry, Tennessee State University 


Ichiro Kawachi, M.D. Ph.D.

  • Social epidemiologist
  • Professor, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Publications include (as co-editor) the first textbook on Social Epidemiology (Oxford University Press, 2000 and 2014)
  • M.D. and Ph.D. in epidemiology, University of Otago, New Zealand

Kyoko Nomura, M.D.

  • Epidemiologist and physician – board certified in internal medicine 
  • Professor of Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, and Chair, Department of Environmental Health Science and Public Health at Akita University, Japan
  • Professor of Medicine, Department of Hygiene and Public Health at Teikyo University School of Medicine and Teikyo Postgraduate School of Public Health, Japan 
  • Publications include more than 130 peer-reviewed papers in international medical journals
  • M.D., Japan; training in epidemiology and biostatistics, Harvard School of Public Health


Jennifer Beam Dowd, Ph.D.
  • Quantitative social and health scientist
  • Publications include more than 90 articles in journals such as the Proceedings of National Academies of Sciences, Nature Human Behaviour, the American Journal of Epidemiology, and Social Science and Medicine

Rene Almeling, Ph.D.

  • Sociologist
  • Appointments in American Studies, the School of Public Health (Department of Health Policy and Management), and the School of Medicine at Yale University
  • Publications include Sex Cells (University of California Press, 2011), an award-winning book on the market for egg and sperm donors, and articles in American Sociological Review, Annual Review of Sociology, Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Gender & Society


Sanjay S. Chandragiri, M.D.

  • Psychiatrist
  • Director, psychiatry residency program, Wright Center for Graduate Medical Education in Scranton Pennsylvania
  • Associate Professor and Assistant Chair of Psychiatry at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
  • M.D., Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, India; and additional training at the State University of New York at Stony Brook