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Debbie Schwam Cote ’81

Alumni Success Story

Debbie Schwam Cote

Research Company Co-founder

Debbie Schwam Cote ’81 knew from an early age that she wanted to devote her life to helping people. The clinical nursing courses she took at Helen Hayes Hospital as part of her nursing curriculum at RCC helped channel her desire to assist patients with neurological conditions.

Cote’s nursing background served as a cornerstone as her career pivoted to clinical research with pharmaceutical firms, and it continues to support her work as an entrepreneur. She co-founder a niche company in California named BioSpero International, a contract research organization, or CRO. It provided clinical trial monitoring and patient recruitment services to pharmaceutical and biotech firms seeking approvals for neuroscience-based drugs.

She is currently managing partner of CoteClinical, which provides Research & Development operations expertise to pharmaceutical firms.

After graduating from RCC with an AAS in Nursing, Cote worked as a neurological ICU nurse and research coordinator at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center, and later at Mount Sinai Medical Center, where she directed outpatient clinical trials for the hospital’s movement disorder center.

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