Pursuing a Career in Pharmaceutical Drug Development
Posted November 05, 2020
The pharmaceutical research and development industry is a viable option for early-career scientists looking to transition out of academia. It takes roughly 10-15 years for a single new drug to make it onto the market, with millions of dollars spent from ideation to clinical trials. This complex discovery and evaluation cycle requires diverse expertise to ensure a robust analysis of drug efficacy.
On August 18, 2020, two scientists joined the New York Academy of Sciences to discuss their career paths from academia to pharmaceutical research and development.
In this eBriefing, You'll Learn
- How two different scientists approached career transitions out of academia and into drug research and development.
- What factors to consider before pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry.
- How scientists can leverage their professional networks to find opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry.
- What the measures of success in pharmaceutical research and development look like
Jessica Dunne, PhD
Janssen Research and Development
Jessica Dunne is currently the Director of Screening Initiatives at Janssen Research and Development's World Without Disease Accelerator (WWDA). Jessica has a wealth of experience in Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) gained from her more than ten years at JDRF, leading efforts in immune-based therapies, biomarkers, and screening. In her role within the T1D venture, she focuses on catalyzing and accelerating the global adoption of T1D screening.
While at JDRF, she initiated work with IBM to understand how machine learning can be applied to biological questions in T1D. Jessica presented this data at the American Diabetes Association's 80th meeting, where she also chaired a session on T1D. Jessica serves as the co-director of the Critical Path Institute T1D project, which aims for the regulatory qualification (from both the U.S. FDA and the EMA) of islet autoantibodies as prognostic biomarkers for T1D disease progression in pre-symptomatic patients. In addition, she has authored several highly influential peer-reviewed articles, including a landmark 2015 paper that established the staging paradigm that underlies the T1D venture's scientific approach (Diabetes Care 2015 Oct; 38(10): 1964-1974).
Jessica holds a bachelor's degree from Johns Hopkins University with a doctorate from the University of Virginia, both in biomedical engineering.
Inish O’Doherty, PhD
Critical Path Institute (C-Path)
Inish O'Doherty is an Executive Director of C-Path's Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Consortium and Advisor to the Therapeutic Transplant (TTC) Consortium. His work focuses on the collaborative selection and development of enrichment biomarkers that can be qualified as Drug Development Tools (DDT) and Novel Methodologies with the FDA and EMA, respectively. Prior to C-Path, Dr. O'Doherty implemented chemical biology target validation methodologies in the drug discovery and development process at Pfizer Inc. and was the scientific lead for an academic collaboration to advance quantitative research in-cell drug target engagement assays in complex cellular environments. He has worked on various interdisciplinary projects, focusing on the design and application of chemical probes for the deconvolution of biological signaling pathways, with collaborators from several institutions, resulting in multiple publications.