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Career Paths in Pharmaceutical Drug Development



Career Paths in Pharmaceutical Drug Development

Tuesday, August 18, 2020, 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT


Presented By

Science Alliance


Drug research and development in Industry has been a source of opportunity in terms of collaboration and career development for early career scientists looking to transition out of Academia. For a single new drug to make it into the market, ten to hundreds of millions of dollars are spent from ideation to clinical trials over a span of 10 – 15 years. This complex drug discovery and evaluation cycle requires various expertise to help with a robust analysis of the efficacy of a drug. Here, we will discuss the career path that two scientists have taken from Academia to Industry R&D.

During this webinar, you’ll hear from a panel of Scientists on the following topics:

  • Career growth of the Panel in Drug Discovery
  • What opportunities to seek when planning for a career outside Academia or potential collaborations with Industry partners?
  • The pitfalls to be aware of—and try to avoid—when pursuing this career pat
  • Being methodical, systematic and intentional as you build evidence and identify your path of choice

Our Panelists, Jessica Dunne, Ph.D. and Inish O’Doherty, Ph.D. will share their career paths after graduating and how they have evolved in their respective paths.

Jessica Dunne

Jessica Dunne, PhD 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 is focused on catalyzing and accelerating the global adoption of T1D screening.

While at JDRF, she initiated work with IBM into understanding how machine learning can be applied to biological questions in T1D. This data was presented at the recently concluded 80th ADA meeting where she also chaired a session on T1D. She serves as the co-director for 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, Jessica has authored several highly influential peer-reviewed articles including the 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 the field of biomedical engineering.

Inish O'Doherty

Inish O’Doherty, PhD is Executive Director of C-Path’s Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) Consortium and advisor to 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 scientific lead for an academic collaboration to advance the understanding of quantitative in-cell drug target engagement assays in complex cellular environments. He has worked on a variety of 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.


Nonmember Student, Undergrad, Grad, Fellow
Member Student, Post-Doc, Fellow


Brittany Aguilar, PhD
Brittany Aguilar, PhD

New York Academy of Sciences