Job Title: Scientist
Type of Company: I work for a large pharmaceutical company
Education: BSc Biology, University of Birmingham, UK, PhD, University of Birmingham, UK
Previous Experience: Research Associate at university while completing my PhD
Job Tasks: I am work in research, what we call "discovery", for a pharmaceutical company. I work on a project team that tries to discover new antibiotics to treat serious infections - one serious enough that you would be in hospital. The team consists of people from different disciplines; Chemistry, biochemistry, drug metabolism, microbiology and pharmacology. We each bring our specialist knowledge to the team to help find potential drug candidates.
Drug candidates are delivered to another project team that is then responsible for developing the compound into a drug for patients. I also manage a small team of staff that carry out the experiments to test the compounds that the chemists make. We test the compounds to determine their microbiological properties. These tests include whether they inhibit the growth of bacteria from different species and if they have the desired mechanism of action, Results of these experiments along with those from the other disciplines will determine if the compound has the right properties to be a drug.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is knowing that I am trying to find drugs that will cure serious drug resistant infections from which people can die. It can take 6-10 years to develop a new drug and many will fail for lots of different reasons but we strive to be successful.
The worst part of my job is the politics.
1. A PhD in a biological subject is essential for good career opportunities in the pharmaceutical sector.
2. It is important to develop good written and verbal communication skills in order to be able to explain the science.
3. Learn to have opinions about scientific data and make decisions without having all the information you might want.
Additional Thoughts: What has surprised me most about my career is that I have worked for the same company for 17 years but had many varied and interesting jobs.
If I could have changed one thing I would have taken more risks.
Important qualities of this career are to be able to multi-task, make decisions in the absence of all the information.
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).
Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
You've found Ashford University, where school comes to you. Earn your bachelor's or master's degree online.
Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.
Since 1996, Southern California Health Institute has been dedicated and committed to helping students achieve their dreams by providing an exceptional education that enables them to become skilled and successful manual therapists.
Work toward your degree online with University of Cincinnati Online.
American Career College (ACC) offers hands-on training that will prepare students for careers in the healthcare industry at three campuses in Los Angeles, Ontario, and Orange County, California.
Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.
Concordia University - Portland offers several fully online 14-month Master of Education (M.Ed.) programs and a fully online Doctorate of Education (Ed.D.) program.
Earn Your Diploma from Home!
Get the hands-on training you need to succeed at Blake Austin College.
Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.
The inside stories from people actually working in the field.
Click a story title to show the story, and click the title again to hide it.
Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.
Most stories include:
Please also see our detailed information about Biochemists And Biophysicists, including: