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Thiago CarvalhoJeff HemenwayThiago Carvalho, PH.D., is currently a pharmaceutical scientist in drug product science and technology at Bristol-Myers-Squibb.
Jeff Hemenway, Ph.D., is currently a pharmaceutical scientist in formulation and process development at Gilead Sciences.

The transition from academia to industry is extremely challenging for pharmaceutical scientists. The changes involved in this transition are huge, and there is always a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the entire process. This process and the time leading up to it can be very stressful and loaded with pitfalls.

Knowing what to expect and what is expected of you is the first step toward a smooth and successful move. “I can remember, when I was looking for my first job in industry, I had absolutely no idea about the world of pharmaceutical development. I really had to learn as I went and often the hard way. It would have been so helpful to have someone from the inside share their experience and answer the questions that I wanted to ask,” explained Jeff.

There are many opportunities within academia that can be leveraged to better prepare graduate students, postdocs, and professors for this transition and allow them to better position themselves in the marketplace. Understanding the industrial hiring manager’s perspective and knowing what that person is really looking for in a candidate will help you be successful in the job search and interview process.

Hearing directly from industry professionals can help prepare you to face these challenges. “After a summer internship experience during my Ph.D. studies in which Jeff was my mentor, I continued to count on his insights and excellent coaching while getting ready to enter the job market. I could see the pharmaceutical development world through his eyes,” said Thiago. Such interactions can address many unanswered questions and help provide a realistic mindset of the current environment and expectations within pharmaceutical research and development. Numerous AAPS resources and programs—student chapters, focus groups, mentorship programs—can help pharmaceutical scientists to build their all-important professional network.

With this in mind, we have developed a professional development session to provide an opportunity to share our knowledge and experience for what is needed to be successful from the standpoint of established formulation/process development scientists. The session is Embarking on Your Career in Pharmaceutical Development: Leveraging Insights from Industry Professionals to Enable a Smooth Transition from Academia will be held at the 2013 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition, in San Antonio. We look forward to sharing our insights and providing an interactive forum for the audience to ask questions.

More About the Authors
Thiago Carvalho, Ph.D., has 5 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, working with the manufacturing of biologics and the development of small molecule drug products. He is an alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin and is currently a pharmaceutical scientist in drug product science & technology at Bristol-Myers Squibb.

Jeff Hemenway, Ph.D., graduated with his doctoral degree from Kansas University and is currently a pharmaceutical scientist in formulation and process development at Gilead Sciences. He has over 6 years of experience in the development of oral solid dosage forms.