Academic & Professional Updates
Advisor: Dr. Liebler
I have been with the DuPont Pharmaceuticals Company (now Bristol Myers Squibb Company) as a senior research scientist for the past two years, in the Safety Assessment group. As a study director/monitor, I am responsible for the in-life conduct of toxicology studies (acute, subchronic and chronic, and exploratory mechanistic studies) performed on drug development candidates within the company as well as for the monitoring of external contract studies. My responsibilities include design, review and implementation of all toxicology study protocols and writing of study reports assuring that the scientific objectives of the study are met and that worldwide regulatory and GLP guidelines are satisified. Drugs currently in development that I have been involved with in this capacity include HIV therapeutics, CNS active drugs, oncology agents, anti-obesity agents and drugs for the treatment of inflammation and thrombosis. I also serve as the toxicology project team leader for a cohort of non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTI) being developed by DuPont Pharmaceuticals for the treatment of HIV. This requires my interaction with safety assessment management and drug discovery personnel as well as a multidisciplinary team outside of the safety assessment group (the "Project Team" which includes chemistry, analytical chemistry and pharmacy personnel, clinical research personnel, and folks involved with the business end of drug development, including those in regulatory affairs, manufacturing, and business) to support the development of these drugs. Membership on the project team also involves the writing of regulatory documents to support the entry of the development candidate into Phase I and II clinical trials and beyond (ERC, IND, etc.). Acting as a project team leader requires a sound multidisciplinary working knowledge of pharmaceutical toxicology (i.e., genetic toxicity testing, acute/subchronic/chronic testing, reproductive/developmental testing, immunotoxicology, toxicokinetic analyses and mechanistic approaches). The multidisciplinary approach of the Pharmacology and Toxicology department at The University of Arizona was invaluable in my preparation for a successful career in industry. As a toxicologist in industry, the ability to "wear many hats" is very important, as well as the ability to synthesize study data into a clear assessment of the toxicity of a drug in animal models, and to determine the potential relevance of those toxicities to humans. I had many things to learn when I first arrived at DuPont Pharmaceuticals about how the pharmaceuticals industry works, but luckily the foundation of knowledge and work ethic that I established while at the U of A allowed me to learn quickly and succeed.