Career path in research vs development in pharma

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Career Path-help please

Postby PG » Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:05 pm

I know several PhDs that are working with assay development in industry, some of them are responsible for supervision of one or more BS/MS/technicians while others are not.

As for the question about when D starts it is a bit different in different companies. In the biotech company in which I am running the RnD effort D starts once we have an identified target and an idea about how to approach that target. This is also the point when we start dooing in house work while our R is usually performed in collaboration with academic groups, hospitals or other small companies.
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Career Path-help please

Postby Raju » Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:48 pm

I was excited to see that my work will lead to real life application, though my fellow postdocs had put a damper on it by their advice. I was beginning to think of turning down the assignment. Thank you very much, Kevin, Ale and PG. You guys have saved me from making a big mistake.
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Career Path-help please

Postby Kevin Foley » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:31 pm

Raju, try to make the most of the opportunity when you are there. Try to interact with as many people and as many disciplines as possible so that you get a big picture of how your work will fit into their program. If at the end of it you have spent all your time in lab doing what you already know how to do, you might as well have done that in your PI's lab. The company won't be pushing you to do this, so make an effort on your own. Most people love to talk about what they do, so take advantage of the opportunity.

Good luck,
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Career Path-help please

Postby Dave Jensen » Tue Dec 29, 2009 9:22 pm

Raju, I hope you see that your fellow postdocs make terrible career advisors. They were trained by academic PI's, and have as much knowledge of industry as you get by hanging around an academic lab 18 hours a day. Too many who visit this site are taking the "advice" of colleagues who have no experience with and no real interest in industry jobs.

You're in a great position to maximize your networking opportunities over the next couple of years. Wow, what a great "shot" at a successful start of an industry career!

Dave Jensen, Moderator
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Career Path-help please

Postby P.C. » Wed Dec 30, 2009 6:54 am

Raju, that opportunity as noted above is a great way to get industry experience, which should not be passed up if presented. One way to "get a foot in the door." Your title will be Postdoctoral research associate, not SRA, you can truthfully say that you supervised the assay development and R&D, and emphasise the industry connection if your future interest is in industry, plus it is an invaluable networking opportunity.
"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education" - Mark Twain
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Re: Career path in research vs development in pharma

Postby J. Patz » Mon Oct 17, 2016 7:50 pm

Excellent Excellent discussion. Having a bit of experience in Discovery Research and also late-stage development, I agree with the consensus that drug development is indeed preferable, if given a choice. The later the stage you get to work in drug development, the better it is for your profile. The experience you gain there is very marketable and although it operates very differently than research, I believe it all depends on personal interest. I've seen people work for decades in research and are very happy.
I personally like working in development because I feel the work that's put in is more relevant as the project is more likely than not moving forward, being in late-stage development already.
But different people, due to circumstances or choices, might be working in the entire spectrum right from R to D. All work is important work eventually! But if you are neutral at this point in terms of preference, development might be a good place to be.
Good luck to all!

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