You are probably right as I indeed do not know much about the drug development process, that’s the very reason why I am asking this question here. I guess I may have phrased it incorrectly. I am seeking for creativity in forms of individual impact on the process and making some sort of a personal difference.
I come from academia, and therefore trying to find an area in biotech where I could essentially do the same: generate ideas, solve problems and answer (and some times maybe even ask) questions, but in a more practical and applied way. And hard routine work in between. Right now I’m working in an academical setting but actually executing a preclinical study for a biotech company. Testing drug in a mouse model, analyzing response rates and establishing response biomarkers, like that. So far it was the most boring thing I’ve ever done, exactly for that reason that everything is predefined, preset and prescheduled and I am merely going through the motions. Inject mice with defined number of samples, inject drug with a defined schedule and dose, analyze a defined set of parameters in the treated mice. At the end we will run some defined screening assay on a defined set of samples to identify biomarkers of response; picking those is going to be another single decision point. But that’s it, I cannot influence in any way any part of the process, although it is probably a good thing as everything is working well. There is no point where I could apply my knowledge and experience. No any room for my input or improvement, no questions to answer, no even problems to solve, just a redundant routine. Now, I don’t mind routine as long as it is a part of something interesting, but I just don’t see any parts here that I would consider interesting.
A friend of mine works in discovery, he is screening drug candidates on cell lines. Even more routine as at least mouse is a more complex organism and requires more skills and techniques etc.
Now, there is a part of that project that is the reason why I am still at that job. The company is interested in some aspects of the mechanism of drug action and it is actually a basic research and is quite interesting. I was even able to find something quite exciting, in an area they were not looking. Now this is exactly what I am looking for to do, finding, asking, answering, generating new ideas and getting interesting results based on them. But see, this is a small side project that was not on my job description initially and I was lucky to even have it, the reason being that it is a small company and they outsource as many things as they can, to academia. If it wasn’t for this I would just continue to screen mice.
As I am looking for a job now I am trying to understand what positions I should look for and even what keywords to use during the search. It would’ve helped a lot if I knew which areas or departments or stages of a biotech process would have what I am looking for.