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Fellow Feature

Featured Fellow: Elizabeth Wilks, PharmD, RPh
May 23, 2022

Elizabeth Wilks, PharmD, RPh
First Year Rutgers/Pfizer Fellow
North America Medical Affairs, Hospital Business Unit


What made you choose medical affairs as your functional area?

I chose medical affairs because I like being the barrier between external stakeholders and the company. I enjoy being able to take medical information regarding our portfolio and simplifying it. I had experience working as an intern at Walgreens during pharmacy school and always enjoyed patient education. In my current role, I have been working on education targeted towards healthcare providers (HCPs) for a product in development.

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Fellow Feature

Tips To Navigate Your Virtual/Hybrid Postdoctoral Fellowship
April 11, 2022

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Introduction:

Graduating pharmacy school and landing a post-doctoral fellowship is very exciting when it happens! Congratulations to all those reading this article that will be starting a new chapter of post graduate training. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fellowship programs don’t exactly look like what they did even just five years ago. This article has been written to provide some tips on how to navigate starting your post-doctoral fellowship in a virtual/hybrid setting.

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Fellow Feature

Featured Fellow: Simran Randhawa, PharmD
January 23, 2022

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Simran Randhawa, PharmD
Global Medical Affairs Fellow, Inflammation & Immunology
Pfizer
University of the Pacific, Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy

Why did you choose Medical Affairs as your functional area?
I chose Medical Affairs because of the plethora of opportunities within the functional area to not only expand my clinical knowledge but also to expand the asset and patient care. I have always been interested in working on medical strategy, congress strategy and content, creating relationships with key opinion leaders, as well as participating in the publication of scientific abstracts and manuscripts. Medical Affairs is also very broad in the sense that there are multiple subsections, and for me that was always interesting—seeing how each part of Medical Affairs interacts with each other and cross-functionally intrigued me as well.

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Fellow Feature

Featured Fellow: Dimple Gandhi, PharmD, RPh
January 7, 2022

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Dr. Dimple Gandhi, PharmD, RPh
Position: Medical Communications, Global Medical Affairs Oncology fellow at Takeda
Alma mater: MCPHS University, Boston

My journey to industry has been unconventional. At a young age I discovered my passion and talent for makeup, started my own business as a freelance makeup artist and genuinely believed that was the career path I wanted to follow. My interest in medicine ended up drawing me to pharmacy school, yet I questioned myself every day because I could never see myself working in the traditional career paths of retail or hospital. I used to volunteer at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, where I quickly realized that I loved the challenges, innovation and impact that can be found within the Oncology disease space. After many conversations with people and trying different jobs, I stumbled upon the pharmaceutical industry through an internship, which changed the trajectory of my career. I fell in love with the industry environment and the role that pharmacists can play, and for 4 years I worked hard to prepare myself as a candidate to enter industry upon graduating pharmacy school.

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Fellow Feature

Featured Fellow: Austin Mullins, PharmD
December 10, 2021

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Austin Mullins, PharmD
AbbVie/USC First-Year Fellow: Global Medical Affairs-Evidence Solutions

What is your current day-to-day role at your company?
My days vary based on the projects I am working on and the action items at hand. I typically have plenty of meetings in the morning with directors and AbbVie leadership involved around our team's budget and ongoing studies. After my morning meetings I will complete any urgent action items needed from me for the team. My afternoons are typically spent in meetings for the projects I am working on along with getting some time to work on my projects and project managing various other activities occurring within our team. The day-to-day largely varies, as some days I work with the field team and go on co-rides with MSLs or visit local sites to discuss the progress of ongoing studies with our principal investigators.

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Fellow Feature

Featured Fellow: Michael Spork, PharmD
November 17, 2021

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Michael Spork, PharmD
I am a second year post-doctoral fellow at Xcenda on our US Market Access Strategy team. I am also in my second year with the University of Florida Pharmaceutical Outcomes & Policy Master’s in Science program, specializing in Pharmaceutical Value Assessment and Communications.

What is your current day-to-day role at your company?
In my current role I partner with pharmaceutical companies to improve access to their innovative products. This includes the scientific work of developing the evidence as well as creating materials to communicate this value to a payer audience. This includes working on payer value propositions, pre-approval information exchange, market research, as well as a variety of other strategic work and resource development. We work with companies pre-launch, through launch, and as an asset matures.

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Fellow Feature

Featured Fellow: Michele Muir, PharmD, RPh
November 2, 2021

Michele Muir

Michele Muir, PharmD, RPh
First Year US Medical Affairs Fellow

GSK/University of North Carolina

What is your current day-to-day role at your company?
The UNC fellowship is unique in that you spend the first year at the university engaging in research. This provides the foundation and experience in clinical research that translates to the second year at GSK. My current day to day role involves project management, prepping abstracts/manuscripts for conferences or publications, and making a positive impact at a global level.

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Fellow Feature

Lauren Xu, PharmD, MS
May 28, 2021

Fellowship Sponsor Company: University of North Carolina/GlaxoSmithKline

Function/Discipline: Global Regulatory Affairs Chemistry Manufacturing and Control (CMC)

Fellowship Years: 2020-2022

Alma Mater: University of Pittsburgh

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/lauren-xu-pharmd-ms-46203778

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Fellow Feature

Micah Anthony, PharmD
February 11, 2021

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Rutgers / Bristol-Myers Squibb
Function/Discipline: HEOR
Fellowship Years: 2019—2021
Alma Mater: Xavier University

Have a fellowship question? Click here to ask a current fellow!

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Fellow Feature

Nicolas James, PharmD
January 26, 2021

Nicolas James

Fellowship Sponsor Company: UCB / IPhO

Function/Discipline: Global Regulatory Affairs

Fellowship Years: 2020—2022

Alma Mater: Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS)

Co-Chief, IPhO National Fellows Council

How has IPhO prepared you for a career working within the pharmaceutical industry?
I believe IPhO prepared me in several ways. The most obvious preparation came from increasing my knowledge of the pharmaceutical industry. In pharmacy school, most students simply learn that in order to get a drug approved, you submit an IND and NDA to the FDA and hopefully it gets approved. We learn next-to-nothing about the opportunities for pharmacists post-grad, which have boomed over the last 10 years or so. By attending IPhO meetings, I was able to learn an incredible amount about pharmacists in the industry and the critical roles they play in drug development. Another way IPhO prepared me for this career is by improving my soft skills. I was fortunate enough to lead the ACPHS IPhO chapter for about a year and a half, which gave me an opportunity to work on my leadership, communication and project management skills, all of which are invaluable to a career in regulatory affairs. Ultimately, IPhO gave me a platform to learn about the industry while growing the skills necessary to enter the industry, both of which were critical to landing my position.

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Fellow Feature

Don't Give Up—Si Li's Fellowship Perseverance Story
January 19, 2021

Si Li Professional Picture

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Pfizer

Function/Discipline: Oncology HEOR and Market Access

Fellowship Years: 2020—2022

Alma Mater: MCPHS

The theme of my story is: don't give up!

My fellowship journey started similar to yours. Over a year ago, I applied to different fellowships and had interviews, receptions, on-sites—the works. However, shortly after the ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting, when candidates were notified of their decisions, I was not on the favorable end. I did not receive an offer at that time. I was extremely happy for those that did receive an offer and congratulated them on their well-deserved accomplishments.

When I did not receive a fellowship offer at that time, I was a bit disappointed because it was not the outcome I had hoped for. However, I did not give up. I was still optimistic that it would all work out in the end. I reached out to all of my networks to see what steps I could take and what opportunities were available. This way, they were aware that I was still seeking industry opportunities and would keep me in mind should they come across any. In the meantime, I also applied to different entry-level industry positions and available fellowships. After some time and several interviews later, I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the world when I found out I was chosen to be the inaugural fellow based out of New York City.

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Fellow Feature

Yolanda K. Peprah, PharmD
January 11, 2021

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Fellowship Sponsor Company: Bayer Pharmaceuticals

Function/Discipline: Regulatory Affairs

Fellowship Years: 2020—2022

Alma Mater: University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) School of Pharmacy

My interest in industry came toward my third year of pharmacy school. A conversation with a UMB alumnus influenced me to start attending IPhO meetings. Our IPhO chapter even had the opportunity to tour AstraZeneca and learn about the drug development process, clinical development roles, and fellowship and rotational opportunities. I enjoyed the exposure I gained from that field trip and started to align my steps toward obtaining a fellowship. Regulatory affairs stood out to me the most because it allows you to utilize your knowledge to strategize with other functional areas to meet the requirements for drug approval. I was also impressed by the opportunities to serve as the liaison between health authorities and the company, as well as the impact regulatory scientists make in drug development.

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Fellow Feature

Amy Kranz, PharmD
September 28, 2020


Fellowship Sponsor Company: UNC/United Therapeutics

Function/Discipline: Global Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance

Fellowship Years: 2019—2021

Alma Mater: UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Amy, a Global Drug Safety and Pharmacovigilance fellow, shares her experience with product safety, from development through clinical use. She offers sound advice on pursuing fellowships, including tips on how to approach them with an open mind!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/amykranz

Have a fellowship question? Click here to ask a current fellow!

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Fellow Feature

Keturah A. Crease, PharmD
August 15, 2020


Fellowship Sponsor Company: Merck/Rutgers University

Function/Discipline: Clinical Science & Study Management Oncology

Fellowship Years: 2020—2022

Alma Mater: Xavier University of Louisiana College of Pharmacy

Listen in as Keturah, a Merck/Rutgers University fellow, shares how she's adapting to a new way of working during the COVID-19 pandemic. You'll also hear about what she does in her current role, and get some great advice for presenting well in virtual interviews!

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/keturahcrease

Have a fellowship question? Click here to ask a current fellow!

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Fellow Feature

Andrew Lee, PharmD
July 13, 2020


Fellowship Sponsor Company: Purdue University / Takeda Pharmaceuticals

Function/Discipline: Early Clinical Operations

Fellowship Years: 2020—2022

Alma Mater: MCPHS University

Andrew Lee, a current Early Clinical Operations fellow, shares his advice for feeling confident and succeeding in your fellowship interviews. His key ingredient? Authenticity.

Have a fellowship question? Click here to ask a current fellow!

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Fellow Feature

Raena D. Rhone, PharmD
July 4, 2020


Fellowship Sponsor Company: Florida A&M University/Bristol Myers Squibb

Function/Discipline: Oncology Medical Affairs

Fellowship Years: 2020—2022

Alma Mater: UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Listen in as Raena shares what drew her to industry, the importance of keeping an open mind, and the one thing she wishes someone would have shared with her before she started interviewing.

Have a fellowship question? Click here to ask a current fellow!

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Fellow Feature

Ornesha Watson, PharmD
June 16, 2020

Ornesha Watson

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Rutgers University/Bristol Myers Squibb

Function/Discipline: Oncology HEOR

Fellowship Years: 2020—2022

Alma Mater: University of Saint Joseph School of Pharmacy

Who are you? A loaded question undoubtedly. However, when prompted to answer this question in the context of my career interest and goals, this is the response that came to mind: communication strategist, educator, artist and scientist.

The connecting thread amongst all my identifiers is a commitment to impacting the lives of others and being an advocate for the voiceless. This continues to be my driving force and is my primary motivation for becoming a Rutgers University and Bristol Myers Squibb Oncology Health Economics Outcomes Research (HEOR) Fellow. I view this fellowship as the ideal opportunity to tap into growing pharmaceutical industry trends to drive innovative approaches to today’s global health challenges.

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Fellow Feature

Mary Nwokedi, PharmD
June 9, 2020

Mary Nwokedi

Fellowship Sponsor Company: Eli Lilly

Function/Discipline: Global Regulatory Affairs: US and International Policy and Strategy

Fellowship Years: 2019—2020

Alma Mater: Howard University, Class of 2019

Prior to pharmacy school, I coordinated pharmacology research projects in a translational medicine lab. Intrigued by the drug development process and clinical trials, I sought a career change that would allow me to explore those areas. A doctorate in pharmacy was the perfect fit for me because of the sheer amount of fellowships available at pharmaceutical companies post-graduation. While in pharmacy school, I took a clinical pharmacology internship in South San Francisco with the intention of learning about common functional areas for pharmacists. Regulatory affairs stood out to me, due to the role's liaison nature between the company and regulatory agencies. Additionally, I’ve always been interested in global roles and held two global leadership positions for the International Pharmaceutical Students’ Federation (IPSF) on the Public Health Committee.

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Fellow Feature

Howraa Alasker, PharmD, RPh
June 6, 2020

Howraa Alasker

Fellowship Sponsor Company: UCB / IPhO

Function/Discipline: Global Regulatory Affairs

Fellowship Years: 2019—2021

Alma Mater: Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) School of Pharmacy, Class of 2019

Upon entering pharmacy school, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in industry. During my P1 year I was given the opportunity to participate in a 2-week shadowing experience at Baxalta, which helped further solidify my decision. Shortly after, I enrolled in the Healthcare Management Biopharmaceutical Industries Certificate Program offered at KGI, where I was able to learn more about the various roles available to PharmDs in industry.

Interested in impacting the drug development process and advancing patient care, I sought out a fellowship in a functional area that complemented my interests and skills. After speaking with individuals in a variety of functional areas, and receiving guidance from personal mentors, I discovered my passion for regulatory affairs.

To me, regulatory affairs is a "catch all" functional area, offering many opportunities to explore innovative approaches to meet an agency’s requirements for drug approval in order to efficiently deliver therapies to patients. My favorite aspect of regulatory affairs is that it allows me to utilize my creativity, strategic thinking, and scientific knowledge, all while addressing the needs of patients across the globe—does it get any better than that? Ultimately, the role of a PharmD in industry is valued—irrespective of the functional area you choose to pursue. Industry provides pharmacists with the opportunity to explore nontraditional roles and make a large impact on the lives of patients.

Have a fellowship question? Click here to ask a current fellow!

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Fellow Feature

Irina Katz, PharmD
April 28, 2020

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Fellowship Sponsor Company: IPhO / BioNJ

Function/Discipline: Rotational: Business Development, Medical Affairs, Clinical Operations, Regulatory Affairs, Marketing

Fellowship Years: 2018—2020

Alma Mater: University of the Sciences, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Class of 2018

I went to pharmacy school to become a clinical oncology pharmacist so I could help those who needed it most—specifically, people without current treatment options. Fortunately for me, my school offered many round table events for students to get acquainted with a variety of different positions available to pharmacists. I was consistently drawn to the “industry” tables and found myself fascinated with everything industry had to offer someone like me. Not only did I learn that industry provides an opportunity to work on delivering medication to those in need, but I also learned that I wouldn’t have to limit my versatility to be able to get the job done.

I desired a career that would accommodate my two conflicting interests—creativity and concrete facts—making it a challenge to find a place where I belonged. It didn’t take long for me to realize that as a pharmacist in the pharmaceutical industry I could appease both sides of my character: I could contribute creative ideas in order to market a company’s medication, but also be able to back it up with the science involved, honing in on safety and efficacy. Working in industry means that no single day is the same as the last. The possibility of constant change and challenges coupled with the ability to better the lives of many by contributing to a team that is bringing new medications to the market is truly captivating to me.

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