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Fellow Feature

Yolanda K. Peprah, PharmD
January 11, 2021

Yolanda Headshot

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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Paths to Industry

James Jeng, MEng, PharmD
January 6, 2021

James Jeng

Company: AbbVie Inc.

Current Role: US Regulatory Affairs, Advertising and Promotion Manager

Alma Mater: Purdue University, Class of 2019

A non-fellowship path to industry isn’t necessarily a contingency plan. If you find your passion early on within industry, then it may be worthwhile to consider pursuing permanent roles upon graduation. As a student, I believed fellowship was the safest option into industry, and I never considered manager-level positions for entry because I didn’t think I would qualify. However, I hope my story can demonstrate that it’s not an impossible endeavor. It might take some good fortune, but as Thomas Edison once said, “good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning”.

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IPhO News

Belmont University College of Pharmacy Joins IPhO Student Chapter Network!
January 2, 2021

Belmont

New year, new chapter in the IPhO family! We are kicking off 2021 by welcoming the 91st school in our rapidly growing national network.

Congratulations to student pharmacists at Belmont University College of Pharmacy! IPhO now connects them to more than 5,000 student pharmacists with similar interests, as well as a national network of hundreds of industry fellows and thousands of industry pharmacists.

Several more schools are in the late stages of filing their chapter applications and will soon join the growing national network.

To start a chapter at your school, click here.

For the student benefits of joining IPhO, view the National Student Brochure here!

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Student Leader Spotlight

Student Leader Spotlight: Tychell Branchcomb
December 31, 2020

Name: Tychell Branchcomb
School: University of Florida–Gainesville, Class of 2022
Position: Director, Finances & Fundraising
Hometown: Fredericksburg, VA

Tychell, a University of Florida 2022 graduate, explains how she is being intentional with her time in pharmacy school. She was a contributor on a committee to get her chapter's VIP Case Competition developed into an elective course and approved for credit in the fall. Hear how she's getting involved and optimizing her chances of securing a fellowship upon graduation.

Are you a current pharmacy student interested in sharing a story? Click here to let us know!

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

Meet Tiffany Pela, PharmD, MPH
December 28, 2020

TIffany Pela

Tiffany Pela, PharmD, MPH
Company: Sanofi Genzyme
Current Role: Director, Immunology Strategic Team Lead- Payer Scientific Engagement Strategy
Alma Mater: Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy c/o 2006

I grew up in the northern United States, so I knew about the pharmaceutical industry, but I didn’t know it was the path for me until my final year of pharmacy school. I chose to do my elective rotations at Procter & Gamble (P&G) because I wanted to try something outside of “traditional” pharmacy. I worked in their medical affairs department and fell in love with the strategic mindset of the pharmaceutical industry. I was fascinated by preparing for new competitors, diving deeper into the clinical trials, and designing posters for new clinical information! After that experience, I applied for fellowships and was accepted into the program at Rutgers University and Bristol Myers Squibb. I have been working within the industry ever since. Currently I am the Director, Team Lead of Immunology - Payer Scientific Engagement Strategy at Sanofi Genzyme. In my role I help develop the plan for how our medical affairs team will interact with health care decision makers.

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Deb Mathews, PharmD
December 17, 2020

Deb Matthews

Deb Mathews, PharmD
Experienced Executive, Medical Affairs
VP, Medical Affairs
CTI BioPharma (start in Jan. 2021)
Consultant, Medical Strategy & Medical Affairs
Vaniam Group


When did you decide that you wanted to work in industry versus retail/hospital? Was there an experience that inspired that decision?

As I entered the workforce post-training, I went directly into Clinical Pharmacy. I was fortunate to receive a role at the University of Miami Sylvester Cancer Center (UMSCCC) in Oncology, without the requirement for a residency or fellowship. During my time at UMSCCC as a clinical research pharmacist, I took advantage of every opportunity to learn, always taking on new projects, and remaining open to any atypical experiences. This opened the door for me to sit on the Institutional Review Board and to lead the P&T Committee, where I gained incredible exposure to a variety of research projects. After a few years, I transitioned into the HIV space, where I managed the pharmacy outpatient service for the largest community hospital in Miami. During my time as the Manager of the outpatient pharmacy service, I did everything from contract negotiations, to writing drug utilization reports, and even conducted a clinical trial measuring cost-effectiveness for pharmacy services. The totality of experiences inspired me to pursue a career within the industry where I felt I could make an impact on patient care on a broader scale. I began my career in the industry as a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) in HIV for approximately four years. As is often typical in this industry, when you are working hard, putting out good work and maintaining solid relationships across the spectrum, opportunities for advancement will often find you. As such, I was offered a management opportunity, becoming Manager and National Director of the HIV MSL team with GSK and Tibotec Therapeutics. My career has continued to grow and advance and I have enjoyed many roles in Executive Leadership, including the US Director of Scientific Training with AstraZeneca, US Medical Lead on Global Scientific Launch Team in Oncology, and ultimately VP, Medical Affairs for small biotech companies focused in Microbiome Research and Malignant Hematology.

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Student Leader Spotlight

Student Leader Spotlight: Leslie Ibenana
December 16, 2020

Name: Leslie Ibenana
School: Texas Southern University, Class of 2022
Position: Director, Professional Programming
Hometown: Baltimore, MD

"I was fortunate to be a part of the HBCU Industry Panel Webinar. That experience was really great in not only giving representation but showing that there is a network of people that look like me who are making an impact in the industry space. Having that image is enough to really ignite a flame in students and help them in pursuing that career and knowing that it is possible."

Are you a current pharmacy student interested in sharing a story? Click here to let us know!

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Student Leader Spotlight

Student Leader Spotlight: Chidinma Onyia
December 1, 2020

Name: Chidinma Onyia
School: University of Colorado, Class of 2022
Position: Director, Social Media & Marketing (Past)
Hometown: Little Rock, Arkansas

At the end of an IPhO meeting, the guest speaker mentioned that his company was hiring interns. Chidinma used it as an opportunity to introduce herself and through this networking experience, she secured an industry internship! In her video, she shares valuable advice for students looking to land a role in industry based on what's working well for her.

Are you a current pharmacy student interested in sharing a story? Click here to let us know!

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Paths to Industry

Nafisa King, PharmD
November 16, 2020

King_Nafisa

Company: PRECISIONscientia

Current Role: Medical Writer, Oncology

Alma Mater: Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University College of Pharmacy

There are usually two trajectories into industry: one more traditional (which I like to call "vertical") and the other one I call "horizontal"—which, if you guessed it, is where I fall. My writing path was from the creative to the scientific prescriptive and is now a comfortable combination of the two.

As an undergraduate, I spent most of my days in class, afternoons in the library, and evenings creating stories in a world of science fiction online. I unlocked a well of creativity and allowed my readers to visualize and internalize some of the abstract notions of modern science. At the start of pharmacy school, I took a hiatus from writing and by my third year, it was a long-forgotten hobby.

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Industry Pharmacist Success Stories

An Interview with Danny Talati, PharmD
November 12, 2020

Danny

Danny Talati, PharmD
Lead, Business Development
ATAI Life Sciences AG


When did you decide that you wanted to work in industry versus retail/hospital?

I went to Northeastern University’s direct pharmacy program. During my 4th year, we would have co-ops where we would take a semester off to work in a real-world setting. I worked at CVS and an independent pharmacy, eventually realizing retail was not for me. I was always interested in business and I minored in business during my undergraduate education. So I wanted to seek an industry opportunity, but my pharmacy school’s co-op department had no connections with biotech companies. I was flipping through an alumni book and learned about an alum who worked at a pharmaceutical company in California. Fortunately, they had an opening and I temporarily moved to San Francisco to work at Alza Pharmaceuticals for 6 months in medical information. During this experience, I had great mentors and learned a lot.

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Fellowship Central

FDA-BeiGene-ACPHS pharmacovigilance fellowship
November 12, 2020

Overview This two-year fellowship in pharmacovigilance and medication safety is a collaboration of BeiGene, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Surveillance and Epidemiology (OSE) and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (ACPHS). This partnership of a global pharmaceutical company with a regulatory agency and an academic institution will provide a rich and rewarding experience for the fellow. In addition, the three partners want to build on their individual strengths and common objectives to create a compelling project that will span the two years.

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Student Leader Spotlight

Student Leader Spotlight: Andrew Ejiofor
November 9, 2020

Name: Andrew Ejiofor
School: Hampton University, Class of 2022
Position: Director, Professional Programming
Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Witnessing his father's battle with cancer inspired Andrew to pursue a career in industry. His goal: to ensure that medications are safe and effective for all patients in need. Hear about his experience and what he's doing to build his path to industry.

Are you a current pharmacy student interested in sharing a story? Click here to let us know!

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IPhO News

Establishing the VIP Case Competition as an Elective Course
October 28, 2020

The guide below was written and submitted by Jaqueline Pereira and Michael Schaefer. Both are University of Florida PharmD Candidates, Class of 2022. These talented students helped pave the way to turn the VIP project into a pharmacy school elective credit. Thank you to both of these talented students for their helpful guidance!

The University of Florida (UF) is proud to announce that the IPhO VIP Case Competition is the first industry pharmacy course in the UF College of Pharmacy curriculum called “Pharmacists’ Roles in Drug Development.” This course allows students to learn the various functional roles for pharmacists in industry and how to contribute to a cohesive drug development plan. The VIP Case Competition will enhance students’ exposure to career opportunities in the industry field which is a valuable experience for students to learn more about the many non-traditional pharmacy career paths.

If you are interested in making the VIP Case Competition an elective credit course at your school, these are the steps UF took to get the VIP Case Competition approved for elective credit. VIEW THE GUIDE



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Paths to Industry

Alese Vance, PharmD, RPh
October 27, 2020

Alese Vance

Company: Genmab

Current Role: Global Medical Affairs Consultant

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

Throughout pharmacy school, I heard many of my classmates speaking with such excitement about the career paths they had chosen to take. I was happy for them, but I often felt uneasy about the simple fact that I wasn’t sure which path I wanted to take. My unsettlement about the future changed when I had the privilege of experiencing an APPE rotation at Daiichi Sankyo in US Medical Affairs. While performing various projects that assisted in the drug launching process, I became passionate about being a small part of a larger working organism. During those few weeks, I was able to taste a little bit of how a pharmacist could impact the pharmaceutical industry world.

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Paths to Industry

Alyssa Lowder, PharmD, RPh, MBA
October 22, 2020

Alyssa Lowder

Company: Sanofi Genzyme

Current Role: Manager, CLDP Program

Alma Mater: University of Florida College of Pharmacy, Gainesville Campus

Going into college for the first time, I always knew that pharmacy was the end goal. But through some serendipitous circumstances, I ended up majoring in business finance while completing my pharmacy prerequisite courses. Over the course of those 4 years, I ended up falling in love with business; so much so that when I entered pharmacy school in 2015, I was determined to integrate it into my future career.

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IPhO News

What is deep work and why is it important to master?
October 14, 2020

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2020 has been an unprecedented year – from natural disasters, to a global pandemic and a push for significant societal change. With so much activity within the external environment, it can be quite challenging for work-from-home employees to focus on their work assigned. For example, according to an article from Medium, employees working on their computer are distracted once every ten and a half minutes. (Medium, 2017) In addition, it can be a tough transition from pharmacy student life to the virtual working world for many pharmaceutical industry fellows. The topic of “deep work” is pertinent to many as we adjust to this space in addition to the numerous distractions that surround us. Distractions can include the news, social media, our cell phones, families, and even our professional engagement activities. Many influential individuals such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and even the late Steve Jobs incorporated deep work rituals in their daily lives and credit this skill for their overwhelming success.

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IPhO News

Company Spotlight: RXE2
October 8, 2020



Clinical research today faces many challenges, from lengthy recruitment periods and poor clinical study outcomes to waste in clinical supplies.

Involving pharmacists as stakeholders in clinical research allows for the creation of new solutions to these long-standing issues.

RxE2 will be disrupting clinical research and creating thousands of jobs specifically for pharmacists in industry, benefiting communities around the world.

Watch the video above and visit the RXE2 website to learn more about how this innovative company is making a global impact with pharmacists at the forefront.

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Fellowship Central

Baylor Scott & White Health/UT Austin HEOR Fellowship 2021-23
October 8, 2020

Baylor Scott & White Health in conjunction with the University of Texas at Austin is pleased to offer a Postdoctoral Fellowship in Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) for 2021-2023. The purpose of this two-year fellowship is to prepare talented individuals with a strong interest in pursuing a career in HEOR for positions in areas including managed care, pharmaceutical industry, consulting and academia. Our fellows earn a Master of Science degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Division of Health Outcomes at the University of Texas College of Pharmacy upon completion of required didactic courses and successful thesis defense. An interview should be requested by November 30th, 2020. Click here for more information.

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Fellowship Central

Eli Lilly Visiting Scientist Fellowship 2020-2021
October 7, 2020
Hello everyone, please see the attached brochure regarding the Eli Lilly Visiting Scientist Fellowship. They have many positions open across multiple functional areas.
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IPhO News

Notre Dame of Maryland University is 90th IPhO Student Chapter!
October 6, 2020

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IPhO is pleased to announce the addition of another new student chapter to our growing national network!

Congratulations to student pharmacists at Notre Dame of Maryland University. IPhO now connects them to a national network of 90 chapters and more than 5,000 student pharmacists with similar interests, as well as a national network of hundreds of industry fellows and thousands of industry pharmacists.

Several more schools are in the late stages of filing their chapter applications and will soon join the growing national network.

To start a chapter at your school, click here.

For the student benefits of joining IPhO, view the National Student Brochure here!

Read More