Glum news from the pharmaceutical R&D jobs front

In a very un-holiday season spirit, Science Careers published an article by Elisabeth Pain covering the pharmaceutical R&D job market (“A Pharma Industry in Crisis”).  I reported earlier on the shuffling and re-shuffling of business plans, research programs and product portfolios going on in Big Phama.  Ms. Pain (even the author’s name rubs salt into the topic!) references the 2011 CMR International Pharmaceutical R&D Factbook for much of her data, providing a solid basis for the discussion.  Bottom line, R&D expenditures dropped “slightly” and more drugs are failing earlier in the development pipeline.

With this backdrop I’ve been recruiting industry professionals for the Career Networking Session at the 24th Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium.  Maybe CSUPERB has now built a responsive network of industry contacts and BayBio Institute’s really works, because recruitment was easy this year.  We can’t fit anymore tables into the room this year – we have 20 companies and organizations participating this year!  Terry Hermiston, a VP at Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals, will be the kick-off speaker.  Not a single one of these career mentors is glum about the job prospects for CSU graduates in the biotech field.  Perhaps they are taking the long view?  Should be an interesting session, to say the least!

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    About Susan Baxter

    I'm the executive director of CSUPERB and the editor of this blog. Over my career, I've worked with teams to formulate new herbicide products, to figure out how transcription factors work in combination, to discover protein targets for new diabetes treatments, and to develop software for human population genetics studies. I started a biotechnology career because a couple of companies in Richmond, Virginia, offered me summer internships. Since then I’ve worked in major corporations, small start-ups, research institutions and academia. Now I'm working with CSUPERB, funding promising CSU students and faculty, and supporting biotechnology education and research across the 23 CSU campuses. It is a personal mission of mine to smash the myth of "the right academic pedigree." Biotechnology changes so rapidly that it is extremely limiting to ask students to chart an exact career path, focus on a particular technique, or build a defined technical skill-set. My career advice? Stay agile by keeping your mind open, exploring your own interests, and working alongside excellent colleagues on hard problems.

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