A pharmaceutical scientist is a challenging and rewarding career, so if they enjoy science and would like to develop their drugs and medications, then they may succeed. These professionals are responsible for researching, designing, and experimenting with new medications to sell to pharmaceutical companies or medical clinics. The proper education, training, and experience are necessary to become eligible for this opportunity.
Who is a pharmaceutical scientist?
Pharmaceutical scientists, or pharmaceutical sciences managers, find, discover, develop and test new pharmaceutical treatments for biotechnology companies and pharmaceutical companies. They work primarily in laboratories testing the interactions between compounds and pathogenic organisms. In addition, pharmaceutical scientists conduct experiments to determine whether these compounds are safe and beneficial for people to take and how they affect the human body.
How does a pharmaceutical scientist work?
Researchers at pharmaceutical companies work in laboratories, designing and testing medications that will cure certain diseases and ailments or relieve pain in the body. Scientists almost always work on a multidisciplinary team with other scientists who specialize in different areas of medicine, engineering, chemistry, biology, etc. Whenever companies have potential drugs to sell to others, as soon as they develop these drugs, they must first conduct the proper research to ensure that they meet government standards and regulations.
Pharmaceutical scientists typically perform the following duties:
- Data collection, analysis, and interpretation regarding the efficacy of medications during preclinical development
- Assisting scientists and other laboratory team members in developing and testing effective medications and treatments for patients to ensure they are safe
- Developing and testing different pharmaceutical compounds with limited side effects and benefits to patients
- The conduct and planning of pharmaceutical experiments and trials to improve our understanding of the efficacy of the medications that have just been developed
- Discovering new ways to use existing medications to treat different types of illnesses or disorders
- Studies into how diseases affect the human body and factors that contribute to their development are some areas to be explored.
- Determining the appropriate dosage amounts and types of new medications that should be prescribed
Learn how to be a pharmaceutical scientist
As a pharmaceutical scientist, they need an understanding of basic biology, chemistry, and anatomy to understand how compounds interact to form effective, safe, and long-lasting drugs treatments and medications. The following steps will guide them to become a successful pharmaceutical scientist:
Graduate with a bachelor’s degree
Several employers may require candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences or a closely related field. In addition, many of these programs may require that they earn a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences after their undergraduate studies. The Master’s degree is not required for all jobs, but they can still stand out as a candidate if they earned a Master’s degree. There should be courses on chemistry, health education and planning, human anatomy and physiology, organic chemistry, health policy, and public health in the bachelor’s degree program to give them the basics of science.
Select a pharmaceutical science field to pursue
Different aspects of the drug development cycle can be emphasized, and they can select the most rewarding aspects, including drug discovery, development, and manufacturing. During the discovery phase, a large portion of one’s time is dedicated to researching the body and how it interacts with other compounds. These studies help they build an idea for a medication. To bring up new medications, development involves creating a set of ingredients that can be used to make them, which is another step forward in the process.
Pharmaceutical scientists spend part of their time in the manufacturing stage. This is when they make the final product of the medication or drug and sell it to pharmaceutical companies or clinics. The scientists in pharmaceutical companies mainly focus on one of these areas or a combination of them. To determine which area is most suited to them in terms of skill set and interests, they have to consider their background and interests.
Gain practical experience
To succeed in their career, they must earn the necessary education to acquire an entry-level position in a laboratory. Moreover, they can maintain a position as an intern during their graduate. It empowers them to understand the workings of a laboratory environment better. In addition, it helps they determine whether they are interested in committing to a full-time position as a pharmaceutical scientist.
The majority of degree programs offer students the opportunity to get college credit for internships, so consider speaking with a professor to see what opportunities are available. They may spend their first few weeks shadowing a pharmaceutical scientist to gain more experience in laboratory operations, how to conduct experiments and how to write reports on their results. To initiate this transition, they will need to spend considerable time training.
Keep on learning
Continue an advanced education if they want to achieve a higher level of responsibility in their role and complete more complex tasks. For example, a doctorate in pharmacy can be obtained after pursuing a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences or completing a master’s degree in pharmaceutical sciences. Depending on the route they choose to pursue, they may pursue this advanced education straight after earning their undergraduate degree.
They may work full time as a pharmaceutical scientist and take classes in the evenings and on weekends. By obtaining these advanced degrees, they will gain a deeper understanding of the pharmaceutical sciences and therefore be more qualified for higher-level roles and be able to conduct scholarly research and teach this course at universities.