Pharmaceutical Research Scientist

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A research scientist in pharmaceuticals can conceptualize new drugs and the possibility of new drug creations for generic and branded products. The research scientist is responsible for the development and trial level during testing in animals and humans.

Description of the research scientist role:

In this role, you will develop new drug delivery dosage forms including all aspects of preformulation and formulation development activities including:


  • Making batches for conducting stability studies as per guidelines.
  • Carrying out packaging development.
  • Carrying out analytical method development or to assist analytical research teams, whenever it is required.
  • Maintaining all equipment and records.
  • Writing and issuing product development reports.
  • Developing specifications and other documentation.
  • Conducting literature and patent searches to identify appropriate formulation approach and design strategy.
  • Assisting in technology transfer from R&D to production.
  • Providing manufacturing support for established products.
Education requirements include:
  • Master's degree, PhD, or equivalent in Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Engineering, or related area.
  • PhD with minimum of two years' pharmaceutical industrial experience.
  • MS with minimum of eight years' industrial experience in solids dosage form formulation.
  • Sophistication in IVIVC software, equipment instrumentation, and statistical programs such as DOE experimental design.
Other skills and knowledge requirements:
  • A working knowledge of pharmaceutical ingredients, manufacturing processing equipment, and testing equipment.
  • The ability to coordinate multiple drug delivery or dosage form development projects.
  • Knowledge of FDA guidelines.
  • Understanding of experimental design using statistical techniques.
  • Understanding of chemical and physical properties of active ingredients.
  • Working knowledge of the gross limitations of biological systems with regard to acceptability, tolerance, and toxicity of major classes of chemical compounds and drugs and delivery platform materials.
  • Advanced knowledge of pharmacokinetics as it applies to development of dosage forms.
  • Knowledge in scientific principles and regulatory requirements for pharmaceutical development.
  • Excellent verbal and written skills.
A most recent story about an unlikely research scientist was released in 2008. A gentleman with cancer was taking the regular chemotherapy and radiation treatments. He saw the suffering of others as they went to sit through hours of intravenous drips of strong medicines introduced into the system to kill cancer cells. The therapy not only killed cancer cells, but also good cells. He thought there must be another way. So he set up a little lab in his garage and there he discovered a new delivery system of nano particles into the system. If it works, it would mean no strong medications into the body and no hours waiting on the delivery to any cell in the body, bad and good. His discovery in his garage meant a giant leap which was light years ahead of cancer research. His delivery system has been approved for testing on animals and in two years it will be approved for human testing by the FDA. Normally this kind of approval takes a decade or more to get FDA testing approval. This is why his discovery has moved cancer ahead by leaps and bounds. This gentleman does not have a college degree and has never worked in medicine, so the press asked him what made him think he could find a breakthrough treatment? His answer was simply, ''No one told me I couldn't.''

While you are considering a position as research scientist, remember it takes motivation from the real-life experiences people have who are waiting on your discovery to make life better.
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 conducting  drugs  FDA  master of science  ingredients  Ph.D.  scientists  dosage forms  methods