• Question: Do you think Pharmaceutical Scoence is a good area of science to enter?

    Asked by 425bera46 to Colin, John, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 12 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: John Wenger

      John Wenger answered on 12 Nov 2014:

      Absolutely! You need to be interested in chemistry and biology for this subject. We do a great course in UCC called the Chemistry of Pharmaceutical Compounds. For further info see this link:
      There is a very healthy job market and the jobs are interesting – lots of lab work. Note that this is quite different to pharmacy where you are trained to work as a pharmacist and would probably end up working a shop.


    • Photo: Tríona O'Connell

      Tríona O'Connell answered on 12 Nov 2014:

      It’d give you a great grounding in chemistry which has plenty of applications even outside drug development, so that’d be pretty great.
      Pharmaceutical development is more than just the chemistry too, you need to have an idea of biochemistry and how a compound might interact with something as complex as a whole human. The legislation for controlling pharmaceuticals is interesting too, the quality control that goes into the manufacture of each drug is very tightly controlled and if you’re more interested in stats and batch-to-batch variation, you’d find a good home. There’s also the possiblity of gettting into intersting things like crystallography to determine the structure of the compound you made or chemoinformatics where you use a computer to model the drug and how it might interact with molecules around it

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Hi 425bera46,

      The pharmaceutical industry discovers, develops, makes and sells medicines. Nine of the top ten multinational pharma companies in the world have substantial operations in Ireland. Pharmaceutical companies employ people with a wide range of skills and many are scientists, chemists, biologists and pharmacists. It takes about 12 years for a new medicine to go through the tests that are required before it can be prescribed by doctors. During this time hundreds of different people are involved, and the medicine passes through a large number of tests, designed to check that the medicine will work on the disease it is intended for, and that it will be safe for people to take. As a result of the growth in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and medical device industries in Ireland, you have opportunity to join as a process chemist, development chemist, analytical chemist and research chemist/scientist, in diverse sectors such as the pharmaceutical, food and drink, brewing and fine chemical industries.
      Hope you find it useful.. Just let me know if you want to know more about it. 🙂