The West Coast Chapter of the Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) held its 4th Annual Women in Life-Science event on August 22, 2019 on the Genentech campus in South San Francisco. Skyline College students were invited to be a part of it and worked on their networking skills in preparation. After the event, students stayed to network with sponsors and speakers. Skyline College student, Catherine Capitana (pictured right) is shown speaking with Sangita Ghosh, the Vice President of Pharmaceutical Development and Manufacturing at Spruce Biosciences (pictured right). Catherine got some takeaways about working in biotechnology stating, “I got some good advice about having a can-do attitude during the interview, and that we should align ourselves with the business goals. We should find a mentor who can coach and guide us through our career. I especially like the advice that you have ambition and you should follow your ambition, to not be the harsh voice in the room that can hold yourself back.” The biotechnology students also in attendance were Pricsilla Sanchez-Pena and Christine Ann Aquino.
During the event, the panel talked about their personal background, how they got their start in biotechnology, and their positions in their biopharmaceutical companies. The major topic they focused on was being a woman in biotechnology and being in charge of a biotechnology company. While being a woman may have some disadvantages in the workforce, they all emphasized that women can do executive level work and that more women should be in leadership positions in biotechnology. Dr. Ghosh, a head of manufacturing herself, shared her stories of realizing how deserving she is as a woman to have a leadership role in the workforce.
Parenteral drugs are those that are administered elsewhere in the body than the mouth and alimentary canal. While the manufacture of drugs is an exacting science, drugs that go directly into the blood have stricter requirements in order to be safe. The PDA is a professional organization that connects people, science, and regulation of the manufacture and marketing of parenteral drugs. This group works directly with federal regulators and drug companies to ensure current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP). Members of the PDA publish journals, monographs and hold training sessions in order to ensure that its members who work for pharmaceutical companies are producing safe and effective drugs.
Article by Christine Aquino | Photo by Nick Kapp