College of Pharmacy hosts Pfizer panel

Ferris pharmacy students learn the duties of Pfizer employees

The Industry Pharmacists Organization hosted a Pfizer panel last week to introduce students to different pharmacy careers.

On Nov. 29, students were given the opportunity to watch the presentation either from The Hagerman Pharmacy Building or via Zoom. The presentation introduced individuals who work at Pfizer and the positions they hold. This was one of several sessions held by the IPhO to help students learn about different career opportunities.

P3 Raman Srinivasan, a third-year student of the College of Pharmacy, is the current treasurer of IPhO. Srinivasan explained when the initial contact with Pfizer was made and he explained why the IPhO chose this event.

“So first and foremost, I was the president this time last year of the IPHO, Industry Pharmacists Organization, and we are still considered a semi-fledgling organization on campus,” Srinivasan said. “As a result, we wanted to kind of make a name for ourselves and also kind of have a distinct identity in the CLP in the College of Pharmacy.”

Pfizer is a pharmaceutical company that has locations across both the U.S. and the U.K. They focus on clinical studies for medications and vaccines to determine which are effective at treating certain health problems. There are a variety of jobs that Pfizer offers for pharmacists, and each panelist from the Pfizer panel described their duties for their position. Each panelist’s duties differed from the other panelists, allowing attendees to learn about three different job opportunities.

The presentation was led by Dr. Rick Dettloft, who introduced each of the three panelists from Pfizer. Each panelist provided information referring to their background, including education and experience, before presenting their current position with Pfizer.

Dr. Joe Driscoll is a Ferris alumnus and currently works as a clinical lead for a study on seeing the effectiveness of using Apixaban to prevent pediatric blood clots. Driscoll’s position includes a range of different tasks. These include writing protocols, overseeing the study, resolving issues that may occur and providing guidance and leadership to the study team.

Dr. Frank Lobeck is also a clinical study team lead. Lobeck attended the London School of Economics, from which he received his Master of Science. Lobeck’s responsibilities include overseeing study implementation teams that are multinational and multidisciplinary. He also works on process improvement teams.

Dr. Adam Craig is a supply chain lead and project manager at Pfizer. Craig attended Purdue for his doctorate in pharmacy. This was followed by completing his post doctorate fellowship for Clinical Supply Strategy Management at Pfizer. Craig’s job includes manufacturing, logistics and helping with the dosing of the products being used in clinical studies. Currently, Craig is part of a project which deals with the mRNA flu vaccines. He explained that the project is similar to the COVID-19 vaccine.

P2 Thomas Campbell, a second-year student of the College of Pharmacy, is the current IPhO president. Campbell took over as president while the Pfizer panel was in the process of being set up. Campbell explained what the hope was for students to get out of the experience of attending the panel. 

“I know there’s kind of like a generalization of thinking that they just work in like, you know, Walgreens retail pharmacy [and] just work behind the counter, but there’s a lot more than just that,” Campbell said. “This is just showing one branch of what type of pharmacy that students can really go into. So just to let students know that there’s more to pharmacy… than just working retail by an account.”

When the presentation was over, students and panelists were given the option to ask questions regarding the studies that the panelists presented, as well as any information regarding their positions.

This is not the last Pfizer panel event that the IPhO has planned. Srinivasan explained that, while there is not a date set for the next panel, the IPhO plans to have another panel sometime, possibly next semester.