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Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development [Paperback]

Toby Freedman
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

28 May 2009
As the world of biotechnology has grown in leaps and bounds, so too have the career opportunities. But the choices can be daunting. What types of jobs are available? How do you get your foot in the door? What will your job entail if you become a Preclinical Project Manager or a Process Scientist ? What s the difference between biotech and pharma? Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development provides a comprehensive and systematic overview of careers in the life science industry, with all their ups and downs. The author, Toby Freedman, Ph.D., has conducted interviews with hundreds of key players in the industry, who provide first hand explanations of their day to day roles and responsibilities, and offer key insights into how they landed those jobs in the first place. Careers in everything from discovery research to venture capital are covered in detail. Each chapter includes valuable sections on preparing yourself for a prospective career: educational requirements and personality characteristics needed; recommendations of books, magazines, and Web site resources; and issues to consider regarding salary and compensation. The book also includes interviewing and job searching tips, as well as suggestions on writing a resume specifically for industry. Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development is an essential guide for science graduates and medical, business, legal, high tech or engineering professionals. With discussions of job security, future trends, and potential career paths, even those already working in industry will find helpful information on how to take advantage of opportunities available within their own companies and elsewhere. This book will help you make wiser and more informed decisions about what role you would like to play in the biotechnology and drug development industry. Contents PART I: INDUSTRY OVERVIEW: LANDING A JOB IN INDUSTRY 1. The Pros and Cons of Working in Industry: Why Make the Transition? 2. How to Excel in Industry: What to Expect and What is Expected of You 3. So You Want a Job in Biotechnology and Drug Development...: Finding Your Way In 4. The Biotechnology Industry Resume: Putting Your Best Foot Forward 5. The Informational Interview: Researching Your Options 6. The Biotechnology and Drug Development Industry: An Overview PART II: CAREER OPPORTUNITIES IN BIOTECHNOLOGY AND DRUG DEVELOPMENT COMPANIES 7. Discovery Research: The Idea Makers 8. Preclinical Research: The Bridge between Discovery Research and Clinical Development 9. Project Management: The Product Development Orchestra Conductors 10. Clinical Development: Developing New Products to Benefit Human Health 11. Medical Affairs: Working in the Post Approval World 12. Regulatory Affairs: The Final Challenge Passing the FDA Test 13. Quality: Consistently Making Good Products 14. Operations: Ensuring that Processes Run Smoothly and Efficiently 15. Bio/Pharmaceutical Product Development: The Chemistry Has to Be Good 16. Life Science Information Management: The Melding of Computer and Biological Sciences 17. Business and Corporate Development: Why Big Deals Really Are a Big Deal 18. Marketing: Communicating a Message to Customers 19. Sales: Generating Revenue and Educating Customers 20. Technical Applications and Support: Getting Paid to Be the Expert 21. Corporate Communications: Communication between External and Internal Worlds 22. Executive Leadership and Entrepreneurship: The Business Builders 23. Law: Providing Legal Advice and Protecting Property 24. Health Care Finance: Venture Capital, Institutional Investing, Investment Banking, and Equity Research 25. Management Consulting: The Strategy Advisors 26. Recruiting: The Business of Matchmaking Index

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Product details

  • Paperback: 409 pages
  • Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press (28 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879698802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879698805
  • Product Dimensions: 25.4 x 2.3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 462,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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In the preface to [this book], author Toby Freedman states that her intention is to assist talented people in their search for satisfying employment in the life sciences industry and suggests that the book is designed to serve as a resource for the transition from academics into industry. She is president of Synapsis Search in Portola Valley, Calif., and an executive search recruiter. Without question, the newly published career guidebook accomplishes this goal. However, to dismiss the book as a resource specifically for so limited a target audience would be a disservice not only to novice professionals already at work within the biopharmaceutical industry but also to established professionals in the field. Even curious individuals not contemplating a career transition will find Freedman s text an interesting exploration of the biopharmaceutical industry and will, in fact, come away with a surprisingly rich understanding of where drugs come from. From page one, it is clear that Freedman understands how little time most readers can afford to dedicate to even well-constructed books of this type. The book is consistently and meticulously organized in such a way as to facilitate the maximum transfer of key information. Each section and subsection is bullet-point driven, yet Freedman s just the facts approach is sincere and engaging. --Chemical & Engineering News

[T]his book should be available in all university departments rather than held in a central library and both Honours students and PhD candidates should be introduced to it through a lecture format. It s a tremendously valuable resource. --Australian Biochemist

Since I m always interested in career development, and biotech is a field I don t know enough about, I thought I d check [this book] out. I must admit I was highly impressed with the material...The first 6 chapters of this book provide general career advice, giving an overview of what is expected in the biopharma industry, what it takes to succeed, how to write a resume, network, etc. Most of the advice applies to all jobs, but some is specific to science or these industries. The advice is very good, and includes lots of details, examples, and resources for further information. Freedman provides a balanced overview, pointing out both the good and bad points of this industry. --American Chemical Society Careers Blog

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great overview 19 Jun 2011
By samy
I have worked in the academic field for 6 years and plan to move into the industry. This book is very well structured and does a great job in giving an overview of what is actually out there for scientist and how to land the jobs. It's only downside is its orientation towards the american industry, which is of less interest for the european reader.
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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  37 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great biopharma career resource 3 Jan 2008
By Paul Martinetti, MD - Published on Amazon.com
Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development by Toby Freedman, Ph.D. ([...]) is an invaluable tool for anyone pursuing a new career or currently working in biopharma.

Applying for a job is a job in itself. When starting this process, it is difficult to remember everything that needs to be researched and considered for this important life decision. Executive support Web sites like TheLadders.com offer helpful pieces of information, but in this book Dr. Freedman seems to have included everything the job-seeker needs.

The writing style is direct and personal, allowing for quick and enjoyable reading. By the end of Chapter 3, the reader can have a personalized list of to-do items that will increase confidence, and set a realistic expectation of the job seeking experience. Chapter 5 covers the Informational Interview concept. It is a key step in networking that I first learned after paying a career consultant $3,000 after I left clinical practice. Networking is how many people gain entry into biopharma. Part 1 of this book prepares the reader to start networking effectively.

Part II of the book is chaptered by career area over the life cycle of the biopharma product. The reader will gain a clear understanding of each step and how they depend on each other. Chapters are full of definitions and detailed explanations of each role, as well as educational and experience requirements for candidates. Each chapter creates a day-in-the-life-of-this-job picture with pros and cons of the job. Section titles such as "Are You a Good Candidate for Regulatory Affairs?" help readers match position requirements with their personal traits. There is even a list of personal characteristics in each chapter to help rule out a position.

I read the career chapters out of order, starting with the career paths I had always intended to explore. Within the first few paragraphs of each chapter, I was able to decide if this position could work for me. Some of the positions that have always sounded like a fit for me by their name were not even close after gaining the full picture.

Relative salaries and potential career path / job security coverage is realistic and helpful. There is equal weight of discussion across positions from Basic Research roles to CEO and from Discovery stage to Commercial Operations. It even includes Law, Recruiting, and Consulting roles, and advice for non-scientists.

Dr. Freedman interviewed more than 200 people working in biopharma to write this book. In a few hours, readers can leverage this extensive experience for their career planning.

Paul Martinetti, MD
Network of Researchers, Doctors, and Scientists
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finding where you fit inside biotech 20 April 2008
By Audrey Erbes - Published on Amazon.com
Having worked in biopharma marketing and business development management for over 30 years, I am often asked by young professionals working in biotech R&D what positions they might pursue successfully on the business and marketing side of the business. I feel comfortable sharing what the roles, rewards and expectations are for business and marketing functions but don't have the background of actually moving from R&D myself to understand their current positions and the questions they should be asking. In the future, I will now recommend Toby Freedman's book to help them find the position that best fits their background, skills and temperment. I was especially impressed with the extremely valuable information about career ladders inside functions in all divisions as well as great insights where those with "Research bench" experience can move successfully. This book is not just for newly graduated life scientists but for those desiring a transition after years in a function. I was amazed with the breadth and depth of the myriad career paths covered and quality and accuracy of those positions I hadn't expected the author would have understood as well as research.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Way to Learn about Careers in Biopharma! 11 Mar 2010
By Phillip Calvin - Published on Amazon.com
This book is so multifaceted. It describes very clearly how the various divisions and departments of biopharma fit together. You learn the requirements for each career. You learn about suggested personal traits, comparative salaries, job security, do's and don'ts, pros and cons of each type of position, and how to switch careers within biopharma. You read lists of personal attributes which would contraindicate a particular career choice. You read about a typical day-in-the-life of various positions....

I've read or perused six Biopharma career books, and this is the best one I've found by far! I can't imagine how it could be any more comprehensive, helpful, and easy-to-read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Super Guide to Careers in the Biopharmaceutical Industry 14 Jan 2009
By Nancy Gadol - Published on Amazon.com
Toby Freedman has written one of the most thorough, well thought out, and helpful guides to obtaining careers in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries (biopharma). The book begins with an excellent overview of the industry, tips on how to break in, a list of the skills needed to succeed in industry, and tips on writing a resume. Nineteen careers are then discussed; the job descriptions and the personality traits and skills needed to be successful in each position are based on interviews with over two hundred professionals in the business.

Chapters include a description of different tracks within each occupation, roles and responsibilities, a typical day, salary and compensation, pros and cons of the job, traits shared by successful people in the field, career potential, experience and education needed, and paths to enter each career. The steps in product development managed under each position are illustrated in diagrams and common career paths leading to each position and subsequent positions to which one can advance are shown in flow charts. One of the best surprises was the pithy statements derived from the interviews and highlighted in boxes next to the text, eg, "It's far better to join a mediocre company with a great boss than a great company with a crappy boss," placed next to a paragraph with the heading: Choose your mentor, not the company.

Last, but not least, every chapter ends with a terrific list of recommended training, professional societies, and resources. This is an essential career guide not only for those wanting to break into biopharma, but also for those in the industry wanting to move up or make a change.

Nancy Gadol, PhD
Veteran Biopharma Scientist and Writer
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive overview of the biopharma industry 7 July 2008
By Lisa M. Balbes - Published on Amazon.com
The first 6 chapters of this book provide general career advice, giving an overview of what is expected in the biopharma industry, what it takes to succeed, how to write a resume, network, etc. The second, and major, part of the book breaks the drug discovery enterprise down into its various stages, describes the role of each step in the process, and details positions available at each stage. The positions described range from those that require a PhD or MD, to those that are accessible to those with a college degree, and so on. Freedman describes the types of positions, typical job titles and career paths, roles and responsibilities, typical tasks, and relative salaries and other compensation. She also describes in detail the pros and cons of each field, how to excel in the field, and what personal characteristics are most often found in those who succeed in that field. She predicts where the field is going and what job prospects will be like, and also talks about how to get started in each field. Finally, each chapter ends with recommendations for training, professional societies, and other resources.

The entire volume is well organized, with important points in callouts, and many clarifying diagrams.

Anyone who reads this book will come away with an understanding of the drug discovery industry, and how complex it really is. Hopefully, they will also come away with several ideas of places they might fit into that industry, and the resources and inspiration to follow them through. Overall, a very thorough book, and highly recommended.
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