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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Students learn about the realities of working in the pharmaceutical industry

Published: 15 September 2015
Ria Evans and Nathan Hall of TGMP

Biological Sciences undergraduates now have an opportunity to gain a unique insight into the pharmaceutical industry by learning firsthand about how breakthrough drugs are discovered and developed. The new Bioscience and Business third year research project challenges students to evaluate the biological mechanisms behind a disease and identify potential targets for new drugs.

Emily Ho, Ariane Cibrario and Luke Pembroke – Gensolve Pharmaceuticals

Run for the first time in the 2014-15 academic year, the module started with seminars on basic principles of drug discovery and ‘drug pipelines’, then teams of students focused on developing a new drug and bringing their idea to market. Throughout, they were advised and supported by external professionals on topics such as patent law and intellectual property, clinical trials and marketing. Finally, team members presented their plans to an expert panel including the Chief Scientific Officer of a pharmaceutical company and received valuable feedback.

The students came up with ‘drugs’ to treat pancreatic cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease and produced supporting materials including trade names and packaging, information sheets, websites with patient testimonials, an article in a popular scientific magazine and an information video.

Roberto Rossini, Charlie Allen, George Taylor-Walker, Lloyd Ellis – Fi

“Many of our students are interested in careers in the pharmaceutical industry,” says Co-ordinator Dr Jessica Teeling. “Successfully completing this module will give them the edge in the highly competitive jobs market.”

Students commented:

“It was a unique learning experience and we learned teamwork, presentation etc.”

“While I was applying for graduate jobs, companies were very interested in this aspect of my degree and I actually got an internship from this experience.”

“The workshop on marketing was especially good, it’s a topic we would not have learned about in our degrees.”

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