What originally attracted you to your field?
My interest in healthcare began with my enthusiasm for science, particularly biology and chemistry. At first, I was merely excited by the scientific knowledge I gained from these courses. From basic anatomy to the physiological processes allowing the body to function–the wonders of the human body never failed to fascinate me. I started thinking specifically about pharmacy in high school after encounters with various medical professionals due to my relative’s medical needs, through which I came to realize the importance of pharmacy and pharmacists in their overall medical care.
While majoring in chemistry at Stanford University, I attended various symposiums for drug discovery research and joined the pre-pharmacy society, where I spoke with professionals in the field and pharmacy student mentors to learn more about the field and profession. The opportunity to be involved in patients’ medication management and education increased my passion for the field.
How did you come to the decision to pursue your degree at USC? Why did you decide to pursue a PharmD/MS in Regulatory Science dual degree?
I chose the pharmacy program at USC for its academic rigor and dedication to providing its students with various experiences to help enrich their pharmacy education. Opportunities such as the areas of concentration, dual degree programs, and volunteering experiences throughout the neighborhood allow students to develop into well-rounded pharmacists.
After starting pharmacy school, I discovered that there are other opportunities for pharmacists aside from the traditional roles. One such example is in the pharmaceutical industry, in which pharmacists’ roles span the product lifecycle. My interest in pharmacy comes from my desire to impact patients’ lives through the management and education of medications. On a similar note, my passion for regulatory science stems from my aspiration to contribute to the delivery of new drug products that will target the current unmet medical need and enhance patients’ lives on a global scale.
Now that your time at USC is coming to an end, what is one of your favorite memories of your time here? How do you feel your experiences at USC have prepared you for this next chapter in your life?
One of my favorite memories as a student at USC is the time I traveled to Seattle to present my research on global regulatory dissonance in the review of new vaccine applications at the American Pharmacists Association conference. This was an amazing opportunity, as I was able to attend enlightening sessions, speak with professionals in the field, and discuss my research with other conference attendees.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of regulatory science. Has the pandemic solidified your decision to pursue a career in regulatory affairs?
The accelerated development and distribution of vaccines during the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the importance of industry in public health. In particular, the role of regulatory science and of regulatory authorities in the meticulous yet swift preparation, review, and approval of these products was crucial in delivering the vaccines to the public within a timely manner. Observing the role of industry in this setting has further strengthened my desire for a career in this field.
Can you tell us about your post-graduation plans? What are you most looking forward to?
After graduation, I plan on working in the pharmaceutical industry as a regulatory affairs professional. So far, I have participated in various projects and externships in the industry, including at Amgen and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and I look forward to being able to apply what I have learned in class and through the various experiences.
Do you have any advice to the students who are following in your footsteps?
I would encourage the students to explore as much as possible during their time at USC. There are many more career choices for pharmacists aside from the more well-known roles, and USC offers many opportunities to explore these different options.