Frances J. Richmond, PhD

Portrait of Dr. Frances RichmondWhen Frances Richmond started the USC Regulatory Science program back in 1999, she was enthusiastic about the prospects for the program’s success.

“Given that new drugs and medical devices were being developed around the world at record speed, and these products are highly regulated, I knew that the need for regulatory science professionals with razor-sharp skills just had to keep growing,” says Richmond. “This exponential growth continues to create an ever-increasing need for regulatory science professionals who can both advocate for the patient and guide companies through the business, legal, ethical, and marketing complexities of product development and distribution.”

Richmond’s program started by offering an MS in Regulatory Science that follows a curriculum that gives students an understanding of regulatory affairs and product development. In 2008, in response to industry demand, the program added the world’s first Professional Doctorate in Regulatory Science and in 2012 the School established the International Center for Regulatory Science.

“While the Master’s curriculum gives students a tool kit of interdisciplinary skills, our Professional Doctorate goes one step further, offering mid-level executives in-depth training on global strategy, policy studies, advanced business topics, and communication techniques,” explains Richmond.

To make the programs accessible to people at various career stages, Richmond offers students a hybrid learning model, using a mix of traditional classroom, distance learning and field experiences.
“Students can choose from weekend seminars, summer courses, and a variety of distance-learning options. We use recent government reports and current industry literature in our classes, since even the newest textbooks are out of date after a short time,” says Richmond. “We add and remodel courses as necessary to keep pace with changing requirements as the industry evolves.”

Richmond has forged valuable partnerships with pharmaceutical and medical device company executives who advise her, help develop courses and even teach. “It’s amazing that these busy, highly paid people will make time to teach in our program”, says Richmond. “But they love it. And our students get the benefit of their expertise and enthusiasm.”

And when you’re around Frances Richmond, there’s never any shortage of enthusiasm.