What can a career in drug discovery offer me?
You will be working within an extremely fast-paced, stimulating and exciting sector. You could even be on the forefront of medical discovery! The drug discovery industry is usually very well-funded due to its importance within society, allowing you to work on a range of influential, high-quality studies and trials.
A career in this field will allow you to develop as a biomedical scientist whilst gaining vital skills, knowledge and understanding of diseases and how to utilise medicine for certain diseases.
What are some common drug discovery disciplines?
Due to the vast range of subjects and specialities within the field of drug discovery, there are many options that you could venture into, including:
- Cellular biology
- Genomics and Molecular Biology
- Behavioural Pharmacology
- Analytical Chemistry
- Medicinal and Synthetic Chemistry
- Rational Design
How difficult is it to get a job in drug discovery?
Once you have the necessary qualifications and skills, it should be relatively easy to start your drug discovery career.
Creating new drugs is a risky, expensive, and time-consuming businesses. As a result, it can take up to 10 years (sometimes even longer!) to get a new drug on the market. This process often depends on the efforts of thousands of people from a number of different disciplines. For this reason, there are many different career avenues for budding young scientists to choose from.
What's better: working in industry or academia?
The opportunity to do good in the world is a huge motivator for industry and academic scientists alike. There are a few differences between the two fields, though.
The pharmaceutical industry often offers a higher salary due to the fast-paced and potentially hazardous work environment, and some employees prefer these working conditions. On the other hand, working in academia means that you can work more independently and carve out your own niche instead of following a company's strategy and culture.
It completely depends on the individual, but with experience, you should begin to get a clear idea of which working style you prefer.
What are companies looking for in candidates?
- A solid track record
- Good publications
- Great communication
- Leadership skills
One way to build these skills is through attending conferences and talks - be keen and curious, and put yourself out there! You should never regret asking a question about your field of interest; it shows initiative as well as passion and determination.