Panel Descriptions

Session A

Exploring new paradigms in drug discovery

Drug discovery is moving from a highly centralized structure to a more diverse and collaborative environment. This includes participation by contract research organizations, university laboratories and private research foundations engaged with large and small pharmaceutical companies. This session will discuss the opportunities and benefits associated with such a paradigm, as well as possible limitations and potential solutions that confront contributions in these arrangements.

Session B

The Evolution of the Biotech and Pharmaceutical Sectors: Skills, Attributes and Capacities for the 21st Century

There are several new and dynamic competitive factors and financial conditions in the global landscape that have resulted in the transformation of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. New scientific discoveries, the outsourcing of traditional research and discovery protocols and an evolving regulatory environment, for example, have fundamentally altered both the market and the model for this global sector. As such, the skills, capacities and the very world view of 21st-century professionals in these areas must similarly evolve. The implications of this new environment on how aspiring professionals should prepare for careers in this new space cannot be overstated. This forward-thinking panel will address some of the critical emerging and anticipated competencies and skills required by the sector over the next 20 years. In addition, the panel will assess the implications of these changes in the higher education sector that trains them.

Session C

Future targets and challenges in biopharmaceutical research and drug development

It has been said that the age of the blockbuster medicine is over; that all the low-hanging fruit has been picked. So where will the biopharmaceutical industry focus its future research and development efforts? This panel will examine the factors that will drive the direction of life sciences research and drug development – from the latest scientific advances in biologic research to policies that will encourage or inhibit investment and innovation.

Session D

Partnership opportunities to improve quality and efficiency in Healthcare: Enlisting pharmaceutical, payer and governmental expertise

The panel, composed of leading experts from academia, government and industry, will engage in a wide-ranging discussion of innovative approaches to improving the effectiveness quality and efficiency of the US healthcare system. General topics will include:

  • Current innovations in quality improvement
  • Future applications of personalized medicine
  • Real-world research and public/partnerships/consortia
  • Recognizing incentives and rewards for innovation
  • U.S. healthcare reform: Opportunities to bring expertise to bear

Session E

Pharma Careers in the Coming Decade

A panel of Montclair State University alumni who now work in the pharmaceutical industry will share information about their careers and offer advice for those interested in pursuing careers in pharma. These accomplished Montclair State graduates will focus on the wide range of professional opportunities that the pharmaceutical industy has to offer—opportunities that extend well beyond the traditional perception of researchers in lab coats. Panelists will describe their experiences in an industry that provides opportunities not only in drug development and manufacturing, but also in management, production, sales, quality control, marketing, accounting, information technology, human resources, and more. This session, that will include the opportunity for questions and answers, will be a valuable experience for students who are considering a rewarding career in the ever changing and vibrant pharmaceutical industry.

Session F

Career Networking

The PharmFest Career Networking session is an opportunity for PharmFest panelists, business, academic, and alumni attendees to informally share their own backgrounds and career experiences with Montclair State students. For many students, this will be their first opportunity to learn the value of building a network of professional connections in their chosen field; gain insight on the various career opportunities available for college graduates, and discover the skills and credentials necessary for a successful job search after graduation.