Have you met… Alexandra Rosa?

 Alexandra has a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences. At the beginning of her career, she focused on Research in Neurosciences, enrolling in a Ph.D. within a collaboration between Portugal (Coimbra) and USA (Los Angeles). Then, she did a postdoc first in fundamental research changing later to work in pre-clinical trials. That’s when she did a masters in Pharmaceutical and Parapharmaceutical Industry and started working for ELS Solutions as a regulatory, quality and scientific affairs associate.

Alexandra Rosa at a cafe during our interview!

Alexandra, you have worked in different labs and institutions, with a lot of colleagues, we suppose. Probably you also mentored some young scientists. Can you tell us what are the qualities you appreciate in colleagues and in young scientists?
For colleagues, I think it’s very important to work in a multidisciplinary environment. People with different competencies can complement each other, learn from one another and, importantly, find the best solutions for challenges. Regarding young scientists, the CV is important, but what really makes the difference is the person’s motivation, enthusiasm, and potential!

You changed from the bench to the Pharma Industry. Do you see yourself doing another thing and changing areas?
I’m passionate about Science and Pharma and I really like my current job with no intentions to change at the moment. I do have a hobby that has nothing to do with Science and Pharma and that is Photography!

In your opinion, what will be the breakthrough in science in the next 20 years that will improve our lives and have an impact on everyone?
Probably, you have already heard this answer, but, for me, AI will revolutionize the Biotech and Pharma industries, for sure! For instance, it will contribute to the diagnosis of certain diseases, to the development of new drugs and the match-making process between a product/ service and a client, reducing time to launch.
Why a Ph.D. after the degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences and not going straight to the Pharma industry?
I think it was a combination of luck (because I got Ph.D. funding right after my degree) and of my passion for Science. I don’t regret having done a Ph.D. and a postdoc, they were both extremely enriching experiences and they gave me the tools to be the professional I am today. But the truth is that I have always felt curious about the Pharma Industry! I do have a curious mind. Probably, if I hadn’t chosen Research back then I would still think today: “What if I had done a Ph.D.?”

You hold a degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences, then you did a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences and a MSc in Pharmaceutical and Parapharmaceutical Industry. Do you consider this path essential to be working in regulatory/quality/scientific affairs? What kind of degree/career paths can be taken to reach such jobs?
Not necessarily, I have colleagues with a degree in Biochemistry, for example. But there is fierce competition and the number of qualified people for these jobs are increasing! Timing and perseverance are very important! Also, training in a Pharma company is bound to matter at the entry level: companies are searching for people with already some experience or practical knowledge!

When you have a bad day, what is your strategy to relax?
Again, Photography! And if I can combine Photography with traveling it is even better [laughing].

Here it comes our first post of 2019! Happy new year everyone! 😃

Hope you learn a lot from Alexandra's experience and that it's never late to change our career path, at least we hope it's not 😉 It was amazing to meet her!

Stay tuned for more! As always, share your thoughts with us, who you want to know more about? Which type of career path would be interesting to share with you?