PDA News Story we 1

PDA Chapter at KGI Fosters Professional Development and Strengthens Industry-Student Ties

The Parenteral Drug Association (PDA) Southern California Student Chapter is a student-run organization that was founded at Keck Graduate Institute in 2012 with a mission to develop future leaders in the applied life sciences, establish a culture of life-long learning and professional development, and foster stronger relationships between students and pharmaceutical and biotechnology professionals. To carry out its mission, the organization sets two-year term goals, mirroring the length of a master’s program at KGI. The purpose of this strategy is to ensure continuity in the pursuit of goals and overall organizational growth while staying aligned with the vision of its parent chapter, the PDA Southern California regional chapter.

The KGI chapter currently comprises four functional teams: the Nexus Journal team, the Scholarship Project team, the Industry Advisory team, and the Events & Logistics team. Students from both the School of Applied Life Sciences (SALS) and the School of Pharmacy (SOP) are represented in the chapter’s student membership base and functional teams.

Ifeanyi Emole, 2015-2016 student chapter president shared his thoughts on the importance of the PDA chapter: “Where building future leaders of the bioscience world is concerned, professional development is paramount. Through the programs the chapter manages and the events associated with it, the promise of strengthening the link between the industry and KGI students is delivered, and in parallel, chapter officers, project leaders, and team members are presented with the opportunity to engrain leadership into their graduate school experience here at KGI.”

In review, the 2015-2016 year has been a very eventful year for PDA.  A few members had the opportunity to attend the 5th Annual Industry Summit & Exhibitor Showcase, organized jointly by the SoCal PDA Chapter & Device AllianceTM, held in Costa Mesa, CA. Soon after, a group of 20 members, led by Emole, visited the Gilead Sciences San Dimas site where AmBisome® is manufactured. The visit was a comprehensive tour of the bio-manufacturing operation, drug substance packaging, and site logistics.

The 2015 calendar year ended with the chapter’s fall semester flagship event, the 2015 Quality-Regulatory-Intellectual Property (QR-IP) event, where distinguished industry guests covered topics spanning pharmaceutical quality systems development, stem cell regulatory affairs, and the biotechnology intellectual property landscape. Of this event, William Sietsema, one of the industry guest speakers, said: “The PDA student chapter QR-IP event was a great success. The students received some practical education on current real-world issues in quality, regulatory, and intellectual property, and the speakers had an opportunity to interact with the students and meet some of the next generation talent from KGI. It was a valuable experience for all concerned.”

Earlier this year, the chapter then hosted the 2016 Beyond Management Consulting: Technical Consulting in Life Sciences event, where topics such as technology transfer, combination product development, and GMP Upgrades were discussed from the perspectives of biotechnology industry consultants. The networking session, a staple at events organized by the chapter, saw more interaction between the speakers and student members. 

In forward-looking fashion, chapter officers have met recently with Brian Underhill, president of the Southern California PDA professional chapter, to plan strategically for the next two academic years and revisit milestones reached during the 2015-2016 academic year. The upcoming year will see expanded initiatives for some of the project teams in areas of industry mentorship, long-term scholarship programming, and journal publications.

Learn more about the KGI PDA chapter, its events, and projects teams.