About this Author
DBL%20Hendrix%20small.png College chemistry, 1983

Derek Lowe The 2002 Model

Dbl%20new%20portrait%20B%26W.png After 10 years of blogging. . .

Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth, got his BA from Hendrix College and his PhD in organic chemistry from Duke before spending time in Germany on a Humboldt Fellowship on his post-doc. He's worked for several major pharmaceutical companies since 1989 on drug discovery projects against schizophrenia, Alzheimer's, diabetes, osteoporosis and other diseases. To contact Derek email him directly: Twitter: Dereklowe

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In the Pipeline: Don't miss Derek Lowe's excellent commentary on drug discovery and the pharma industry in general at In the Pipeline

In the Pipeline

« ICOS In Pieces? | Main | Injustice »

December 19, 2006

Hi, My Name Is [...]

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Posted by Derek

I've had several inquiries about how the job hunt is going. Actually I'm not expecting a lot of news until well after the first of the year. Many of my lab associate colleagues are getting hired already, which is good to see. But it takes longer to decide to bring on someone in my position, whose duties are both more expensive, in theory more critical, and in practice certainly less well-defined than those of a Master's-level chemist. And, of course, there are just fewer such positions to be had in general.

Still, I'm going to be out today talking with some folks about how eminently employable I am, which is a good start. A number of companies in the area are coming over to check out the sudden release of talent from the Wonder Drug Factory - I'm picturing something like a rugby scrum, but with everyone wearing better clothing. I've also had several interesting calls from readers, both in and near the biotech/pharma industry, with opportunities that likely wouldn't have come my way if I hadn't been writing this site over the last few years. I'd hoped that would be the case, and my fellow researchers will appreciate the less-frequent-than-you'd-think experience of being right about something.

Comments (5) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Closing Time


1. Optimist on December 19, 2006 11:53 AM writes...

In the end, it's the wonder drug company that's going to lose, as other companies who are wise enough would be eager to lap up the sudden bonus of smart chemists such as yourself. To each his own desserts.

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2. Hap on December 19, 2006 1:58 PM writes...

I hope that your job search goes well.

P.S. Congratulations on your new site troll - a sure sign of success in the blogging world. You and your family must be so proud...

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3. eugene on December 19, 2006 7:49 PM writes...

Trolls are nothing compared to the people sending you malicious emails (a.k.a. braindead Trudeauites). They don't deserve reason in return if they resort to that (at least not from me).

By the way, the title of this post, is reminiscent of a white rapper known as Slim Shady as it is the title of his most famous song. Am I correct in assuming you don't regularly watch MTV?

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4. Derek Lowe on December 19, 2006 9:48 PM writes...

Nope, Eugene, that wasn't what I was thinking of - just those little adhesive ID tags you get at meetings. I pretty much stopped trying to keep up musically about nine or ten years ago, and my rap knowledge is especially thin.

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5. anon on December 20, 2006 6:16 PM writes...

Derek is definately not the Eminem type.

I'd say about half the associates are still on the market, but some are just holding out for better offers. Hopefully that will get sorted quickly. All of the companies which have made offers seem to be pushing for a response by early Jan at the latest without much flexibility, which means that a bunch of us won't be in the running for companies which are just starting to look at candidates in 2007. Even though some are getting impatient, I have heard that we are still doing much better than biology or DRT.

As a limo driver for one of the companies said to me when I was interviewing the first time (2001), there is a place for everyone and it is just a matter for you to find it. (Some of these guys are retired engineers and other professionals that are just doing this to keep away boredom; it is worth talking with them if they are receptive to the idea and most of the time they are.)

I heard from a fellow associate that yesterday was somewhat chaotic as Derek suggested. I hope that the PhDs start to have some luck soon, as most are still on the market.

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