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Oct 22
Bianca Anderson, U.S. Communications
The Path is Not Always Linear

UCB’s Iram Hasan, Senior Manager, Regulatory Affairs, understands the importance of being flexible and attributes the milestones in her career path to this mentality. Read more from Iram on how keeping an open mind led her to launching UCB’s first PharmD fellowship program in Global Regulatory Affairs (GRA).

‘I’ve always had this very flexible and adaptable attitude where I’ve been willing to try new things, and my path hasn’t been linear for that reason. In my last year of pharmacy school, I attended the annual American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) meeting where you can apply for clinical residencies and industry training fellowship programs. Throughout my time in pharmacy school, I prepared for a career as a clinical pharmacist. However, right before the ASHP meeting, I stumbled upon the Rutgers Institute for Pharmaceutical Industry Fellowships (RPIF) program which piqued my interest in what industry had to offer. Come meeting time, I found myself flying between both residency and fellowship interviews. After a rigorous interview process I ended up landing a fellowship in Medical Affairs, and from there I approached my journey as a fellow with an open mind. After completing my fellowship, I became a Medical Science Liaison (MSL) for a couple years and then joined UCB’s home-office Medical Affairs team, wearing multiple hats within Medical for the next four years.

Little did I know, while working in Medical at UCB, my path would shift again. Deb Hogerman, who was Head of U.S. Regulatory Affairs at the time and Mark Hope, Head of GRA, had the idea to start a Regulatory Affairs PharmD fellowship program at UCB to recruit top talent to UCB. When they heard that I was a former PharmD fellow, they requested my assistance with developing the program. Through my journey of putting the nuts and bolts of the program together and my conversations with Deb, I began to realize that this is a direction I want to take my career in. Typically, when working in Regulatory it is a requirement to have many years of experience, but Deb took a chance on me, understanding that the competencies I brought from both my time in the fellowship and within Medical, were transferrable to a career in Regulatory.  

Staying true to UCB’s innovative environment, we decided to take a different approach to the GRA fellowship with the goal of recruiting top talent through the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO). Since 2018, in the short time that this fellowship has been launched, we have had three phenomenal fellows enrolled into our program. Initially I had to pitch the fellowship’s vision on my own to candidates, but now our current fellows can speak to the value of the program directly from their perspectives. UCB’s fellowship program is unique in terms of the experiences it provides, whether it’s the global exposure both within our company and to external health authorities, the autonomy we give to fellows to chart their own path, or the level of hands-on experiences they receive with the support and mentorship of our team of preceptors.

It has been a tremendous and valuable experience leading UCB’s first PharmD fellowship program and recruiting the two fellows we currently have, and a third that has successfully completed the program. Our fellows have demonstrated how much they can bring to the table, and our organization has been excited about the program bringing in energetic and ambitious talent. Likewise, it’s been exciting to see other departments recognize the value of the fellowship and express interest in starting their own program. 

Had I not maintained an open mind along my career journey, I may not have discovered my passion for Regulatory Affairs and guiding fellows through UCB’s program. Overall, I look forward to seeing where this new path is going to take me in terms of my own personal and professional development.’

UCB, in collaboration with the IPhO, offers two-year fellowship programs providing a unique opportunity to work in an environment that is patient-focused, creative, flexible, and agile, with an exciting and promising pipeline. Learn more about UCB’s PharmD Fellowships here.

About Iram Hasan: 
Iram Hasan has worked in the industry for over 10 years from Medical Affairs to her more recent transition to Regulatory as Senior Manager in Regulatory Therapeutic Sciences. She serves as the Fellowship Director for the Global Regulatory Affairs PharmD Fellowship program, an accelerated industry training program for PharmD graduates. She is passionate about being a contributor to UCB’s patient value strategy in both her work in bringing novel medicines to the patients UCB serves and in developing top talent to do the same. 

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