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Sep 10
Casey Stephan, U.S. Communications
PharmD Fellows Experience It All with UCB’s Fellowship Program

UCB is committed to investing in the future generation of leaders. Established in 2017, the UCB Global Regulatory Affairs (GRA) PharmD Fellowship Program, a collaboration with the Industry Pharmacists Organization (IPhO), was designed to provide PharmD graduates with the opportunity to learn and experience all aspects of regulatory affairs under the mentorship of experienced preceptors.

The fellowship is aimed at growing top regulatory talent for the future. Earlier this summer, first year Fellow, Nick James, joined second year Fellow, Howraa Alasker, in the 2-year rotational program located at our Atlanta campus. While the two PharmD graduates did not have prior experience working within UCB, it did not take long for the fellows to gain interest once they looked further into the unique aspects of both the program and UCB’s Patient Value story. 

“I remember in my first interview I was immediately drawn to UCB’s commitment to not just patients, but to people in general. It’s very clear that the most important thing here is to impact at least one person’s life…the experiences I have had at UCB over the past year have solidified my interest in regulatory affairs,” Howraa said. 

Howraa always knew she wanted to take a nontraditional path in her career after receiving her PharmD in 2019 and a certification in biopharmaceutical industries and healthcare management. While her experience in community practice provided value to her career, she says she has already realized that she is able to impact more people within the pharmaceutical industry, comparatively. For Howraa, feeling connected to the patients she was providing for was the most important aspect in deciding on a fellowship program. 

Similarly, Nick was attracted to the rotational aspect of the fellowship in addition to the patient-centered mission of UCB. Nick originally thought he would continue to gain experience working within a hospital, but once he learned about the opportunities in which he could impact more people from within an industry setting, he decided to reapply his skills in regulatory affairs. Through the rotational design of the fellowship, Nick will not only become knowledgeable about all aspect of regulatory affairs, but also other important areas of the industry. 

Throughout their program, the Fellows will complete various rotations including with regulatory therapeutic sciences (RTS), labeling, advertising and promotions, chemistry manufacturing and controls (CMC), regulatory submissions, and a four-month elective rotation at the end. These rotations aim to provide Fellows with exposure and experience in all areas of regulatory affairs. 

In his first rotation in RTS, Nick has already begun to virtually work on a new drug application, regulatory strategy plans, and landscape research for a product in rare disease.  

A little over a year into her experience with UCB, Howraa is completing her second rotation in CMC in which she has already engaged in a series of impactful projects and contributed to submissions of investigations for pipeline products. 

“The most fulfilling part about this program is how each day I feel like we are pushing science forward as we are truly impacting patients’ lives. It is so important to always keep the focus on the idea that our central role is to be a patient advocate,” Howraa said. 

UCB’s GRA PharmD Fellowship Program aims to provide each Fellow with a valuable experience within a creative, flexible, and innovative environment working under experienced leadership. 

For more information about UCB’s GRA Fellowship Program or how to apply view this program guide.


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