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48 March 2014 Tablets & Capsules Ever since the pharmaceutical sci- ences became the basis for pharma- ceutical development, industry rec- ognized its need for scientists with a strong foundation and who fully un - derstood traditional practices. That view is changing, however, and today we are moving toward a more dy - namic pharmaceutical environment. Advances in personalized medicine, for example, will revolutionize how products are developed. That, in turn, will transform how medicines are taken. Just how far in the future these transformations lay is unknown, but there is no doubt they will come. In addition, the rate at which industry is gaining "technological fit- ness" has increased, and universities are keeping pace by producing grad- uates with the technical competence to work in state-of-the-art laborato- ries. It appears, however, in the fore- seeable future, that to advance phar- maceutical development, we must do more than just push the fundamental principles of existing technologies. Rather, we need industrial scientists who have expanded their skill sets into new fields, which is what the coming pharmaceutical innovations will require. A strong scientific and engineering background will no longer suffice. In fact, universities can no longer offer curricula that convey only "classical" knowledge and applied sciences. They must prepare today's graduates to be effective and accountable in the areas where indus- try is moving. Along with pushing the techno- logical frontier, fresh graduates will need to develop competence through formal training in important extra- scientific areas, such as project man- agement, entrepreneurship, and the impact of regulation on business. These skills will allow industrial sci- entists to become leaders in the newly emerging/converging fields. With today's manufacturing models on the verge of change, the challenge is to prepare students to work both in the current and future environments of the pharmaceutical industry. As job descriptions change, how can academic programs adapt to ensure students are better prepared to fill these new positions? It's not a new question, and over the last few years, others in academia and indus- try have addressed it. In an October 2013 post to an AAPS blog, Shelly Durazo wrote, "Universities are noto- rious for teaching theory and scien- tific thinking, but, in my experience, they fail to provide real-world exam- ples." Durazo's post is both rare and welcome because it offers a student's perspective. In order to be adequately prepared, grad students' research must focus on more than just the funda- mentals. It must include some compo- nents of direct industrial value. Build on success Historically, the link between industry and academia was clear: Industry provided the funding to sup- port academic research, which was typically—and still is—more funda- mental than the work done in indus- trial labs. This model has been used a long time but—remarkably—it has never been particularly successful. Furthermore, it's unlikely to become any more successful in the future. Let's recognize that we are entering an era in which academic activities support industrial objectives, not the reverse. It's a considerably different approach, with the potential to bene- fit all involved. I propose that we build on the suc- cess of a traditional industry-academia collaboration: the intern-/externship. In the overwhelming majority of cases, both the company and the uni- versity benefit from these exchanges. So why not use the internship con- cept as a reference point to meet the challenges that today's students will face in the workplace? By establishing extended intern- ships (or externships), industry and academia would truly align their research objectives and interact regu- larly, plus students could work in a results-driven environment. This approach would capitalize on the natural synergy between the acade- mic and industrial researcher in the most real-world, or tangible, manner. It would also help academics learn more about the needs of industry and enable them to adapt their programs. Along with coursework and funda- mental research, students would get an actual industrial problem to tackle. This offers a twofold return on industry's investment: Companies would get relevant research that per- tains to a specific project or problem, as well as workers trained to address tomorrow's challenges. T&C [Editor's note: To comment on the Back Page, visit www.tabletscap] M. Teresa Carvajal is a faculty member in the Department of Agri- cultural and Biological Engineering and has a Special Appointment to t h e D e p a r t m e n t o f Industrial and Physical Pharmacy at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907. Tel. 765 496 6438. E-mail: tcar- Before joining Purdue, Carvajal worked as a principal scientist at Bayer Pharmaceuticals and as a senior scientist at Hoffman-Roche Phar- maceuticals. She is a member of Tablets & Capsules' Editorial Advisory Board. b a c k p a g e Re-thinking the industry-academia connection o-BP_48_q-Backpage_72 3/5/14 10:37 AM Page 48

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