New Investigators Forum

Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and investigators in the early stages of their careers will want to attend this free panel session on Tuesday, September 26. This forum will provide insight into career opportunities in multiple segments of the pharmaceutical sciences (academia, “big pharma,” biotech, and government), with an emphasis on both making oneself more “marketable” to potential employers and acquiring critical leadership skills for a successful career.

The session will begin at 6:00 pm with refreshments. The panel discussion will be held from 6:30 pm - 7:30 pm. Attendees are invited to stay for a networking reception from 7:30 pm - 8:00 pm. 

Review the panelist information below and add this free event to your registration.


Kim L.R. Brouwer, PharmD, PhD, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Brouwer is Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education, UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, and Kenan Distinguished Professor in the School of Pharmacy and Curriculum in Toxicology at UNC-Chapel Hill. She received her BS in Pharmacy from Oregon State University, PharmD/Residency training and a PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences/Pharmacokinetics from the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Pharmacy, and postdoctoral training in Pharmacology/Drug Metabolism in the UK College of Medicine, prior to joining the UNC faculty. Dr. Brouwer directs an NIH-funded research program focused on hepatobiliary drug disposition, hepatic transport proteins, and development/refinement of in vitro models to predict in vivo hepatic drug disposition, drug interactions, and hepatotoxicity. Dr. Brouwer was founding Director of the UNC Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics Fellowship Program and is Co-PI of an NIH-funded Postdoctoral T32 Training Program in Clinical Pharmacology. She has mentored 40 clinical pharmacology fellows, 23 postdoctoral fellows/visiting scholars, 32 doctoral students, 23 undergraduate/honors students, and published >200 research papers, reviews and book chapters. Dr. Brouwer is co-inventor of B-CLEAR®, an in vitro method to assess hepatobiliary disposition that correlates with in vivo data, and is co-founder of Qualyst Transporter Solutions, a UNC spin-off company. She is a member of the International Transporter Consortium Steering Committee, the ASCPT Board of Directors, and she is a member of the following editorial advisory boards: Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics, CPT Pharmacometrics & Systems Pharmacology, Clinical and Translational Science, and the AAPS Journal. She served as a member of the NIH Pharmacology Study Section (1998-2002), the NIH Quantitative and Systems Pharmacology Working Group (2010-2012), and co-Chair of the NICHD Pediatric Transporters Working Group (2012-2015). Dr. Brouwer was recognized as an AAPS Fellow in 1998 and received the 2001 PhRMA Foundation Award in Excellence in Pharmaceutics. In 2009, Dr. Brouwer was named a Kenan Distinguished Professor, one of the highest honors bestowed on UNC faculty.

James Dykens, PhD, CEO, EyeCyte Therapeutics Dr. James Dykens pursued his MA research on osmoregulation of estuarine annelids at the College of William and Mary, and his PhD dissertation was on the biochemical photophysiology of symbiotic marine invertebrates, much of which was done on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.  After a post-doc in the Pharmacology Dept at New York University Medical School, he joined the Biology faculty at Grinnell College for 5 years where his research was supported by the National Science Foundation, and the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole.  He then joined the Immunopathology Department at Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals where he used electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy to study mitochondrial free radical production. In 1996, Dr. Dykens joined MitoKor, a start-up company focused on the mitochondrial etiology of neurodegenerative diseases, and in 2006 moved to Pfizer to work on drug-induced mitochondrial dysfunction with colleague Yvonne Will.  For 3.5 years, he led Pfizer’s Investigative Cellular Toxicity group in the UK. Dr. Dykens is currently the Founder of EyeCyte Therapeutics, a start-up company developing a mitochondrial therapeutic for all progressive blinding diseases.  

Scott Obach, PhD, Senior Research Fellow, Pfizer
Scott Obach is a Senior Research Fellow in the Pharmacokinetics, Dynamics, and Drug Metabolism Department at Pfizer in Groton, CT.  He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Brandeis University in 1990, followed by a post-doctoral fellowship in 1990-1992 at the New York State Department of Health Research Laboratories.  In 1992, Scott joined the Drug Metabolism Department at Pfizer Inc. as a Research Scientist.  His research interests include application of in vitro approaches to study drug metabolism, prediction of human pharmacokinetics and drug interactions, mechanisms of cytochrome P450 catalysis and other biotransformation reactions, including generation of chemically reactive metabolites.  He is author or coauthor of over 180 research publications.

Lei Zhang, PhD, Senior Advisor, USFDA
Dr. Lei Zhang is Senior Advisor for Regulatory Programs and Policy and Managing Director for Guidance Modernization Initiative of the Guidance and Policy Team in the Office of Clinical Pharmacology, Office of Translational Sciences, the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (OCP/OTS/CDER/FDA). She received her Ph.D. in Biopharmaceutical Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).  She worked at Bristol-Meyers Squibb Company as a Research Investigator and Preclinical Candidate Optimization Team Leader before she joined the FDA in 2002.  Dr. Zhang has contributed to regulatory guidance development and revision including guidances on drug interactions, bioavailability studies submitted in NDAs or INDs, pharmacokinetics studies in renal impairment patients, clinical pharmacogenomics, clinical pharmacology data to support biosimilarity determination, and clinical pharmacology labeling.  Her research focuses on the science-based regulatory decision-making and applying clinical pharmacology principles through drug development and regulatory approval, in particular drug interactions, drug transporters, pharmacogenomics, specific populations, and PBPK modeling. Dr. Zhang is a member of the International Transporter Consortium (ITC) that published a transporter whitepaper in 2010 and several whitepapers/position papers in 2013.  Dr. Zhang is a member of ASCPT, AAPS and ISSX. She serves/served on numerous committees of these societies.  She is currently Chair of the Development, Regulatory and Outcomes (DRO) Network within ASCPT and serves on the Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Editorial Board. She is also a member of the ISSX Committee of Regulatory Affairs.  Dr. Zhang was named AAPS Fellow in 2013.  She is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, UCSF Schools of Pharmacy and Medicine.  Dr. Zhang has authored and co-authored numerous papers, book chapters, abstracts, and invited presentations in the areas of clinical pharmacology.