loader image
M. Rosa Fernandez Pison, University College Dublin
March 7, 2024

I am Rosa Fernandez Pison, from Sevilla, in the south of Spain. I studied Chemistry at the University of Sevilla. I did my final year abroad in the University of York, where I discovered that researching was my passion. In 2019, I moved to Galway to pursue an MSc by Research in the field of bioinorganic chemistry. Currently, I am in my fourth year of the PhD program at University College Dublin, working on organometallic chemistry. My research focuses on designing silver, gold, and copper catalysts for the synthesis of valuable intermediates and drugs using CO2 as a starting material.

I did my placement at Clarochem Ireland in Dublin. Clarochem Ireland is an API manufacturing plant that is part of the CFM group. My role was as PD Research Assistant under the supervision of Dr Javier Lopez Ogalla in the PD department.

I worked in the PD lab, assisting in the development of new synthesis routes for potential production of new APIs in the plant. This included optimising reaction conditions, synthesising impurities, and analysing intermediates and products by HPLC among other techniques. Additionally, I had the amazing opportunity to participate in scaling up a process from the lab to the pilot plant.

By contrast to my PhD, at Clarochem, I had the opportunity to work on fully organic projects. This slight change of topic gave me the chance to step out of my usual comfort zone and brush up on some skills I hadn’t used much, while also learning new ones. I am currently applying those skills every day in my PhD research.

In my opinion, the biggest difference lies in strategic thinking. One of the things that Brian Keaveny, the plant director of Clarochem Ireland, emphasized always to me from and which I had the opportunity to experience firsthand, is that in a manufacturing plant, chemistry needs to adapt to the facility. This completely changes the approach to developing synthetic routes compared to academia.

During this experience, I have gained a deeper understanding of how a manufacturing plant operates, the various roles available within a pharmaceutical company, and what it’s like to work in the industry.

I chose to undertake the placement to familiarise myself with the industry environment, as it has always been a potential career option after completing my PhD. I believe that taking a break from your own research to pursue an industry placement provides a valuable opportunity to gain an alternative perspective for the future. It also helps you become more aware of the value of the skills you’ve developed during your time in academia.

Share This:

Recent News