00:00 My job as a director of chemistry is to look after a department of about thirty people
00:05 and the aim of the department is to discover new medicines,
00:09 so we’re very much at the forefront of medicinal research.
00:13 Clearly that’s not just chemists who can discover the medicines,
00:16 we work with colleagues from biology and other disciplines as well
00:19 but we’re responsible for actually designing and making the potential drugs.
00:25 Well personally in my job now, I don’t practice chemistry in the practical sense,
00:31 but the guys in the department who are working in the labs
00:36 spend the majority of their day at the bench or at the fume cupboard actually performing practical reactions,
00:44 because all of our drugs are synthetic molecules
00:48 and they need to be able to put these molecules together using the
00:52 organic chemistry techniques that they’ve learnt during their training.
00:57 Here at GlaxoSmithKline we employ a number of different people with chemistry backgrounds,
01:02 in the medicinal chemistry department we’re looking for people who have specialised in organic chemistry
01:07 and in particular synthetic organic chemistry,
01:10 but within the company we also employ molecular modellers or computational chemists,
01:15 people who’ve done analytical chemistry backgrounds and other physical chemistry backgrounds.
01:22 When I’m looking for someone to join the medicinal chemistry department
01:26 firstly we want someone who’s got a good, sound knowledge of organic chemistry in particular,
01:31 that’s a prerequisite, we also look for people to have some form of research experience,
01:38 be that as a result of an industrial placement year, and we have industrial placement years here at GlaxoSmithKline,
01:43 or a vacation work, either an industrial or an academic laboratory
01:51 or some substantial research project they may have undertaken,
01:55 at their degree level.
01:58 We employ people at degree level and PhD level,
02:02 so you have to have done some further education in chemistry.
02:06 Another important aspect of our work is working in teams,
02:09 we work in teams of chemists and multi-disciplinary teams,
02:14 and so team-working skills are very important to us,
02:16 and so we’d look for evidence of team-working skills with individuals.
02:21 We’d also be looking for people who are self-starters,
02:25 some evidence you can drive your own work without being spoon-fed information all the time.
02:31 Well I think chemistry, in its own right, is really exciting,
02:35 that was really the thing that got me hooked at the beginning,
02:38 and so I’d really encourage people who are interested in chemistry to pursue it to higher education
02:45 standard, it really is an interesting subject.
02:48 As regards the pharmaceutical industry,
02:51 the thing that really caught me was trying to use the chemistry skills
02:57 to influence biological processes,
03:00 and also people say that you hope that the work that you do will be of benefit to others.