job shadowing

Job shadowing program of the GDCh Division of Medicinal Chemistry

In 2022, the NextGenMedChem group of the GDCh Division of Medicinal Chemistry invited all poster awardees of the Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry conference to a job shadowing event for the first time. Due to the positive response, this offer was included in the permanent event program of the Division ; the organization is usually in the hands of industrial members of the NextGenMedChem group. The event gives young scientists an insight into the day-to-day work of a medicinal chemist in industry.

Job shadowing 2023

The 2023 job shadowing event of the GDCh Division of Medicinal Chemistry took place on July 26th and 27th and was hosted by Boehringer Ingelheim (organizer: Christian Kuttruff). All poster awardees of the Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry conference 2023, Tonia Kirschner (TU Dortmund University), Max Huber (University of Erlangen), Lukas Schneider (University of Zurich), and Josef Braun (TU Munich) were invited to Boehringer Ingelheim's main research site in Biberach an der Riss, Germany. During their visit, the participants gained insights into the daily work of a medicinal chemist and the diverse career paths available in the field. They also had the chance to tour the laboratories at the company, including parallel synthesis and process research facilities. This allowed them to understand how collaborative research project teams operate within the industry. The students appreciated this exceptional experience, which offered a realistic perspective on job profiles in the industry that might otherwise remain unclear before applying for positions outside of academia. The event was deemed a great success, and the NextGenMedChem group plans to continue the job shadowing event with Bayer being the host for 2024.

"I really enjoyed it. There was a great and varied program with presentations, discussion rounds, and (lab) tours. It was fascinating to see how many different experts collaborate in modern drug research, which was beautifully illustrated by the 3D session. It was great that many of you, especially from different areas, took the time for us and answered our questions in a relaxed atmosphere.Overall, the event was a fantastic experience and provided many interesting impressions of how research in medicinal chemistry works in the industry. " (Max Huber, University of Erlangen)

“For me, the most interesting or helpful thing was to see how teams are formed and work together in everyday life, and how the laboratories look (compared to university). And of course, all the tips regarding applications." (Tonia Kirschner, TU Dortmund University)

"The day at Boehringer Ingelheim was very exciting. We gained valuable insights into the work of a medicinal chemist and into Boehringer Ingelheim as a leading pharmaceutical company." (Josef Braun, TU Munich)

Job shadowing 2022

The poster prize awardees of the Frontiers in Medicinal Chemistry conference 2022, Joscha Meiers (Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland), Suzanne Willems (TU Dortmund University), Anja Vogelmann (University of Freiburg), Kirujan Jeyakumar (TU Dortmund University), and EFMC mentee Phani Kumar Nekkanti attended the first ever job shadowing event offered by the NextGenMedChem group of the Division of Medicinal Chemistry. Invited by Sanofi (Frankfurt am Main, María Méndez Pérez) and Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Tatjana Ross), the awardees had the chance to meet medicinal chemists and visit the laboratories at both companies. During their stay they gained insights how a general workday of a medicinal chemist looks like and how different the career paths of these colleagues might be. As medicinal chemistry is a very interdisciplinary research area the awardees also met scientists from computational chemistry and pharmacology to gain insights in how collaborative research project teams work in industry. The students acknowledged this opportunity as a unique event that helps to gain a realistic impression on job profiles in industry which otherwise stays very vague before applying for a job outside of academia. Overall, it felt like a great success and the NextGenMedChem group plans to continue with this event in 2023.

“It did not so much change my view on medicinal chemistry, in the end it is very collaborative research area that was confirmed once again during these two days. But it showed how enthusiastic scientist are about developing something new.” Suzanne Willems

“Expertise in chemistry is not the only deciding factor to be a successful MedChem scientist. Effective project management skills, collaboration skills and cross-functional communication skills play a major role. The overall experience is very valuable. If you get a chance, don't miss it." Phani Kumar Nekkanti

“I would highly recommend attending events like this. Otherwise, you would never get to see the facilities, feel what life at an industry site is like, and most importantly, get in contact with experienced and renowned scientists in the field." Kirujan Jeyakumar

Job Shadowing 2022ff

Year company organization


Sanofi (Frankfurt am Main)
Merck KGaA (Darmstadt)

Maria Mendez Perez
Tatyana Ross

2023 Boehringer Ingelheim (Biberach) Christian Kuttruff

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last modified: 09.08.2023 14:29 H from N/A