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Is it possible to work with pharmaceuticals as a chemical engineer?

  1. Apr 11, 2013 #1
    I am a high school senior, probably attending University of South Florida next year. Chemistry is my favorite subject and I am interested in working with pharmaceuticals, designing drugs and drug delivery systems, etc.
    I don't think I would like to do pre-pharm and go to pharmacy school, as I feel like I would end up just working a depressing job at CVS (I also heard there will be a surplus of pharmacists soon, this might be incorrect.) Since I heard chemical engineers often work with pharmaceuticals, I became interested in chemical engineering. It would provide good job prospects and I could go for a post-grad afterwards. That being said, I have two questions:
    1-Do chemical engineers really work up close with pharmaceuticals, designing drugs and drug delivery systems, etc? Is this the best choice of major for that objective?
    2-How could I best complement a chemical engineering degree to fit these aspirations? (for example extra bio classes, minor in biochemistry...)
    Any help would be thoroughly appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 11, 2013 #2
    Yes. A friend of mine from college is an engineer at Johnson and Johnson working in a pharmaceuticals plant. She works more in the design and construction of process equipment, rather than in the design of the drugs.

    Biochemistry or even bioengineering might be a good way into this field.
  4. Apr 11, 2013 #3
    Yes. My uncle does this.
  5. Apr 13, 2013 #4
    Yes. If your school has some form of bio specialization, it would be good to do that, but I know plenty of chemE's who are going to work for pharma. They'll work with more the production of drugs in a large-scale manufacturing setting. If you want to design/create them, a phd in biochemistry or something similar may be the better way to go.
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