Chemistry Career Day 2022

ACS-SA is proud to present Chemistry Career Day, an event to learn about the diverse array of opportunities for chemistry majors in industry. First, hear from company representatives about their journey into industry, what they do, and how you can break into industry. Then, expand your network by speaking face to (virtual) face with the representatives and asking them questions. The companies include Pfizer, General Atomics, and more!  Reserve your spot ahead of time with this RSVP form!

This event will take place on February 9th, 2022 from 10:00 AM to 12:30 PM (PST) via Zoom. 

Thank you in advance for your time and participation! We hope you find some invaluable opportunities through this event!


Wednesday, February 9th, 2022 at 10:00 am -12:30 pm

  • Guest Speaker Presentation (10:00 am - 10:05 am)

    Welcome Address from Dr. Robert Ternansky.

  • Presentations by Industry Representatives (10:05 am - 11:05 am)

    Each company will give a brief introduction on the company

  • Closing Remarks (11:05 am - 11:10 am

  • Networking Breakout Rooms (11:10 am - 12:30 pm)

    Each company representative will be in their own Zoom breakout room. Participants will self-sort into desired room with updated Zoom. Participants will be notified to switch breakout rooms every 15 minutes.


Intro: “Pfizer’s worldwide medicinal chemistry core capabilities include small molecule design and associated functions including structural biology and computational chemistry, synthetic innovation and compound safety prediction. Their partnering strategy is designed to maintain and enhance these areas as well as generate new synergistic capabilities.”


Matthew Del Bel – Principal Scientist at Pfizer

Matt was raised in the San Francisco bay area and came to San Diego in 2007 to study biochemistry at UCSD. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree, Matt continued his studies at UCSD to earn a PhD in organic chemistry. Matt joined Pfizer La Jolla in 2015 as a medicinal chemist and currently works towards the discovery of new cancer therapies. He enjoys spending his free time outdoors and can usually be found rock climbing, skiing, or hiking.

Indrawan (Indra) McAlpine – Research Fellow at Pfizer

Indra was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburb of Libertyville, Illinois. He obtained his B.S. in Chemistry in 1991 at the U of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and then worked at Merck in Rahway, NJ for two years. He obtained his Ph.D. in 1998 at UCLA and then completed a postdoctoral study at Harvard University. In 2000, he joined Agouron/Warner-Lambert which was bought out by Pfizer in that same year. He is currently a Research Fellow in Oncology Medicinal chemistry at Pfizer in La Jolla, CA. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, playing softball and soccer.


Intro: “General Atomics (GA) is a defense and diversified technologies company that operates in five continents. GA Aeronautical Systems produces a series of unmanned aircraft and provides electro-optical, radar, signals intelligence, and automated airborne surveillance systems. GA’s Electromagnetic Systems Division produces electro-magnetic aircraft launch and recovery systems for the US Navy, satellite surveillance, electro-magnetic rail gun, high power laser, hypervelocity projectile, and power conversion systems. GA developed the UCSD Supercomputer Center and has constructed more than 60 TRIGA nuclear research reactors in 24 countries.”



Intro:  “Vertex is a global biotechnology company that invests in scientific innovation to create transformative medicines for people with serious diseases. The company has multiple approved medicines that treat the underlying cause of cystic fibrosis (CF) — a rare, life-threatening genetic disease — and has several ongoing clinical and research programs in CF. Beyond CF, Vertex has a robust pipeline of investigational small molecule medicines in other serious diseases where it has deep insight into causal human biology, including pain, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and APOL1-mediated kidney diseases. In addition, Vertex has a rapidly expanding pipeline of genetic and cell therapies for diseases such as sickle cell disease, beta thalassemia, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and type 1 diabetes mellitus.”

Representatives: To be announced

Intro: “With broad and deep scale and expertise in development sciences, delivery technologies, and multi-modality manufacturing, Catalent is a preferred industry partner for personalized medicines, consumer health brand extensions, and blockbuster drugs. Catalent helps accelerate over 1,000 partner programs and launch over 150 new products every year. Its flexible manufacturing platforms at over 50 global sites supply over 70 billion doses of more than 7,000 products to over 1,000 customers annually.”


Marion Panis – Quality Control Chemist at Catalent

Hello, I’m Marion Panis and I am a Quality Control Chemist I at Catalent San Diego. I graduated from UCSD in 2020 with a B.S. in Human Biology and a minor in Dance, where I participated in campus orgs such as Biological Sciences Student Association and Medical Literature Society. My career at Catalent began as a quality control intern during my last year of undergrad, and upon graduation, I transitioned to a full-time chemist. My work revolves around analytical testing on site-manufactured drug products to determine their shelf-life stability and examining how drug instability may impact patients.

Carolyn White – Pharmaceutical Chemist at Catalent

Hello my name is Carolyn White and I am a Pharmaceutical Chemist II at Catalent San Diego. I graduated from UCSD in 2016 with a Bachelors in Chemical Physics and got my Masters in Chemistry from the University of Pennsylvania. At Catalent I started out as a quality control chemist, but have since switched to R&D work focusing on injectable formulation. The work I do is client centered, where we have other companies and academics come to us with a drug molecule, and my job is to help develop a formulation that can eventually go into patients. In my free time, I enjoy playing softball and tennis, reading fantasy novels, cooking, and enjoying the outdoors.


BASF Corporation is the largest affiliate of BASF SE and the second largest producer and marketer of chemicals and related products in North America. The BASF Corporation combines economic success with environmental protection and social responsibility. They produce a broad range of Chemicals, Materials, Industrial Solutions, Surface Technologies, Nutrition & Care and Agricultural Solutions.


Marya Bliznyuk – Team Lead, Automation – BASF

Marya Bliznyuk is the team lead for Lab Automation at BASF Enzymes in San Diego. Graduating from USD with a Mechanical Engineering degree in Dec ‘12, Marya soon after started as an associate automation engineer at Verenium, a local enzymes company. Verenium then became part of BASF in 2013, with the San Diego location serving as the research center for the Enzyme business. Throughout her years at BASF, she has worked on a diverse team of scientists and engineers, helping the R&D group automated their work. Work smarter, not harder!


Intro: “At Neurocrine Biosciences, our purpose is simple: to relieve suffering for people with great needs, but few options. We apply our experience and unique insight into the interconnections between brain and body systems to treat complex conditions. We relentlessly pursue medicines to ease the burden of debilitating diseases and disorders, because you deserve brave science.

While others walk away from neuroscience because of risk and complexity, our team persists, resulting in four FDA-approved therapies for tardive dyskinesia, Parkinson’s disease, endometriosis*, and uterine fibroids*, as well as clinical programs in multiple therapeutic areas.

For three decades, Neurocrine Biosciences has applied its unique insights into neuroscience to advance medicines for neurological, endocrine, and psychiatric disorders. We have specialized in targeting and interrupting disease-causing mechanisms involving the interconnected pathways of the nervous and endocrine systems. Through internal investment and external collaboration, we relentlessly pursue scientific discovery and development that can lead to important therapies for patients who desperately need new, better options.”


Amy Allan – Senior Scientist, Chemical Development at Neurocrine Biosciences

Amy Allan is a Senior Scientist in Chemical Development in CMC at Neurocrine Biosciences and is currently supporting the drug substance activities of early-stage development projects including synthetic route scouting/optimization and kilogram manufacturing. She has over 20 years’ experience at several San Diego biotech/pharma organizations and was previously at Abide Therapeutics, Dart Neuroscience and other small start-ups focusing on parallel organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and process development for the discovery of potential novel therapeutics in the areas of oncology and neuroscience.

John Tucker – Executive Director of Chemical Development at Neurocrine Biosciences

John Tucker is the Executive Director of Chemical Development in CMC at Neurocrine Biosciences. His group supports Pharmaceutical Development beginning at early gram-scale quantities for toxicology, through development of innovative chemical processes and solid state technology for efficiency, safety and robustness, and completes API process validation and support of commercial manufacture at metric ton quantities. He has over 25 years’ experience in pharmaceutical CMC including time at Pfizer, Amgen and now Neurocrine, has served as co-chair of the American Chemical Society GCI Pharmaceutical Roundtable, and is considered a global thought leader in the area of Green and Sustainable Chemistry.