RUTH – PHARMACEUTICAL TOXICOLOGIST
What career path and training has led you to your current job?
I studied Biochemistry at Manchester University then went on to do a PhD in Cancer Biology at the Cancer Research Campaign, now the CRUK Paterson Institute. I absolutely loved cell biology/biochemistry and its application to human health, so I went onto to postdoctoral research at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund labs at the Hammersmith Hospital, looking at the cellular signalling in oncology and its link to clinically expressed oncogenes. I wasn’t intending to join industry so early but in 1990 (2 years postdoc for me) I saw an advert for a Cancer Cell Biologist to work at ICI Central Toxicology Laboratory at Alderley Park, Cheshire. This was a very formative 12 years, building a research career and profile in industrial toxicology as well as picking up toxicology by osmosis!
Following that, I made a big move to be Director of Toxicology for Aventis Pharma in Paris, then later for AstraZeneca (AZ) at Alderley Park. In my current role I lead a large team of study directors and project toxicologists working at all stages of drug discovery and development from target selection through to post-marketing. I also oversee the external collaboration strategy for pre-clinical safety assessment in AZ.
Why did you want to study Toxicology?
I have never studied toxicology…..except via on the job daily training….am I allowed to say this?!