Astellas and Takeda Scientists Visit Cristo Rey

Staff from Astellas Pharma and Takeda Development Center Americas arrived at Cristo Rey St. Martin on December 12th to speak with CRSM students about careers in the medical and pharma industries.

Cheryl Hudson-Jackson, Senior Director Economic Empowerment and Youth Programs for the YWCA of Lake County, brought together an impressive group of clinical researchers, physicians and directors who took time out of their busy schedules to offer CRSM students a rare and personal look into their individual professions.

Denice Simon, RPh, JD – Assistant General Counsel, Takeda

Vernessa Jackson – Clinical Study Associate, Astellas Pharma

Angela Joubert James, PhD – Director, Clinical Pharmacology & Exploratory Dev, Astellas Pharma

Drew S. Jones, MD, MPH, MBA – Senior Medical Director, Clinical Science/Marketed Products Group Takeda Development Center Americas, Inc.

Shaka Martin, MD, MPH – Associate Medical Director/Medical Safety, Astellas Pharma

Valencia Wilson, PharmD, RPh, MBA – Asc Dir Med Comms Systems & Governance, Medical Affairs, Astellas Pharma Global Development

The event was organized by the  “Sci-Tech Club”, a new and innovative program that now meets twice a month after school on the Cristo Rey campus. Created and administered by Ms. Hudson-Jackson, the club organizes lectures, engineering projects and discussions that revolve around the STEM subjects.

The Astellas / Takeda  “science power team” spent time with the students describing in detail the requirements and training involved in the pursuit of a number of careers in the pharma industry. Research, clinical development, pharmacokinetics, retail pharmacy, regulatory affairs and public policy were just part of the constellation of careers that the team cataloged.

The balance of the discourse was dedicated to the fascinating and sometimes circuitous paths that each of the presenters followed – ultimately leading to a passion for their life’s work.

Michelle Mehlis, Director of the Corporate Work Study Program added,  “The professionals’ sharing of their college and career journeys was my favorite part of the event.  Learning that an educational and career path is rarely linear is invaluable. Stories like these will stick in our students’ minds, so when they experience a setback, it will be a learning opportunity rather than a stop sign.”