About this Event
35 East 12th Street, Holland, MI 49423-3605
3:30 PM: Chemists in the Workforce: Strategy and Tips for Successfully Obtaining a Job in Industry
Whether you’re a BS, MS or PhD-level chemist, an industrial position in the chemical sciences can be a stimulating and rewarding career.
The interview process to land a job in industry can, at times, be a stressful and frustrating experience. The aim of this short seminar and
Q&A session is to provide a strategy for obtaining a desirable position in industry. In addition, tips will be provided that will help improve your
chances of (1) getting an interview, and (2) receiving a job offer.
4 PM: Insights Into What Medicinal and Process Chemists Work on in the Pharmaceutical and Agrochemical Industries.
Part 1: a7 Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor Agonists For the Potential Treatment of Schizophrenia
Part 2: A New Process To Prepare Herbicide Dicamba
Chemists play an integral role in the discovery and development of new active ingredients in the pharmaceutical and agrochemical
industries. This seminar will highlight some of the key roles and responsibilities of medicinal and process chemists by focusing on two
separate projects. The first project will illustrate how medicinal chemists were able to identify a back-up human clinical candidate for the
potential treatment of schizophrenia. The second project will illustrate how process chemists were able to identify a lower-cost synthetic
route to prepare the herbicide dicamba.
Dr. Walker received his undergraduate training in chemistry at Michigan Technological University. After
graduation, he was fortunate to land an industrial job working at the Procter & Gamble Company in their
pharmaceutical sector. While synthesizing new chemical entities was both challenging and rewarding, Dr.
Walker also acquired a strong interest in the medicinal chemistry component of the project. Since the design of
new molecules was mostly carried out by Ph.D.-level scientists at this company, Dr. Walker decided to return to
school to pursue a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry at Indiana University. Under the guidance of Professor
Paul A. Grieco, Dr. Walker completed the total synthesis of two different antitumor quassinoids. After
graduation, Dr. Walker was employed as a medicinal chemist at the Pharmacia & Upjohn company in
Kalamazoo, MI. After Pfizer acquired Pharmacia in 2004, Dr. Walker was employed at various Pfizer research
sites until 2011. From 2011 to 2013, Dr. Walker was employed at Kalexsyn, a small contract research
organization (CRO) in Kalamazoo. With the good fortune of having Dr. Peter Wuts as his mentor, it was at this
CRO that Dr. Walker switched from medicinal chemistry to process chemistry. In 2013, Dr. Walker joined
Monsanto Co. in St Louis, MO as a process chemist in their crop protection department. After Bayer acquired
Monsanto in 2019., Dr. Walker joined Zoetis as a process chemist. In his current role, he is responsible for
identifying commercially viable synthetic routes to prepare Zoetis’ new active pharmaceutical ingredients
(APIs). In his spare time, Dr. Walker enjoys golf, genealogy and spending time with his wife and
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