Meet The Industry Pharmacy Organization (IPhO) and President Erika Quedding

When Erika Quedding matriculated into the College of Pharmacy a year ago, she spent the fall exploring student organizations like the ones that will be showcased today, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 5-7 p.m., on the NEW Center patio walkway (just outside of the Jay A. Gershen Atrium). 

It was in the spring of Quedding’s P1 year that she got involved with the Industry Pharmacy Organization (IPhO), a student organization devoted to helping students develop careers in the pharmaceutical industry. 

“What stood out about IPhO is that I did not think there was another pathway for pharmacists other than clinical or community pharmacists,” remembers Quedding. “When I came across IPhO,  I realized that it’s another path for pharmacists if they want a career in industry – meaning pharmaceutical companies, research and development or government agencies.”

Quedding rattles off beneficial IPhO events held virtually during the pandemic. Citing one in particular, she describes how a representative from Sanofi (a French multinational pharmaceutical company) and a pharmacist doing her fellowship at GlaxoSmithKline (a British multinational pharmaceutical company) spoke with the student organization about industry pharmacy and career paths, respectively.

Especially interesting to Quedding was a medical science liaison at a pharmaceutical company that makes biologics. This company rep captured Quedding’s imagination when speaking to club members about transitioning from a clinical position in pharmacy to working in industry.  

Getting involved

This year, as a second-year student, Quedding is exploring additional opportunities at the University as well as student organizations. 

For example, she’s doing a research project with Kristen Knepp, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine. “We both have a background in psychology and like to incorporate psychology topics concepts into our research, even though she’s in the College of Medicine and I’m in the College of Pharmacy,” says Quedding. She received a $3,000 stipend through the Student Fellowship Research Program, and will give a poster presentation as part of the SFRP showcase in November. (More details to come on this.) 

Still, she’s got a special stake in IPhO.

Erin Merico, a fourth-year pharmacy student, established the NEOMED chapter of IPhO in fall 2020, with the support of Moses Oyewumi, Ph.D., chair and associate professor in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, as a faculty advisor. Quedding has now succeeded Merico as president of the group and hopes to use the platform to increase student awareness of career paths in industry. 

As Quedding puts it, “It’s not just clinical or community pharmacy out there!”

Representatives of many of the 80-plus student organizations on campus – some of them chapters of national organizations, others unique to NEOMED – will be on hand 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 25, in the patio walkway to the Village, just outside the Jay A. Gershen Atrium. No registration is needed, and food and games will be offered at this year’s carnival-themed event.

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