July / August 2019

ISPE Europe Young Professionals Show a Passion for Development

LeAnna M. Pearson
John Clarke

I’ve been to numerous ISPE conferences in the United States. This was my first ISPE Europe Annual Conference, held 1–4 April, and it did not disappoint! The Young Professionals (YPs) were an integral part of the conference in Dublin; they led tracks, hosted and participated in the ISPE Europe Annual Conference Young Professionals Hackathon, and made sure that new YPs and students had all the resources they needed.

Following the successful format of the 2018 ISPE Europe Annual Conference, a YP was included as co-chair of the educational track. The YP representative started working months before the conference and became an integral part of the program committee. I was in awe sitting in sessions and seeing YPs introducing speakers, managing Q&A sessions, and encouraging the audience to ask questions and participate.

My First Hackathon

I will be the first to admit that I had no idea what a Hackathon was or what to expect. So when I walked into the conference room and saw the teams of YPs collaborating, I was just blown away! I was honored to be asked to judge the Hackathon on day two and quickly realized during the presentations that this was truly the next generation of the pharmaceutical industry standing before me. The ideas presented were inspiring and thoughtful, with just the right amount of dream and imagination—think Willy Wonka meets Big Pharma. For more about the Hackathon, please turn to page 44 for a report from two participants.

After being part of the event at the Europe conference, I am inspired and excited for the first Hackathon that will be hosted in the US at the 2019 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. If you attend the meeting in Las Vegas, 28–31 October, make sure you come out to see the next big thing in the pharmaceutical industry.

Meet the International Yp Co-Chair

The Europe Annual Conference also allowed me to meet many YPs I have only spoken to on the phone, including John Clarke, the International YP Committee Co-Chair.

Clarke works as Biopharmaceutical Operations Lead at Pfizer in Dublin, Ireland. He received a bachelor’s degree in microbiology from University College Cork in 2008 and went on to hold several quality roles before completing a master’s degree in biopharma-ceutical engineering at University College Dublin in 2013. Clarke has worked at Pfizer, Dublin, in roles in validation, new product introduction, and operations, and currently leads a manufacturing team through process validation for technology transfer. He is also completing a higher diploma in leadership management at University College Cork. Clarke has played an active role with the ISPE Ireland Affiliate YPs since 2014 and served as Chair from 2016 to 2018. He organized and led the ISPE Europe Annual Conference Young Professionalsl Hackathon that took place in Dublin 30–31 March 2019.

Clarke and I are collaborating on the US Hackathon and moving forward on the goals set forth for the International YP Committee. With Clarke being based in Dublin and me in the US, we are very collaborative via email. Time management is one of the biggest skills that is required to lead any volun-teer committee or organization. With Clarke’s dedication and skills, we will make an unstoppable team.